If there’s one thing you need to make it in fashion, it’s courage and Kaelen designer Kaelen Haworth has plenty of it. After getting her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, the Canadian designer headed to Parsons and just seven months after graduation, she showed her first collection at New York Fashion Week in 2010. Kaelen, who underlines that her internships at Jenni Kayne, Stella McCartney and The Lake & Stars while a student were instrumental, spoke with us about her first collection, designing in New York City and being in the CFDA Fashion Incubator Class of 2014-2016.
theFashionSpot: Did you always know you wanted to come to New York City?
Kaelen Haworth: Yes! I always knew I wanted to live in New York at least for a short time and now I’m coming up on 10 years!
tFS: What’s the fashion scene like in Canada?
KH: To be honest, I wish I knew more about it, but having spent most of my fashion career in New York, I haven’t been able to really get too into it. That said, it seems like people are doing some really great things.
tFS: You went to Parsons, do you think going to school to study fashion design is imperative to being a successful designer?
KH: I don’t think so, no. I think it’s important to be around creative, interesting people. I don’t think it’s necessarily the most important thing. For me, just being in New York was inspiring and eye-opening.
tFS: You’ve had some amazing internships. How did those come about?
KH: I made some connections while I was at Parsons that really helped point me in the right direction in terms of internships. That’s the beauty of New York! It’s so easy to run into people who work in fashion and who are eager to help out young designers.
tFS: Can you tell us some of what you picked up working for Jenni Kayne, Stella McCartney and The Lake & Stars?
KH: I would say the most important thing I learned from my experiences is seeing the big picture of how a business works. You have to get involved in so many different areas.