Online Extra: Daniella Kallmeyer Takes On Fashion's Feminine Future
South Africa-born Daniella Kallmeyer is the brains behind her namesake New York-based fashion and accessories line, and this past October, she took home the very first Saint Louis Fashion Fund Emerging Designer Competition Award, presented by Brown Shoe Company. With a predominance of neutrals, the pieces were made for the effortless dresser but had a quiet strength that could not be ignored. We caught up with the budding designer post-win to get the 411 on what she plans to do with her prize, and where she sees her career heading next.
ALIVE: What was your initial impression of St. Louis as far as its place in the fashion industry? Did your view change after your experience here for fashion week?
DK: I truly had no preconceived notion of St Louis as a part of the fashion industry. In New York, we are so overstimulated and over-saturated with fashion and art already we rarely even need or think to look outside of the main fashion capitals as resources or inspiration. However, I was so intrigued and inspired by the rich history of the city, it put a lot into perspective (especially given my commitment to U.S. production and job creation) and really opened my eyes and inspired me to become more informed and involved in resurrecting the industry there.
ALIVE: South Africa is known for having an emerging fashion scene. In recent years, more and more attention has been payed to that area, so where do you think that that’s going to go in the future?
DK: I would love to know, and I would love to explore it—I hear that a lot. I still have family in South Africa and I still feel very much tied to my heritage and not just with my South African culture. My grandmother is a survivor of the Holocaust; she escaped from Vienna and lived in Palestine. I have family in London and Israel. I have family in South America. I am such a supporter of emerging American talent and yet in a lot of ways I feel like I am a resident of the world.
ALIVE: Was there a piece of advice you received while building your career that has really stuck with you?
DK: “Figure it out.”
For the full interview, pick up the January issue of ALIVE Magazine in stores or online.