Daniella Kallmeyer Snags the Saint Louis Fashion Fund Emerging Designer Award Presented by Brown Shoe Company

By Krystin Arneson
In Style

South African-born Daniella Kallmeyer took home last night’s Saint Louis Fashion Fund Emerging Designer Competition award, presented by Brown Shoe Company. At $15,000, the award is the biggest ever bestowed to an emerging designer in STLFW history.

Daniella Kallmeyer Runway Presentation at STLFW's Saint Louis Fashion Fund Emerging Designer Competition Presented by Brown Shoe Company. Photo by Brishen Lee.

Daniella Kallmeyer Runway Presentation at STLFW’s Saint Louis Fashion Fund Emerging Designer Competition Presented by Brown Shoe Company. Photo by Brishen Lee.

 

The winning designer was chosen by a panel of notable jurors, including New York Fashion Week creator Fern Mallis, Senior Fashion Director for Saks Fifth Avenue Colleen Sherin, Refinery29’s Editor-In-Chief Christene Barberich, fashion financier Gary Wassner, renowned designer Stan Herman and VP of Marketing for Naturalizer Marci Ranger. The award also comes with opportunities for private consulting with Mallis and mentorship from industry experts.

New York Fashion Week creator Fern Mallis, renowned fashion designer and former CFDA President Stan Herman, designer Timo Weiland, Kallmeyer, XX and Susan Sherman.

New York Fashion Week creator Fern Mallis, renowned fashion designer and former CFDA President Stan Herman, designer Timo Weiland, Kallmeyer, fashion financier Gary Wassner and Saint Louis Fashion Fund Chair Susan Sherman. Photo by Brishen Lee

 

Kallmeyer made an impression on the jurors with the refined minimalism of her collection that incorporated an understated air of sophistication. With a predominance of neutrals, the pieces were made for the effortless dresser but had a quiet strength that could not be ignored.

Daniella Kallmeyer and Marci Ranger of Brown Shoe Company. Photo by Brishen Lee Saint Louis Fashion Week Emerging Designer

Kallmeyer and Marci Ranger of Brown Shoe Company. Photo by Brishen Lee.

 

Now based in New York City, Kallmeyer was born in South Africa and fell in love with fashion from an early age: She was always drawing, even (admittedly abstract) pictures of clothing as soon as she could pick up a pencil. After finishing her degree at the prestigious London School of Fashion, she was named one of WWD’s “Ones to Watch” and worked with Alexander McQueen, Proenza Schouler, Luca Luca and Alice+Olivia, in addition to helping several private labels launch. Kallmeyer began her own line in 2010 and has since shown her ready-to-wear collections at New York Fashion Week.

Fern Mallis, Daniella Kallmeyer and Elizabeth Tucker. Photo by Brishen Lee

Fern Mallis, Daniella Kallmeyer and Elizabeth Tucker. Photo by Brishen Lee

 

The strength in her pieces is inspired by the women in her family (“I come from a line of matriarchs,” she says), who have a legacy of being strong survivors. She uses the empowerment she’s learned from them to, in turn, empower others—especially women. All of her pieces are made in the U.S., with a timeless quality that will endure for years to come.

Saint Louis Fashion Week continues tonight with the Yigal Azrouël, Tess Giberson and Timo Weiland Runway Show + Saint Rita Parlor Fashion Presentation. See the STLFW website for more info.

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