Shop Talk

SHOP TALK: Kaliyana marks 25 years. An interview with designer Jana Kalous

Shop Talk is written by OM senior editor Dayanti Karunaratne and Sarah Fischer, OM account executive and fashion maven.

This year, Ottawa-based clothing line Kaliyana celebrates 25 years of business — and 20 years at their Sussex location. It’s an amazing feat, really, considering the fact that the line isn’t exactly a crowd-pleaser. With it’s sweeping silhouettes, alternative fabrics, and asymmetrical lines, Kaliyana bucks trends and offers a modern, confident look for progressive women.

The Spring 2013 line from Kaliyana features fresh greens — and sleek, modern lines.

The name is a derivative of the designer’s, Jana Kalous. Switched around and shortened, it reflects the modular concept and the fact that most pieces can be worn together — but the sky is the limit when it comes to styling. Most of all, Kaliyana pieces are comfortable, original, and “all things I would want to wear myself,” says Jana.

In fact, the originality of the line is what Jana attributes to its long-standing appeal. “I’m offering something people can’t get anywhere else,” she says, “the uniqueness of our design has led to a loyal following.” When pushed to describe what makes Kaliyana so different, Jana uses one word: effortlessness.

“It makes everyone feel good when they wear it. It’s an easy makeover, an instant transformation.”

Over the years she has stayed true to her mantra of comfort and style. However, these days she spends more time watching European styles than those of Japan, where she first drew her inspiration. (more…)