Founded in 2004 by artist Camilla Franks on Sydney’s Bondi Beach, the dreamy bohemian brand counts celebrities like Beyoncé, Sofia Vergara, and Gwen Stefani as fans. Now, the luxe, laid-back label has debuted its intricately drawn prints and hand-sewn caftans in NorthPark Center, one of only three Camilla stores in the U.S. (the brand can also be found in Miami and Costa Mesa, California).
“We are so lucky to be dressing some of the world’s most incredible celebrities, so many have been jumping on the Camilla Caravan,” Franks tells PaperCity of the brand’s illustrious fan base. “Recently, Nicole Scherzinger and Sofia Vergara wore Camilla, as well as Oprah and Beyonce. It can be a vulnerable space as a designer. So it’s nice to have the validation of these celebrities that I’m on the right creative path. There is definitely a beautiful rumble through the office when we’ve had a win.”
To celebrate the new Dallas boutique, which opened with champagne flowing this past weekend, we spoke with Franks to learn how she landed in Texas, the inspiration behind the store’s immersive design, and the inclusive ethos at the core of Camilla.
Brick-and-mortar Camilla stores are so rare. What made you choose Dallas for a boutique?Wherever we find our tribe is, we look for playgrounds to bring the experience of a Camilla Boutique to them. We want to immerse our colorful world and all it represents. We have a big digital realm in the United States and our Dallas customers have been crying out for a boutique. We went on an adventure to find the perfect sister to our two U.S. boutiques in LA and Miami, settling on this beautiful store in NorthPark Center in Dallas. It’s going to be bigger than Texas!
Our boutiques have been designed so that you fall down the rabbit hole and enter a new magical realm where you can explore all our beauty and wonder. – Camilla Franks
NorthPark is such a destination shopping center. What attracted you to that particular location?
NorthPark Center is known as the home of art and shopping so it was the perfect synergy for us. At Camilla, we are not just a fashion brand, but a print house. For our core collections, the design process is a long and considered one, and my aim is to honor each and every soul whom I met while traveling. Each collection takes roughly eighteen months from an inspiration trip to the launch of the range. Each step of the journey needs its special moment – that’s how we make the magic.
Silk is at the core of the Camilla DNA. It’s a tried and true canvas to tell the story of my travels while lending itself to beautiful breathability and flow. Natural fabrics are important to me — I love how beautiful they feel against the skin. My design team has grown in recent years and includes some true masters of their art who have helped me to push the boundaries of expectation in the textile realm. Together, we take a wild creative vision and work through the process of finding its perfect fabrication, and ensure it’s magical for the season.
Our collection now includes printed leather biker jackets, heavy and intricately woven knits, handcrafted embellishments and trims, luxuriously lightweight linen.
What are some Camilla pieces you think Dallas women will be drawn to?
We just showed pieces from Time Trippin at Miami Swim week earlier in the month. Time Trippin is one wild ride through time. It’s an homage to all artists, lovers, poets, architects, and dreamers of times past. It’s a salute to summer bursting with hypnotic colour, psychedelic prints and mesmerizing embellishment that glistens in the sun.
Our latest drop, Call of The Cathedral, a moody mix of leopard and floral will take you from pool to party. Perfect for the summer months! I love the drama of wrapping myself in a magical robe over a printed one-piece when I’m poolside, or lounging like a queen in a kaftan.
Can you talk about the immersive design of the Dallas store?
The concept for our Dallas boutique was created by our in-house design team here in Sydney, Australia. Our boutiques have been designed so that you fall down the rabbit hole and enter a new magical realm where you can explore all our beauty and wonder. It’s a journey for the senses and that’s just one thing online will never be able to give our customers. Wildly wrapped ceiling to floor in an iconic print, it’s a truly immersive Camilla experience and a great addition to the brand.
The in-house artistry of Camilla pieces is such a beautiful component of the brand. Is there anything else you want new Dallas shoppers to know about the brand?
Our core belief is that every woman has the right to feel beautiful, no matter her age, shape, size, or color. When I’m creating a new collection I want my designs to allow them to feel just that. With fashion sometimes, unfortunately, comes ageism and shapeism, and for me, that doesn’t sit well. As a designer, it is my responsibility to design clothes that support women in all their beautiful forms and allows them to be their most authentic and confident selves. Over the span of Camilla, we’ve kept our ears close to our customer’s hearts. I believe that all brands are built to evolve, but this can only happen if you’re serving the desires of your customer. When I’m designing, I want women to feel empowered, I want women to feel complete freedom, to feel joy and feel a sense of play.