"I was inspired by filmmaker Maya Darren and Joy Division videos. It was a new rave fun statement, not a personal one. I’ve never worked with such strong colors, but it felt like a new beginning, moving here to New York."
Camilla Staerk was born in Denmark and grew up on a farm outside of Copenhagen, spending her childhood riding horses. The saddles were her first introduction to leather, an attraction that has grown throughout the years. By 1996 she decided to move to London to attend a one year course in Fashion Illustration at the London College of Fashion. A year later she enrolled at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication to study fashion with textiles. For her internship, Staerk interned with Patrick Robinson, in New York City. While there Staerk met future designer Victor Glemaud and it was kismet. They became instant best friends and still are to this day (even showing the new collections together for Fall/Winter 09 fashion week). Graduating in 2000 with a BA and Honours, Staerk’s graduate fashion show propelled her to instant success. Her collection was immediately bought by the boutiques Browns Focus and Maria Luisa, thus the birth of her own label, Camilla Staerk. Her clothing is enthused with old fashioned hand sewing and bespoke techniques, creating severe, dark, romantic, yet modern tones, based on characters from literature and art. During her time in London, she won the Top Shop’s New Generation Award three times and British Vogue dubbed Staerk “a future star”. The increasingly positive editorial coverage and interest especially from celebrities like PJ Harvey, Madonna, The Raveonettes, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Sarah Jessica Parker, Liv Tyler, and Helena Christensen have brought Staerk to new heights. Christensen not only wears Stark’s clothes but sells them in her NYC boutique, Butik.
After a dispute with her London backers, Staerk needed a change. So in September of 2006, she moved to New York City, a place she had wanted to live since her internship days, to launch her brand new label, Staerk. A week after her move, while the Spring 07 collections were being shown, Helena Christensen hosted Staerk’s New York debut presentation. Her spring/summer 07 line deviated from past collections, allowing a wider audience. This modification led to the use of pastels, sweater dresses with threaded belts, creating a “small waist” look and outfits layered over latex tank tops. Her inspirations were the characters Laura Palmer and Donna Hayward from the 1990 cult television show Twin Peaks (a favorite show among some of MyCloset.com’s staff). Two years later, in August of 2008, Staerk opened her own namesake boutique, where she sells her entire collection along with her new lines of shoes and handbags. Having presented at New York and Paris fashion weeks over the past few seasons Camilla Staerk remains a sensation and continues to gain support amongst fashion publications like Allure, The New York Times magazine, Vogue, Elle (US & UK), W, Women’s Wear Daily, and The Guardian.
Camilla's has been inspired by a variety of diverse experiences during her time as a designer. She has been inspired by her love of leather (saddles to be direct), 1990's cult movies (Twin Peaks for one), authors (Karen Blixen) and many characters from literature and art. She is also very fond of, and highly recognized for, the use of old world techniques, including hand sewing.