For a moment, before she founded eco-conscious fashion and lifestyle brand Carolina K, Carolina Kleinman thought she might become an actress. “What you wear is a reflection of your state of being,” she says; “The way acting is getting into character.” In Miami, where she’s lived since 2016, she often favors tunics and kaftans – but don’t mistake her laid-back wardrobe for a lax work routine. On the contrary, the designer / CEO / creative director moves more like a hummingbird, effervescent as she darts from project to project in a flurry of color. NeueJournal sat down with her during a recent visit to NeueHouse Madison Square, for a quick Q&A about her go-to spots in Miami, and finding inspiration and collaboration around the world.
Name: Carolina Kleinman
Occupation: Owner / CEO / Creative Director at CAROLINA K
Career path not taken: Musician — I play guitar, piano, harmonium, hand drums (not great but I can play them all), and I also sing.
Three words to describe living in Miami:
Tropical, easygoing, no commuting!
Describe your creative process:
Honoring the ancestral vision and techniques and traditions passed through generations, and mixing it with what I see now to create something new.
What’s inspiring you lately? In Miami I’ve been able to connect more in nature: astrology, sacred geometry, sacred animals and plants, things that part of the DNA of the brand. Peacocks are actually a symbol from Oaxaca — they symbolize strength and confidence. And I see them on my drive home from work!
What are you working on now? My newest collection — inspired by Cuba. (I’ve been traveling to Cuba a lot while my husband works on a musical he created there.) I’ve also been working on my home collection from homeware to rugs, textiles, wallpapers. The list goes on…
The best part of the work I do is: Traveling to remote places and discovering the most amazing artisans and new crafts, and spending quality time with the artisans we work with.
The hardest part of the work I do is: Being the CEO/COO/CFO and Creative Director of my self-funded brand. I would love to delegate some of that work so I can focus on the creative while the brand continues to grow organically, in the right way.
Best part about living in Miami:
It feels easy to know what’s going on here, and to get to know the people. It feels like a small community, so it’s a good place to connect with people. I also love nature, so being able to jump in the ocean after work, or even before, is one of the things I love about Miami. Going for a swim at 8 AM — I swear it changes your day completely. It’s one of the most magical things that I experience here.
Carolina's Miami Musts
Thrift: Plaza Biscayne on 87th St
Eat: Mandolin Aegean Bistro
Dance: Mama Tried
Late Nights: Do Not Sit On The Furniture
Early Mornings: The beach
Inspiration: Vizacaya Museum and Gardens
Wild peacocks: El Portal
Wardrobe tip: Always keep a swimsuit in the car