Designer Spotlight: El Caldero
El Caldero by Tamara Yajia is your go to shop for reinvented, reconstructed, retro treasures. Her innovative collection is complete with every fall staple from studded blouses to charmed jackets. She customizes each product with studs, shapes, chains and stones, taking your style from simple to stellar.
Carbon Magazine: What is the meaning behind “El Caldero?”
Tamara: El Caldero means the cauldron in Spanish; Like the pot in which a witch prepares her spells. I think at the time I decided on the name I was really inspired by the occult and everything dark and unknown. It’s weird though, because most of the pieces I’m making nowadays are all pink innocent, feminine and full of hearts and pearls.
Carbon Magazine: Tell us about your favorite “spell” you’ve ever prepared.
Tamara: I love the chain collar blouses. It’s so cool because the design is always the same and it’s quite simple: just a chain connecting both sides of a blouse. But the trick is the charm that comes at the end. There are so many cool charms that can be used. I love putting little knives on them or skulls, hearts or dinosaurs, which are my favorites.
CM: How do you describe your personal style?
T: One of my favorite characters in literature is Lolita. She embodies the concept of a temptress who retains an innocent appearance. I think El Caldero’s style very much resembles that. For example, I’ll work with very innocent and childish colors and designs like pink or lilac blouses but give it that naughty edge by attaching a small knife charm or a skull or something scary like that.
CM: As a new company, has there been any struggles getting started?
T: Starting the brand was actually the easiest part about it. There’s no pressure at the beginning because you don’t really know what to expect. I think the biggest struggle actually came when I realized people really liked the clothes and I needed to step it up a notch. For example, deciding ok, I actually should start thinking about getting myself a little studio outside of home, and put less time into my day job and more into making clothes.
CM: Any advice for future fashion designers?
T: Yes! Start by making it for yourself. Be creative and make something cool, don’t think about how to sell it or how to make a profit or a name for yourself, just make things you’ll enjoy wearing. That way the things you make will be pure and made with love.
I obsessed over Tamara’s collection. Each piece is so creatively unique yet feminine and classy. It’s a true trick of the trade to create styles that are equally girly and edgy. Her chain link blouse is my favorite piece, professional and fashionable. I received a beautiful powder pink blouse complete with a gold chain and heart charms. I can’t get over how much I love this top! She details each perfectly, allowing the freedom to wear it wherever! If you’re going to look fashionable this fall, you’ve gotta browse Tamara’s latest concoctions right out of El Caldero.