digitalinfowave


Camilla is making waves at Saks.

Camilla Franks, founder and creative director of the Australian resort and ready-to-wear brand Camilla, flew into New York to celebrate the 10th anniversary of her company’s partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue.

At a dinner party at L’Avenue at Saks Thursday night, Saks toasted the Camilla brand, which opened a pop-up shop for its ready-to-wear collection on the fifth floor of the flagship through April 30. Camilla is already the number-one-selling resortwear brand at Saks.

Some 32 people attended the party, many dressed in brightly colored looks from Camilla’s most recent collection called Wonderkind, available at Saks. The collection is inspired by Franks’ travels through the Netherlands and Belgium. Among the guests were Kelly Bensimon, Tessa Jean, Bambi Northwood-Blyth, Natalie Suarez, Dylana Suarez, Flaviana Matata, Caroline Vazzana, Gabrielle Kniery, Afiya Bennet, Ben Watts and Ashley Avignone.

“We are very happy to be here tonight to celebrate 10 years. We are also celebrating our exclusive capsule [the exclusive print ‘True Bloom’],” said Tracy Margolies, chief merchandising officer of Saks. “Also, you’re launching ready-to-wear, and we’re so thrilled to be your partner tonight. This is such a beautiful dinner. I really want to thank everyone on our teams for putting it together. It’s so stunning. Everyone looks so gorgeous. Thank you for coming all the way from Australia to be with us.”

The table setting at L'Avenue at Saks for the Camilla dinner.

The table setting at L’Avenue at Saks for the Camilla dinner.

Bryce Thomas, courtesy of Camilla.

“I just feel like I’m in fairyland,” said Franks. “Actually I am in fairly land. We just call it New York City with my beautiful Saks family.…As you said it’s our 10-year anniversary, so will you marry me?” quipped Franks.

Camilla, which is celebrating 20 years in business, has been aggressively expanding its business in the U.S., opening new stores, such as the one that opened last month in Short Hills, N.J. The company looks to raise its profile in the U.S. market. The collection is displayed in five windows on 49th Street at the Saks flagship, and a digital billboard in Times Square.

Gabrielle Kniery and Camilla Franks

Gabrielle Kniery and Camilla Franks

Franks noted that the company has 28 stores globally and the vision is to have another 20 stores in the U.S. [there are currently four] in the next couple of years. “And you know, this business has been my longest ever relationship…I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I feel like I work with National Geographic at times,” she said. She said she takes about 20 cameras and 10 people from her team and goes to various places and immerses herself in the culture — Africa, India, Vietnam, Tibet, and more most recently, the Netherlands. “I don’t speak the same language but we share common language with the food and the textiles and the art and the flowers and the dance…,” she said. She said her collections are given birth from the journeys that she takes.

Camilla Franks and Kelly Bensimon

“And you know, there’s nothing I won’t do for a print. I call myself a print hunter. I have jumped out of a chopper in a croc-infested lake with my camera attached to me. That was not the smartest move of my life,” said Franks. “That’s what separates us apart. When people buy our collection, they’re buying into the prints, they’re buying into the storytelling. They’re buying into my travel journey.”



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