Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The King of Caftan..Colin Heaney Interview

With so many inspirational female designers I was interested to find out if there really is such a big difference between the sexes and how a man thinks when it comes to designing clothes to make a woman feel gorgeous on the inside and out and the strategies behind his success.

Colin Heaney is a Caftan designer living in Byron Bay....I had recently come across his designs and I have to say that wearing a caftan created by Colin gave me an air of confidence, strength and a feminine power, gentle and fluid but strong.

Colin Heaney knows the Art of Luxury and has created Luxury of Art in the divinely sensuous, high quality silk kaftans, sarongs, scarves and a coordinating swimwear collection. Each delicate piece in the Collection is an exquisite alchemy of art, a life time investment.

His designs are truly a work of art, each piece offering women a form of self expression through fashion. Each piece unique and special connecting women to their goddess within.

From the unique mind of an exceptional artist to the form and body of a woman, it is the artist’s intention that each garment move and uplift the wearer, transporting her to exotic
locations and back to the true essence of herself.

Here we bring you the true essence of this great designer and his journey to empowering women in Australia and globally.

Where were you born?
Vancouver, Canada

Where did you grow up?
Vancouver till I was 8 years old and then LA

Current city?
Byron Bay, NSW

Favourite fashion brand – why?
Etro, for their use of prints on flowy feminine style

Favourite designer – why?
John Galliano, his innovative designs

How do these fashion brands/designers empower women?
Allow women to express their individuality and strength of feminine softness

Favourite charity?
I want to support women’s refugees

Favourite holiday spot – why?
BALI the softness
Favourite resort/place to stay?
Four Seasons resorts

Things you love and can’t live without?
Friends and creativity

You have a brand which empowers women….What has been the inspiration behind the brand?
My desire is to create beauty.

How do you feel that what you create has the ability to help women?
When I see a woman put on one of my kaftans her movement becomes more fluid and she drops into what I would call a feminine space

Where does your inspiration come from?
I feel that all my life I have been led. About 10 years ago I was visited by a powerful feminine energy in the form of a vision of the Goddess. It wasn’t fertility or softness it was raw feminine power. I heard the message follow me, at the time I had no idea what it meant but over the years my life has become more and more full. Looking back I can connect the vision to what I am doing now.

Why do you love caftans and why has this been the focus of what you create as a designer?
I originally decided to make kaftans because it seemed like the ideal vehicle for my prints, I love how they move and that they suit every woman.

How did you start out?
I originally designed a range of scarves and sarongs but soon decide to make kaftans and after that swimwear.

What do you love most about what you do?
I love that I can play all day and then I get to see my play turn into something that makes women feel strong and centered

What do you feel is your calling and how do you achieve it through your art and work as a designer?
My calling would be to try to be true to myself, to grow and change and give. All of these things are given to me through my art.

What other professions have you tried and when and how did you know that this was your calling?
When I was 18 I learned leatherwork then moved onto a range of media, wood metal fiber, candles and then to glass which I did for 20 years.
I always try to do what I enjoy and if I am having a good time and growing I know it is what I am supposed to be doing right then

What inspired you to become a caftan designer? Did you always know what you wanted to do?
I have always known what my next step should be but I don’t see a lot further than that.

Who has influenced your career and how?
I suppose the people that have been the biggest influence has always been my customers {collectors}
How did you go about achieving your level of success? We want the secrets….
The secret to success is not a secret at all. It goes back to think and grow rich
1. Have a desire
2. Believe that you can achieve your desire
3. When the universe presents you with opportunities, ACT and keep going till you succeed.
4. Be happy to fail because every failure brings information.
5. The most successful people make the most mistakes
6. Make your own choices and don’t necessarily follow the rules. There is nothing that can’t be improved on.
7. Welcome change

What do you believe is the reason you are where you are today?
I have always tried to live my own life.

What is success to you?
Doing what I love and being surrounded by love.

What has your success enabled you to do? What other goals and dreams has it allowed you to pursue?
My success has given me the certain knowledge that it is possible to live in my own way. Knowing this allows me to pursue anything I have a desire for.

Was success a choice or something that just happened? What conscious decision did you make to get to where you are today?
Success has just happened, I have always believed in myself and I don’t give up. If I have made a conscious decision, it is to follow my own path in work or relationships. Having said this there have been many times in my life when I have failed.

What do you believe contributed mostly to you achieving success?
Do what I love, don’t give up and don’t be afraid to have failures.

Who are your role models and what inspires you about them?
My role models treat everyone with respect and are not judgmental
What do you attribute to your success and having reached being at the top of your game?
Loving what I am doing

Have you had a mentor along the way and who inspires you most and why?
No one person comes to mind but I have picked up a lot from other people. The people that inspire me the most follow their own path. I find Nelson Mandela the most inspiring person because of his self responsibility and courage to forgive.
Who would you most like to meet and why?
I am happy with the people that have come into my life and I look forward to meeting more

What are the most important lessons you’ve learnt along the way?
To always remember, no matter what is happening in my life try to not project any negativity onto others and be truthful and open in my relationships

What difficulties and challenges have you faced to get to where you are and how did you turn them around?
As with everyone I have never ending difficulties and challenges. I don’t believe that I turned them around as much as went through them to the other side. The only way out is through.

When things were tough and there were moments where you doubted yourself and the path you were traveling on? How did you overcome the doubts and what did you do?
Because I feel I am walking my path, I know that my life is my responsibility and that all I need to do is keep going and have faith.

What has been your strategy when things got tough personally and professionally?
Trust Love and Love Trust

If you could say one thing to women out there to inspire them on their journey to success what would it be?
To accept responsibility for your feelings, once we accept responsibility for our feelings our lives start to improve.
To accept responsibility for your life, never to blame yourself, but to allow it to show you where you need to grow.

Do you have a favourite quote you would like to share with us and what it means to you?
A quote by Mark Twain “ I am an old man and I have seen many troubles, fortunately not many of them came true.” It reminds me that living in the future is pointless, just relax and do my best.

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