JLA: I’m always impressed by how much thought you put into exactly who will end up living in and loving your collection… How would you describe the ultimate CLC girl?
CLC: She's driven by a deep call for self-expression, painting an ever-changing portrait of her evolving identity through the creative life and work she pursues. She rejects the mundane. She creates moments of beauty. Purposeful and playful, the CLC girl challenges and reframes the status quo expectations to render a life filled with vibrant, unexpected vision.
JLA: That’s one of the many things that I love about your work — you design for the woman who isn’t afraid to express herself. Speaking of self expression, how does the CLC brand portray any of your own sensibilities? Put differently, how do you see your personality showing up in your designs?
CLC: My lifestyle and basic needs definitely make their way into the line. Sometimes it’s the dress I wish I had when I’m packing for a desert trip or the lightweight cover-up I feel like I’m missing when heading up north. If I notice myself dreaming about the daytime party dress that I can wear straight to dinner, it will probably appear in an upcoming collection. I find myself becoming obsessed with certain things. Whether it’s a color combo that I love (like saffron and pale pink) or my affinity for playful animal prints... they inevitably creep into the collection and it’s all an extension of my personality.
JLA: I’m pretty sure that animal-print-affinity is what made me a fan of yours several years ago! Speaking of playful, is there any encouragement you can give to a woman who is wanting to bring more playfulness + ease to her personal style?
CLC: Try new things! Wear a color you never thought you could/would, don’t be afraid of the unfamiliar, and most importantly: be yourself.
JLA: All great advice. You seem to have a very solid handle on what it means to “be you” and I have a feeling it comes with the keen self-awareness you’ve developed through the years. Is there a specific moment when you decided to embrace this mindfulness that applies to both your life and your brand?
CLC: Toward the beginning, my business evolved into a full blown namesake collection and quickly took off. The collections were always colorful, printed, playful, and feminine. I was proud of what I accomplished and thoroughly enjoyed the process, but in an effort to be all things to everyone — wife, mother, business woman — I was not fulfilled in other areas. After having my second child, the business became hard to manage and I began to crave the chance to have different experiences. I felt like I was “doing it all" but it did not deliver the result that I wanted. This prompted me to deepen my focus on inner peace, and I began to pursue transcendental meditation along with a more challenging yoga practice. My overall well-being became valuable to me for the first time, and it served as the catalyst for starting the version of Corey Lynn Calter that you’ve now come to know (and will hopefully love).
JLA: Matter of fact, I DO love it!! Both the designs and the heart behind them. Thank you so much for sharing all of that! Besides your beautiful intentions, something else that has always drawn me to CLC is your ability to curate the stunning array of collections for your online boutique + properties. I’d love to hear the story behind why this is important to you.
CLC: I am truly inspired by creative people and I hope to provide some form of inspiration in return. It’s a thrill to see what kind of art that others are pouring their hearts into and I get so excited when I find someone whose vision lines up with mine — either in color, style or emotion. I also feel strongly about supporting fellow creatives and love to collaborate wherever and whenever I can. Community is incredibly important and as I think about the ways that social media has impacted our reach, it becomes more clear that this is meant to be one of the ways I can help connect the dots for our CLC girl.
JLA: Well, I can honestly say that it's always a blast to collaborate with you and I feel so honored to be on the receiving end of your generous spirit. The last thing I want to ask you about is one of your mantras: “Be good to yourself. Live in true comfort, true to self, with style.”With hopes that we can spread some inspiration around the web today, I’d love to hear about some of the ways that your own life reflects these words.
CLC: Being good to myself often means that I’m focusing on forgiveness. It’s one of the kindest things you can do for yourself! I also prioritize my daily meditation because it has changed my life, and whenever I think “I don't have time,” that usually tells me that I really need it even more!