Kaelen – Every Piece Has A Story

New York City is among the most fast paced cities in the world. Just as restaurants come and go, so do designers. It is safe to say that this is no playground, as here the big kids win and the weak ones fade quickly away. Not exactly the most heart-warming environment for a young designer like Kaelen Haworth, yet the friendly Toronto-native is now wrapping up her fifth season in the big (and scary) apple, while so many of her contemporaries are scattered along the roadside. Haworth’s collections are anything but juvenile. With a background in English literature, Haworth brings to the table the kind of quick-witted intelligence that gives the young designer a somewhat mature demure.

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story written by Chloe Bensahel
photography by Elizabeth Waugh
fashion styling by Amanda Cole
hair by Danielle Cirilli
makeup by Laura Buck
model is Iggy from Q Model Management
production coordinator Rachel Renee
photo assistant Jake Raynor
intern Bonnie Rodriguez

New York City is among the most fast paced cities in the world. Just as restaurants come and go, so do designers. It is safe to say that this is no playground, as here the big kids win and the weak ones fade quickly away. Not exactly the most heart-warming environment for a young designer like Kaelen Haworth, yet the friendly Toronto-native is now wrapping up her fifth season in the big (and scary) apple, while so many of her contemporaries are scattered along the roadside. Haworth’s collections are anything but juvenile. With a background in English literature, Haworth brings to the table the kind of quick-witted intelligence that gives the young designer a somewhat mature demure.

“It’s nice to have a story behind what you have.”

Designer Kaelen Haworth

A self-proclaimed “book nerd,” Haworth approaches design with the same intellectualism with which one might analyze a hefty piece of literature. After gathering a variety of visual information, sometimes even as interactive as images taken chasing tornadoes in the Midwest, she moves on to gathering fabrics that attract her attention. Haworth admits that this is the part of the process where “everything comes together.” It is where the analysis begins, looking at what is missing and how things go together, almost like decoding one hell of a metaphor.

“As I’m growing, I’m thinking of experimenting more with the way things are made. Fabric exploration is going to keep things changing and keep things special, with my own underlying aesthetic.”

Mrs. Haworth’s collections do, indeed, have a literary depth to them. She explains that clothes are only made more interesting and special by the stories that one can tell about them. And, like in any good unraveling of a plot, interesting character development is of the essence. When describing her process, Haworth immediately mentions the many people she feels lucky to have as collaborators. Whether it’s with her stylist, who happens to also be a painter, or with Audrey Louise Reynolds, a master dyer in Brooklyn, Haworth’s collaborations are filled with respect and admiration for those with whom she works. Simply by listening, one can distinguish the excitement in her voice as she tells these stories, not driven by a hunger for profit but rather by mere creative curiosity and amazement.

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“I like being there, being able to participate, creating your own prints.”

Whether literally by experiencing the juxtaposed layers of her garments or by hearing her fascinating stories about the making process, entering Haworth’s world means becoming part of a story. As the designer explains, she is constantly looking for something special that an “intelligent dresser” can freely pair with her own garments. There is no denying that an intricately laser cut skirt or a uniquely hand-dyed shirt can turn even the blandest of outfits into a heart-throbbing, breathtaking, mind-boggling, eye-catching wonder. Now that’s an adventure to be had.

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