Immersed in the alluring beauty of Ibiza, Jana Sascha Haveman and Laura Castro founded party-spirited clothing brand De La Vali in 2017. Their Ibizan heritage led the girls to develop a distinctive style. Born in the White Isle, the uber-cool life-long friends incorporate elements of their hedonistic youth and nonchalant approach to dressing to their design method. Drawing the influence from the free spirited and bohemian essence of this magical island and vintage clothing fantasy, the collections are bold and empowering, yet feminine and sensual.
Meet Jana and Laura, the designers behind this fabulously magical brand you'll want to wear to every party.
When and how did you start your career in fashion?
Jana: It had been a lifelong passion to start a brand. I have started designing and developing my own clothing at the age of 11. Laura worked for a brand in Paris, Plein Sud, where she fell in love with the industry. Both of us have been collecting vintage clothing since as long as we can remember and this was the first thing we connected on. It naturally grew from there.
You were born and raised in Ibiza. Why did you base your brand in London?
Laura: Jana moved to London when she was 20, an I have often visited for longer periods of time over the years. London has become like a second home and we absolutely adore it! As a city it has a real buzz – it’s exciting, inspiring and just felt like a natural location to progress De La Vali.
How did you finance it at the very beginning?
Jana & Laura: In the very begging we financed the brand with our own cash. Every penny we had went into the business.
Your designs are inspired by vintage fashion. What about vintage fashion do you love so much?
Jana & Laura: We love that each vintage piece is unique and tells its own story. There is a certain intrigue and fantasy involved in the journey of every item: where did it come from, where did it go, what did it see, etc.
What does De La Vali stand for? Who is “The Vali” girl?
Jana & Laura: The name De La Vali is inspired by our Brand Muse - Vali Myers. She is a captivating artist from the 60s who lived a very nomadic lifestyle. She spent her years in between the Chelsea hotel in New York where she would hang out with the beatniks of her era such as Patti Smith, and the mountains of Positano where she lived an almost feral life in the woods with her many wild animals. Vali Myers was expressive, bold and enchanting - the perfect De La Vali muse. “The Vali” girl is ageless; she is adventurous, vivacious and expressive with an unapologetic lust for life.
Do you believe style can be a powerful thing?
Jana & Laura: We do believe style is priceless; it is a powerful, captivating and enchanting tool for every woman.
You are a lifelong friends. How do you work together?
Jana: Yes, we are the best friends and we are so happy to be able to share this incredible journey together. We can always rely on each other and trust each other's opinions across the business. I am more in charge of the design, while Laura focuses on the marketing. However, we deliberate and contemplate every aspect of the business together. It’s very much a collaboration of two minds alike. We have always been lucky to be so creatively in sync.
What do you love the most about having your own business?
Jana & Laura: We love the independence and creative freedom of running a business, but the most important is that we love what we do which makes it all so exciting. Each step of the way is part of an adventure that never becomes boring.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned when it comes to the industry?
Jana & Laura: Trust your intuitions, create a strong brand identity and stay true to yourself and your beliefs.
What are you most passionate about, besides fashion?
Jana & Laura: Music. We are both completely obsessed and inspired by music! There’s not a day that goes by in our lives in which we don’t listen to it. It is another area in which we share similar tastes, whether it be old Rock ’n’ Roll, Ska, Blues, Reggae or Soul - the list is endless. We are always discovering and sharing new and old songs.
What is your dream vacation?
Jana & Laura: A girls trip to Mexico filled with adventure, dancing, swimming, horse riding and enjoying sunsets!
One thing you can't live without?
Jana & Laura: Ibiza! Sometimes we feel nostalgic and yearn to go back home to the Island where we grew up. It’s a truly magical place.
Your favorite fashion trend of all time?
Jana & Laura: We both love dresses worn in combination with boots.
Where in the Middle East can we buy De La Vali?
Jana & Laura: We are launching our AW20 collection "I Never Went to Prom" with ounass.com in June.