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Local, direct-to-consumer brand Cuyana has impressed us at every turn, from its Lean Closet movement to its Union Square flagship, filled with beautifully crafted accessories (especially this classic leather tote). Next up for co-founders Karla Gallardo and Shilpa Shah is a partnership with Real Simple magazine. It's the first of its kind for both brands and will span a year and four collections beginning with Summer '14 (to be released next month on May 15). Sign up here for early access to the five pieces, and click through the jump to learn more about the collaboration.
Give us the background scoop on the partnership with Real Simple. How did it happen and what will it entail?
"The partnership is a retail line that Cuyana is creating specifically for Real Simple. It's four collections in a one-year partnership. Real Simple is about life made simple, and Cuyana is about fewer, better things. The shared values and philosophy made the partnership a natural fit."
What prompted Cuyana to pursue this collaboration?
"Cuyana is about cleaning up the process and taking out the middleman role. First, we focused on cleaning up the production and distribution chain by foregoing the wholesale model. Now, we're cleaning up the marketing end and going direct to the publisher. Leaning out the process is the general theme."
How are the roles divided between the two brands?
"Cuyana is designing, producing, and distributing the product. Real Simple is creating editorial content, both print and online. There's full support from Real Simple's publisher and editor. It's the first time in the fashion vertical for the magazine.
Cuyana spearheaded the design, but feedback sessions with EIC Kristin Van Ogtrop further developed the product specifically for the Real Simple reader."
· Cuyana for Real Simple [Official Site]
· Cuyana Brings Its Lean-Closet Concept to Union Square [Racked SF]