Founded in 2014 by Nicole Attie, luxury ready-to-wear brand Cara Mila has sustainability and style at its heart, which is seen through the choice of sustainably sourced materials, cue silk, cashmere, organic denim, and alpaca, through to the production process and packaging. Founder and Creative Director Nicole Attie tells us about her journey into the fashion industry, the brand aesthetic, and its sustainability credentials.
How did you get into the fashion industry?
I have always had an innate love for fashion. Growing up, my grandmother was a huge source of inspiration, always combining prints, colors, and accessories to create her unique sense of style that was inherently chic. Now the mother of four children, I recognize this in my two girls, who frequently raid her closet, effortlessly combining and clashing patterns.
Moving to London in my early 20s, being immersed in one of the world’s fashion capitals, and having a very entrepreneurial husband gave me the final push to start on this creative path I have had a passion for since my early years.
How would you sum up the look of your brand?
CM is modern, cool, approachable, aspirational, emotional, ethical, feminine, unexpected, wow, and now.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
I love the creative process of envisioning a collection from concept to final product and doing so with a team of strong, creative, and inspirational women. We are a brand designed by women for women.
What’s your career highlight to date?
We believe we can make a difference. CM is a purpose-led brand, and launching it post-pandemic after such a labor of love from a very international team of women was a definite highlight. Having fashion icon Olivia Palermo as a creative consultant through this process was also extremely enriching.
Our design choices are motivated by our contemporary lives and our preferences for updating our own wardrobe winners without breaking the bank and by empowering everyone with the opportunity to purchase meaningful new pieces that possess the power of uniting ethics with a veneer of confidence and of-the-moment chic.
What are the sustainability credentials?
Everything we do has an impact. At Cara Milla, we are committed to keeping our impact on the earth as small as possible. We are an independent brand that spent the last two years vetting manufacturers and researching textiles. We firmly believe in the accountability and traceability of all our materials.
We carefully choose fabrics for our products, sourcing the most responsible options to meet the luxurious standard we want to imprint. Therefore, we mainly use certified fabrics and trims such as GOTS or GRS.
All our knitwear is made with yarns that bear the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), Responsible Alpaca Standard (RAS), or the Good Cashmere Standard (GCS). This practice ensures that all fibers come from traceable farms using the best and most progressive methods of land management and animal welfare.
We also use regenerated fabrics like Tencel and Eco Vero low-impact viscose. Currently, we offset our carbon use by planting 100 trees for every garment sold. Cara Mila is the proud partner of Eden Reforestation Projects – Employ to Plant initiative.
What advice would you give to budding designers?
Follow your passion and inspiration, and allow your voice and values to manifest naturally.
Where can we shop for it?
Cara Mila is highly focused on building a solid relationship with a growing number of conscious consumers, so we focus most of our energy on having a robust online presence and a direct-to-consumer strategy through our website, cara-mila.com. Having said this, we do have some pop-ups in key cities like NY, LA, and London. We are currently at Curve Shop LA.