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CALILA is a product design studio from Los Angeles.

It is our journey in functional design and study of a minimal aesthetic.

Pronounced (Cuh-lee-luh), our name is a manifestation of the love we have for both California (CALI) and L.A.

We always start with a need, usually our own (though sometimes we work closely with one person or group of people). We ask questions like, “What product do I want but can’t find?”, “What product do I have that I wish performed better?”, “What aspect of my lifestyle currently has a space that needs to be filled?”

Then we really break down the lines of the product as driven by the functionality. Because we’ve already thought about the specific needs of the product, what it should and shouldn’t have, we can think about aesthetics. We think about geometric shapes, folds and creases, angles and intersection. We look for balance in asymmetry. We eliminate the unnecessary. No loud branding, no excess pockets and zippers, but even further, we have even gone so far as to eliminate exterior stitching on many of our products.

We are focused on build quality, construction and final functionality details. Once we have reached a design we love, we build many prototypes, tweaking the construction each time. Then, Lindsey and I use them extensively. We make sure that zippers are moving correctly, stitch placement is holding up, materials aren’t wearing improperly, lining is sitting precisely. But, more importantly, we make sure that they are actually adding value to our lives.

Simple + Functional = Beautiful

Lindsey Vaniman – Co-Founder, Lead Designer
I started sewing when I was seven years old. I would watch my mom make frilly dresses for me before I entered my tomboy phase. She taught me how to turn corners and keep my seams straight. When I was older, I went for a degree in Design and Merchandising as well as Historical Costuming from FIDM. From there, I spent five plus years in buying and retail management before the itch to create led me back to my sewing machine.

Cameron Stephens – Co-Founder, CEO
I’ve always been a creative person. From my first art class in middle school, I went on to portrait drawing, landscape painting, and pottery. Even as I was pursuing a degree in Business and Entrepreneurship from Wake Forest, I taught myself guitar and proceeded to embarrass myself at the local bar… leading to me forming a classic rock band and playing throughout Los Angeles when I would move there a few years later. I’ve spent almost seven years in creative project management, most of it in Animation and Visual Effects film production. But creating something new from scratch was always my calling, and when I got a chance to collaborate on the starting of CALILA, I was hooked.

Cameron and Lindsey live together in the Brewery Artist Lofts with their retired Greyhound, Nova. Outside of product design, they enjoy hiking and camping, cappuccinos and wine country, architecture and classic motorcycles.


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