The woman behind Sofia Coppola's favourite new label

Venice Beach-based designer Amanda Blake shares how she balances work with caring for two little ones.

Venice-beach based brand Calder focuses on making beautiful, simple things. Pictures / Sofia Coppola

Amanda Blake is as laidback and elegant in spirit as her fashion label Calder. With experience designing for DKNY and Joie, Blake's quest to design the perfect T-shirt led her to develop her own knitwear collection of 100 per cent Supima cotton jersey tees, chambray jackets and simply cut dresses. Despite the label being "a solo endeavour of which I am the entire company for now", Calder is already a success.

It helps when your cousin-in-law is Sofia Coppola, who volunteered to shoot Blake's first lookbook in her New York apartment. And, of course, when your product features those special design nuances that ensure it fits beautifully, appealing to those who are "confident, drawn to minimalist chic and very curated in their wardrobe decisions".

Rather than separating home life from studio time, Blake is most at ease when the two are blurred. Her work space adjoins her home in Venice Beach, so daughters Agnes and Calder can come and go as they please. This is a designer who lives her life just like how her label exists - simply.

Amanda Calder. Photo / Patrick Fraser.


I stay inspired by my drive to improve as a creative person, entrepreneur, mother and human.

When I need to de-stress I like to drive up the Pacific Coast Highway, stopping at one of the untouched beaches to feel the water on my feet, and take in my surroundings. If I can't muster up the time to do this, writing in my journal is also a great outlet.

My exercise routine involves three different elements to achieve the perfect balance of moving my body. I practice yoga to help ground my mind and body, I surf for the serenity of the soul and I get the heart pumping through a bit of running or hiking.

As a lover of all things natural I use Dr. Hauschka products to wash and moisturise. I don't wear a lot of makeup, but when I do wear it, I go minimal with a strong brow, a bit of mascara, tint on the lip and call it a day!

The unsung hero of my beauty regimen is the aloe, herb and rosewater spray by Mario Badescu. We are in the middle of a drought, and a spritz of this throughout the day keeps my skin hydrated.

If a more polished dress code is required you will find me in either vintage Yves Saint Laurent or Issey Miyake.

To escape the city I like to visit Big Sur. You can only reach it along windy coastal roads, which leave it quite isolated and untouched. When there, you can imagine what the coastline looked like a hundred years ago. It's a quiet place of of natural beauty.

• Wondering how to purchase Calder? ships to New Zealand.


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