About Dara, the Curator and Creator of Beyond Haute
My favorite New York playground did not have swings and slides. It was full of colors, textures, threads, and bolts. My childhood was embroidered in a world of exquisite fabrics. Everything around me smelled like vintage leather, classic jeans, and hand dyed knits!
Much of my adolescence, was spent in thrift stores and fashion districts, rummaging through racks of clothing, touching fabrics, playing with buttons, and creating outfits. I became fascinated with the limitless possibilities of fashion and textiles.
Post-collegiate, I launched a junior knitwear line, a subsidiary of my parents’ womenswear brand. Through the years I have designed and sold various clothing lines. In 2008 I founded Bottoms Up 4 Kids, a children’s accessory company that is still going strong today.
Working for my parents taught me all aspects of the garment industry but my favorite part was hunting for vintage clothing and textiles that we used for inspiration. The thrill of discovering a new material that could completely change a garment was like discovering new colors to add to a rainbow.
Ironically, in 1998 I landed a job in a vintage textile archive, which was like a card catalog for antique fabrics. My job entailed understanding my client’s vision for future collections. I chose the appropriate genre of fabric, filled suitcases, and trekked around NYC meeting with fashion designers to sell them antique fabric swatches they used for inspiration.
One day, on a sales call with the womenswear designer at Ralph Lauren, the client offered to buy the dress I was wearing instead of the swatches. That was the revelation of a lifetime. I wanted to focus on building my archive of vintage clothing.
From nightclubs to the early morning flea markets, I sold vintage clothing and textiles to stylists, boutique owners, artists, nonconformist teens, and everyone in between. Many customers became clientele and my venture kept growing. While supplying stores with my vintage pieces I was also dressing people for special occasions ranging from theme events, music festivals, to weddings and photoshoots In New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.
Fast forward to the present, I am finally sharing my passion with the universe. Beyond Haute offers my eclectic vintage findings and collaborative artisan-made small-batch fashion. Each piece is sourced and created by me. I collaborate with global artisans who produce the fabrics using ancient traditional techniques.
Whether you are trying to hunt down a vintage piece or want to create, please get in touch. I love making fashion dreams come to life!!!