Following the mantra “fewer, better,” Cuyana is hardly your average fashion brand. Founded in 2013 by Karla Gallardo and her business partner Shilpa Shah, the e-commerce accessories line focuses on quality over quantity and on getting back to basics as opposed to pushing product. The end result: A carefully curated selection of totes, sweaters, simple silk dresses, scarves, and small leather goods a.k.a. the building blocks of a perfectly packed suitcase.
In fact, Gallardo applies her brand’s less-is-more maxim to travel as well. “Fewer, better travel means applying the same philosophy of intentional living and thoughtful consumption to your travels. It means considering each aspect of the trip carefully and extracting the most value out of each moment, whether it's the initial packing or the journey or the actual destination,” Gallardo tells T+L. “It also means remembering that escape is essential to inform your everyday reality. Oftentimes, it's the adventures we take far away that have the most impact on our daily perspectives and how we live our lives.”
“Travel is incredibly important to my creative process,” she explains. “It gives me room to breathe and provides me with fresh perspectives. My days in the office are usually packed back-to-back with meetings, so it's often only during these trips that I can take a step back and think creatively. I get inspiration from the street style around me—especially in cities like London and Milan—as well as from the architecture, art, and culture of the cities.”
This fall, the brand combines its minimalist aesthetic with the luxury of Italian fabrics. “We've always had a strong focus on quality, but this Italian-focused collection has elevated us to a level that will set the precedent for all future pieces,” says Gallardo. “Leather has always been a key material in our essentials, but starting with this collection, we are working with the best Italian manufacturers, with the best Italian leather, in the world.”
Here, Gallardo shares snapshots of her recent trip to Rome, where she and the Cuyana team shot this fall’s campaign of polished coats, wool-cashmere sweaters, and sumptuous leather accessories.