KarlaCola the brand by Adelaide designer Karla Schumann presents pattern-based collections with a core focus of celebrating colour. As a self-described colour lover Karla brings emotional and wearable hues, shades, tints and tones to the forefront of her design. Karla designs with print and colour to uplift the senses and bring joy into our everyday wardrobe.
It is well documented that colour impacts our mood creating a sense of calm or excitement; we see this translated in KarlaCola. The garment is purely the canvas for which colour and pattern is layered upon to create a complete look and feel for the wearer.
As we have become more familiar with Karla over time, she continues to impress and amaze us. Having three beautiful children, running a business, collaborating with designers, curating her delightful Instagram as the brand ambassador, not to mention an all round champion, I reflect that perhaps we all need more colour and pattern in our life.
How did KarlaCola the label begin?
It began when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. I immediately felt the need to start making her clothes. When I moved back to Australia, I found there were limited choices for finding really different clothing. Craving unique colourful prints and styles, I expanded my business into women’s clothes and focused on providing women like me another alternative to mainstream clothing and colours.
We are well advised on the emotional and spiritual effects of colour. As a self proclaimed “colour lover”, what does colour mean to you?
My home is an electric crazy mix of colours. I absolutely love being surrounded by colour in life. It makes me feel happy. Putting on a beautiful coloured dress, a bright necklace, a bright pop of lipstick, those are all things that essentially make me feel like me and make me happy. I’ve infused that in our home over the years and especially since having kids, I love that our home feels welcoming and bright. Colour makes the world go around as far as I am concerned.
Print design by Ellie Whittaker
Print features heavily in your collections. How do you create the original print designs and who do you collaborate with.
I am having so much fun collaborating with artists and graphic designers that feel passionate about colour and design as I do. It’s been so much fun making contact with new artists and thinking of ways to turn unique artwork into clothing. That’s been an original idea of mine since the start. It’s a great fun way to celebrate art, colour and fashion all together. I’m currently working with Maggi McDonald, Sydney artist and I can’t say enough about how incredible she is. Her artwork is original, her work ethic is fantastic and she is one of the best humans I know. I feel incredibly lucky to work alongside a talented artist of her calibre.
Letitia Green and I are also working together and our brands are a perfect match for each other. She loves colour as much as I do and her shapes and use of design are perfectly suited to my style. We have some more exciting things in the works.
KarlaCola x Maggi McDonald
What are the key elements you like to see in a print design
Bright, BOLD colours and shapes, free flow drawn lines and shapes and abstract shapes.
You are based in South Australia but have a global reach, how has social media impacted your brand?
I’m from Sydney and moved to Adelaide from Michigan USA. Some of my customers have followed my journey halfway around the world. I like to think that around the world there are people just like me, that are sick of boring colours and want something a little extra in their wardrobe. Something that screams colour, fun and passion.
You are your own brand ambassador and do a wonderful job communicating your stories to customers. Do you plan each look and shoot, or does it just flow when you shoot your images and create video?
Thank you so much! I do a mix, I plan shoots and I sometimes see a wall I haven’t seen before and jump out and snap a quick picture in the moment. Its not always easy managing the business, making patterns, making clothes and taking pics but for now I feel like I’m managing it and still having fun too. That’s the most important thing. I started this business mainly out of a passion and love for something and I still feel that way. I hope to always have that feeling.
Sodalite print by Letitia Green for KarlaCola
What are the big plans for Karla Cola in 2018, and what should we look forward to from the label?
So many incredible things are lined up for next year. Probably too much actually! I’ve been incredibly busy working on 2018 and there are some AMAZING new artist and designs coming to KarlaCola. I absolutely cannot wait to start showing everyone what I have been working on behind the scenes. I am so passionate and love my work, its hard not to shout it from the rooftops and across social media. Yep it’s that exciting, lots of Australian designers, a few international artists & designers too. Lets just say I won’t let anyone down and there is more colour coming to KarlaCola!