This time next year, two West Kelowna, B.C., women will be basking in the afterglow of what for most will only ever be a dream.
It’s a significant feat for any small fashion company but all the more impressive considering how far away their home base, the Okanagan, is from any style hub.
It’s a reality not lost on Danielle, Donna’s daughter and the marketing arm of the company. During the height of the pandemic, they considered moving operations east where more of their clients are but stayed put and the fashion world aligned with them instead.
In recent months the company has earned coverage in British Vogue, Vanity Fair and Glamour UK.
“All the Conde Naste Brands reached out for us and … (at the time) I’d check out whether they were legitimate, it was such a shock for us,” Danielle said.
Once the shock wore off, Danielle saw two reasons for their ongoing success, which manifested itself in an invite to apply for Paris Fashion Week and then the confirmation that they would be included.
“First, mum is the most talented individual I have ever met, though obviously, I am biased,” Danielle said.
“Growing up we had an art gallery, and she made jewelry in university to pay her way, and the designs she comes up with are unlike anything on the market. They’re big, bold, beautiful statement pieces that are very free-flowing — they’re perfectly imperfect.”
They’re like the target market of Cariolily Finery, which is the other secret ingredient to their success.
“We target exclusively women over the age over the age 50,” Danielle said. “The industry neglects women over the age of 40. It’s something we talk about with our clientele … it’s about embracing the age you are at, and celebrating it and celebrating aging.”
Given their inclusion in one of the biggest global fashion events, that could be where more people are seeing value.
The Schevens will know for sure next October
They are going to Fashion Week with the brand Flying Solo, a curated fashion collective that brings together creatives from around the world.
The invitation came in September and already the Schevens have had a couple of Zoom meetings, so they’d be fully onboard of what they need to offer.
They will have eight sets with eight different looks.
“Mum is making a necklace, bracelet and earrings for each set,” Danielle said. “Then in August, the creative director looks at the brands and matches us with a clothing designer, and the two of us will co-ordinate.”
And, if all goes according to plan, the two local women will get a whirlwind view of what Paris Fashion Week looks like.
“On the first day we get there we will be jetlagged, and then there are designer meetings where we meet the team in person. On the third day there will be a dress rehearsal, and on the following day will be the show itself,” she said.
And, if they survive the intense pressure and excitement, there will be a much-deserved chance to enjoy some time in Europe.