Caren Templet

Posted on September 8, 2011 – 2:47 PM | by Admin
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By Niki Kangas  Photos by Scott Duncan

Do you realize that Sacramento plays host to a world-class fashion designer? Caren Templet’s flag is planted firmly at 1801 L St., where window shoppers are sometimes stunned to see haute couture residing in our often-thought-of-as-second-fiddle city.

Caren Templet, a born Brit who speaks the musical dialect of the Queen’s English, does NOT conceive of her beloved Sacramento as a redheaded stepchild, and is here to prove that innovation, quality, and swank can arise here just as easily as in California’s golden child cities- San Francisco and LA.

I sat down with Templet while she manned her flagship store recently, and asked her some questions about what sets her apart from other top designers, what will constitute her fall collection, and why Sacramento?…

At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to design garments?

Well, I’ve been in a related role for twenty years. I’m trained in interior design, and have designed since I was a child. So to my mind, I’ve always been in that creative element, whether or not I chose fashion. It’s always been a passion of mine, but it’s whether or not it’s been something I focused on. That’s a difficult question because it’s always been there, I can’t give you a definite time line… I do know my own label was launched after all those years in 2007.

So you’ve always been interested in fashion- did that come from somebody in your life exposing you to it, or was it just inherent?

My ancestors came from Arabia, so it’s there, it’s just inherent in us. My sisters are very creative… it’s who we are. Fashion, to me, was always paramount, I absolutely adore it, it’s my life.

Why did you choose Sacramento for your flagship store?

Mainly, I just felt that a lot of fashion design is rushed to the larger cities because they think this is what they’re supposed to be doing. My story is about clothing. I make quality clothing, and when you do this, I don’t think that you need to be anywhere particularly. I spoke to merchandising managers from companies like Prada, about their pricing and so forth, and I didn’t like what I was hearing. Part of it was that you have to do it a certain way, and I didn’t believe that, and the quality of clothing is down from where it used to be, and I couldn’t always find that quality in the places that they said! And, I noticed I was doing something different- I have my own shape, my own body sizing, I have my own fabrics, my own production, I make them in the United States- it’s not the norm! And therefore, I shouldn’t have to follow what everybody else is doing, I wasn’t looking to be this huge commercial China business.

I like the idea of selling into stores and having my own stores, but people don’t seem to spend the time sewing now, they don’t spend the time with customer service. Me being in my own store is a bit of an unusual situation when you’re a designer. So, I’m approachable… Sacramento is the capitol of California, and San Francisco is often thought of as being the capitol in a way, which I think is unfortunate, because there are a lot of creative things going on in Sacramento and I think it’s unrecognized. People come here and they visit, and they see my store, then end up going back to Washington, DC or New York, and they still come shop with me, which I think says a lot.

I’ve heard you do custom altering on any piece purchased from your collections. Is there an additional fee for that service?

No, in my store, alterations are incorporated into the price of the garment. Coming into my store is about quality, and I’m surprised when someone comes in, tries something on, and it fits. There are many different body shapes, and by shopping with me, I can help the client match up their body shape to the cuts that would flatter their body shape, and then furthermore, the clothing can be tailored to their exact measurements. Alterations are a necessary part of dressing well.

Tell me about your fall collection. What are you working on, and are you going to be showing anywhere?

I’m working on gold tweeds right now, with a pop of color. I’m working on a lot of silk blouses right now, silk evening pants, and also am working on a bias cut, because that’s what I’m not seeing in the stores right now. A lot of short cut tweed skirts, I’m making my own version of the short cut square jacket… We’ve got some exciting fabrics.

Are most of your clients Sacramentans who care about dressing well?

I have lots of Sacramento clients, but I also have shoppers from New York, Washington, DC, and some clients come in via a stylist from LA. A lot of people come to Sacramento whether it’s for politics or whatever, but they actually DO come, from a lot of different places.  

Caren Templet, 1801 L St. #80
(916) 376-7361

  1. One Response to “Caren Templet”

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    By Elizabeth Ellison on Dec 5, 2013 | Reply

    Caren it was a pleasure talking with you at the gym. you are so down to earth, thanks for your kindness

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