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Things We Love

People We Love: Cara Cara

Jul 29, 2021

​​Our #PeopleWeLove interview series focuses on the lives of people we admire. Here, the dirt on their favorite things, day-to-day routines, and more.

Imagine slipping into a dress that evokes the blissful feeling of vacation. Enter Cara Cara, a gorgeous line of dresses and wardrobe pieces that captures the breezy effortlessness of summer, yet perennial enough to wear all year long. We chatted with founders Katie Hobbs, Julia Brown, and Sasha Martin about the brand, their summertime must-haves (what else?!) and more.

cara cara founders

Where did the name Cara Cara come from?
The very first print we developed for the launch collection was a beautiful citrus design featuring the pink-fleshed Cara Cara oranges. We fell in love with the joyful colors and escapism mood this print evoked and decided to name our brand after it to capture happy, endless holiday vibes!

How would you explain the aesthetic and ethos of Cara Cara to someone who is not familiar?
Cara Cara is a brand that combines the joyful spirit of being on holiday, with exuberant and versatile wardrobe pieces to wear year-round.

We believe in embodying a bit of that holiday feeling, always. And getting dressed should be a breeze. Our colorful, richly-detailed prints, and easy, romantic silhouettes combine chic comfort with a touch of timeless glamour

Entirely female-founded, owned and operated, we design clothes for real women and seek to embody a unique kind of casual glamour.

What was the inspiration behind the line?
Friendship, motherhood and the celebration of natural beauty are the foundations of our brand.

Our lives collided through our kids - those unions that make cities like New York more intimate and familiar. And so it was that we found ourselves together, with a collective 50 years of fashion, digital and marketing experience - and an idea for how we could give women the feeling we were seeking in our own lives through beautifully designed and made clothing. Cara Cara was born out of a void in fashion we felt qualified to fill.

hobbs caftan

Can you share a bit about your design and manufacturing process?
We design our prints in-house, or adapt them from vintage textiles, and are often inspired by interior design and the escapism of a far-flung oasis. Crisp cotton poplin is a hallmark of the brand and a perennial canvas for our signature prints.

We spend months vetting our factories during each new round of development and choose our production partners based on the best fit for the construction and print details of that particular collection. Our clothes are produced in ethically-operated workrooms in the US, and WRAP-certified factories in India, China and Peru. Each piece is hand sewn by small teams of experts who return to work on Cara Cara patterns season after season.

Do you think clothing tells a story?
Always! We love to weave a story into each collection and usually tap into escapism for our prints and silhouettes. For example, the summer collection was conceived during the lockdown when our moodboard was layered with exotic destinations and glamorous Slim Aarons photos. Our dream trip itinerary included stops in the remote jungle hideaway of Blancaneaux in Belize where exotic flora and fauna scatter the canopy; a vintage-hued stay at Honolulu's pink stucco Royal Hawaiian in Joan Didion's heyday; and perennial retreats to the east end of Long Island where the hot sun drenches eyelet silhouettes as they dot lush gardens and windblown dunes.

At The Laundress, one of our core values is taking care of the items you love so that they last longer. How would you recommend taking care of Cara Cara items?
Much of our collection is designed in cotton poplin and voile. Our silhouettes are simple, flattering and meticulously made. We love that you can wash most of our pieces on a delicate cycle in cold water—with Laundress products of course!

What are you looking forward to wearing this summer?
Katie: I’m going to Portugal the first week in August and as we will be driving around the country with our two kids I need to keep my wardrobe super simple and versatile. I love our caftan collection for its vibrant, happy prints and effortless silhouettes. I’ll be wearing the Emily or Hobbs on repeat with Carrie Forbes slides and a straw market tote - hopefully procured from a little Portguese market!

Sasha: I’ll be on Fire Island in August and will be twinning with my daughter in blue fruit and pink Hawaiian prints from our High Summer collection. Our Melanie and Maidstone cotton voile pieces take me from wave jumping to date night with my husband when I’ll dress them up with my favorite Ted Muehling Acorn earrings and a Cesta Collective lunch pail bag.

Julia: I will be in Millbrook, NY followed by a trip through New England in August—Cohasset in Massachusetts where I grew up, Watch Hill, RI and Nantucket. I will have all of my Cara Cara sundresses on repeat as well as my Helena tops in both black and white to go back to all of my skirts I have collected over the years. A big straw hat and a little straw tote will be all I need!

emily dress

Must have summer accessories?
Katie: Barbara Sturm sundrops, my Brent Neale mushroom pendant, and a hat from my favorite Hamptons farm stand.

Sasha: My mother’s Kieselstein-Cord alligator bracelet, Tom Ford lipstick in Contempt and Supergoop sunscreen—gallons of it.

Julia: Also gallons of Supergoop sunblock! A big stack of bracelets, Valentino flats, my mother’s layered gold necklaces and some bright pink lipstick!

Favorite Laundress product? And why?
Katie: The Le Labo Detergents What a dream! I don’t have time to handwash so I love that the Laundress also makes detergent products to use on the gentle cycle. I bury my face in the warm dryer pile after using this product. I also use Delicate Wash to clean all my summer knits!

Sasha: Definitely the Denim Wash. I used to be one of those people who dry cleaned my favorite pairs of jeans; this saves me a mint and preserves that just-bought feel.

Julia: definitely the Le Labo Rose Signature Detergent!! I use it on gentle for my cotton sun dresses and never need to dry clean!

le labo signature detergent
Get Cara Cara's favorite Laundress products Shop the Story
Le Labo Rose Detergent

Fine Frangrance Experience

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$45
Le Labo Duo

Fine Frangrance Experience

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$90
Delicate Wash

Care for Silk, Synthetics & Blends

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$20
Denim Wash

Clean & Soften Denim

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$20
Dry Cleaning Detox Kit

Plant-based Care for "Dry Clean" Clothing

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$62.50 $56
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