“There just weren’t any great tees out there that weren’t sheer and didn’t fall apart after a few washes,” Parsons alum Amanda Blake says of the frustration that sparked the idea for her label Calder. But it took some serious urging to get Amanda from inkling to actual line—she had previously designed for brands like DKNY, Joie, and 7 For All Mankind and had no idea how to start small.
Thankfully, she had some (T-shirt-loving) buddies—like, oh, Sofia Coppola and Brady Cunningham of the way-cool West Hollywood boutique Tenoversix—who wouldn’t let her off the hook. “Sofia kept telling me to just go for it and do it out of my own backyard,” Amanda says, and Brady gave her the way to try that out: They set a date for her first trunk show at the store, “which gave me something concrete to work towards.” The success of the understated capsule line was incentive to keep the ball rolling and to launch her line officially in June 2013.
Running everything out of her home in Venice, California, Amanda gets fuel for her line—which now includes pleated jersey skirts, swingy dresses, and chambray jackets—from being close to nature (ah, the ocean proximity!), hanging around artists, and shopping for vintage. “I always find these great vintage T-shirts that are just really well-made and timeless,” she explains. “My hope is that something of mine will one day end up in the same light.” —genevieve ang
BEHIND THE SCENES
No, it’s not an easy task—not even close.
She works hard for the money.