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For Camilla Franks, it all started during her actor training days when she designed costumes for her glaringly lengthy stage performances. “Firstly I did terrible plays and then I hated the costumes they made for me. It was so boring. No color, no fun.”
It was seven years ago when she was stereotyped for being a “hippie and a flamingo dancer”. Today, with her brand Camilla, she has created an exceptional niche that still falls under the “gypsy” outlook. Albeit a luxurious gypsy.
This internationally acclaimed designer has done it all, from working in Los Angeles at the Grammy Awards to launching a charity-driven coffee table book that raised over AU$80,000 for UNIFEM. “We used the money raised from Women of the World the book, and built a school in Lao. We are teaching women how to work with silk there. I have been on the most fascinating roller coaster ride. I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly,” says Franks.
Ironically, Franks was not always enamoured by her infamous title of the Kaftan Queen. But her disapproval didn’t last long. “When I first got that title, I was still trying to evolve as a designer and it really frustrated me. But now I am really comfortable with it. At the end of the day, it brings me back to what I do best,” she says.