Meet De La Vali — the bold, sophisticated label you need to have on your radar. Founded in 2017, De La Vali has quickly become a go-to label for bohemian-inspired statement pieces ready to go from date night to the dance floor.
Recently, we had the chance to chat with co-founders Jana Haveman and Laura Castro about their Ibiza roots, design process and rapidly-growing following (did we mention Kate Moss is an unofficial brand ambassador?!). Read on to discover the best friends-turned-co-founders’ inspiration behind the brand from their home in Notting Hill.
RENT THE RUNWAY: Tell us about your brand, De La Vali, and how it all began.
JANA HAVEMAN: We are lifelong friends who were always very much in sync creatively so we knew we wanted to collaborate in some way. During a trip to India years ago we started to make our first collection which we then took to Ibiza and began selling on the beaches — it took off very quickly on the Island and so we decided to take it to the next level. We moved to London where Browns picked up our first wholesale collection and then it kept growing from there.
RTR: Your bohemian upbringing in Ibiza is a huge inspiration for the De La Vali aesthetic. How has your home influenced your designs?
LAURA CASTRO: We still very much continue the narrative of ‘spontaneity’ and ‘beach-to-bar’ wearability through each collection as that’s the Ibizan way of life and will always be at the forefront of our brand DNA. It’s a free-spirited way of life, so you always want to wear showstopping outfits that take you from party to party and beyond.
RTR: What’s been the most rewarding part of building your business throughout the years?
JH: Seeing our team flourish and go from strength to strength and our brand grow from a little grassroots idea to a brand stocked in some iconic stores with a loyal and growing fanbase.
RTR: Describe the brand in 5 words or less.
LC: Feminine, bold, empowering, playful, vivacious
RTR: De La Vali designs are known for being bold, free-spirited and eclectic. Could you tell us more about your design process?
JH: I always begin sketching our initial ideas then we develop the concept, colours, fabrics and shapes together. We always like to produce a collection around a playful narrative which is often inspired by music, film or art.
RTR: Do you remember the first time you saw someone wearing De La Vali? What was that experience like?
LC and JH: After our first designs had been sold around the Island, we actually went to a party where there were so many girls wearing the same De La Vali dress. It was so amazing to see — we were so happy, as you can imagine, that it had been so well-received. At that point we thought, let’s take this to the next level, we have to pursue the brand further.
RTR: We know you love them all, but if you had to pick, what are your must-rent De La Vali styles on RTR?
JH: Probably the Rita in Midnight Floral — the ultimate party dress named after Rita Ora, the ultimate showstopper. We launched this on our own site and it almost instantly sold out. Also the Cher dress in black sequin, it’s super sexy with a thigh high split.
RTR: What’s been the best part about seeing your designs available to rent on Rent the Runway?
LC: We‘re really grateful to be launching with Rent the Runway — it gives a much wider audience the opportunity to experience De La Vali for the first time and then fall in love with the brand.
RTR: What are you inspired by right now? How have you been getting into the creative zone recently?
JH: We are currently really inspired by the photographer Slim Aarons and his vivid and stunning photographs — these have heavily inspired our SS22 colour palette. I have actually found it much easier to get into the creative zone throughout the COVID crisis due to less outside distractions; the opportunity to really focus when indoors, watch films, listen to music and feel creative has actually been really beneficial.
Rapid-Fire Questions –
First fashion memory (JH): My mum’s closet
Personal fashion icon (LC): Keith Richards, Anita Pallenberg, Jane Birkin
A song you have on repeat (JH): the band I can’t stop listening to is called Muckspreader – it’s all improvised Jazz Punk.
Most memorable person you’ve dressed? (LC) The first ever and still the best — the iconic Kate Moss.
Who do you want to see in De La Vali? (JH) Someone really iconic, like Cher in the Cher dress!
If you weren’t a designer, what would you do? (LC) I’m really into interior design, so maybe one day we’ll introduce this to De La Vali. Watch this space 😉
What’s your power outfit? (LC) A power suit; we love statement tailoring.
Ready to rent? Explore the designers’ debut resort collection, now available on Rent the Runway.