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Carla Colour: A Conversation with Carla Robertson

Geschrieben von: Emily Gaynor



Lesezeit 4 min

Based in Kingston, New York, just a stone's throw from Clove & Creek's Rondout location, Carla Robertson is the creative force behind sunglasses that marry sustainability with individuality. Her brand, Carla Colour, isn't merely about eyewear—it's about crafting pieces that reflect personalities. Each pair stands as a testament to authenticity, offering wearers not only eye protection but also a canvas for expressing their unique style.

"I love colors. I love how colors interact. And I was like, I think I could extend this into an eyewear brand." – Carla Robertson

Carla's journey with Carla Colour began in 2014, a pivotal year that marked both the birth of her twins and the inception of her brand. As she embarked on the adventure of motherhood, Carla found herself drawn to the world of fashion and design, a passion she had long harbored but never fully pursued. "I always had this burning desire to be creative and to have my own projects that I'm bringing to life,” she explains.

"I've always loved this future-retro kind of thing that gives a nod to the past but is always firmly footed in the fashion-forward world."

Following her relocation from Australia to New York, she enrolled in art school where she experimented with various mediums before finding her calling in color theory. "It was in the color theory class that I was just like, 'Huh, I actually think this is my sweet spot.’ I love colors. I love how colors interact. And I was like, I think I could extend this into an eyewear brand."

With her passion ignited, Carla set her sights on creating eyewear that is both timeless and trendsetting. The iconic Lind shape, with its round frame and bold colors, became the cornerstone of Carla Colour's aesthetic. "I did it in three colors with three different lens colors. And it was all about how the lens and the frame interacted. And that was really successful."

In addition to color theory, her design process draws heavily from her love of vintage fashion. "There's definitely a lot of vintage reference that goes into my development. I've always loved this future-retro kind of thing that gives a nod to the past but is always firmly footed in the fashion-forward world. So, there's always a little bit of that tension between the past and the future." 

Carla thrives on meeting her clients at markets and pop-ups, guiding them to discover their distinct styles. “It's really quite a joyful process," she says, "what I really love is helping someone to take that little risk to step slightly out of their comfort zone. I love helping people make that choice to really feel good about how they're portrayed in the world."

With an emphasis on confidence and color, her sunglasses come in an array of shapes and hues ranging from accessible classics to more daring styles that empower her clients to unleash their inner-it girl. “Allowing yourself to be authentically presented to the world is really a form of self-love, and giving yourself that ability to express yourself is a form of self-kindness.”

Carla stresses that a good fit is just as important as personal style. "I think fit is the most important thing because you can have the coolest looking jumpsuit or 70s dress. And if it doesn't feel comfortable and if it doesn't fit correctly, you're never going to wear it." How should a pair of sunglasses fit properly? Carla instructs that sunglasses should be snug yet comfortable, where the nose pads touch the bridge of your nose and give you the ability to tip your head forward without the glasses falling off.

Craftsmanship is the final touch, ensuring frames withstand the test of time. "They really have a long life, these glasses. I have customers that are wearing glasses from my collections from six years ago, seven years ago, which is kind of amazing." The secret to these long-lasting frames is expert Italian workmanship. "I've now got these two factories in Italy that are masters at their craft. They're small factories that allow independent brands like me to do small runs, and what they're great at is making sure that the technical fit on lots of different faces is going to feel good." 

The future holds an exciting shift for the brand. Emphasizing kindness to the self as well as kindness to the planet, Carla is spearheading the transition to utilizing eco-friendly materials that reduce the brand's carbon footprint. Her newest frames are constructed using earth-conscious recycled acetate. "It has two components," she explains, "one is the molecular recycling technology that's used to create the base flakes that go into the acetate, and that is pulling from waste products. And the second component is that they’re made with a much higher biocontent than standard acetate." Moving forward, her lenses will also use bio-nylon, cutting their carbon footprint in half. "It really does feel like a whole new beginning." This commitment to sustainability extends to every aspect of Carla Colour, from production to packaging. Carla's latest innovation is a cactus leather case, a testament to her dedication to finding innovative solutions that prioritize both style and sustainability.

As Carla looks ahead, she is excited to continue evolving Carla Colour while staying true to her core values of self-expression and sustainability. With each pair of glasses, Carla invites us to see the world through a different lens—one that celebrates the beauty of self-expression and the power of sustainability. "I'm really centered around this idea of the power of kindness and I know that sort of sounds a bit airy-fairy but I think that's what we need right now in this world."

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