Daniella Kallmeyer is exactly what most people don’t think of when they think of “the fashion industry.” Not the woman herself. Her look is casual-urbane, and her demeanor, a combination of mindful au courant cool and old-school gracious. Kallmeyer’s business, which bears her surname, is the outlier, in perception if not in fact — tiny and off the grid of major name-recognition. It takes the notion of “small business” to its most extreme manifestation. She is self-financed, runs the company and designs the clothes solo. And by the way, she can make an arty table chic enough to anchor a small, artfully minimalist retail outpost. After being forced to lay off half of her staff last week, Kallmeyer now has an employee roster of one, apart from herself.
Kallmeyer launched her company 10 years ago. Developing her aesthetic has been a process, which she described during a Fall 2020 appointment as seeking to “explore the gender binary and breaking down the typical idea of femininity,” with a focus on polished but relaxed tailoring. Early on she found favor in Japan. That country accounted for the lion’s share of Kallmeyer’s business, until recently. Long skeptical about committing to physical retail, in June,
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