Cake Carlos and Patrick Steber, the designers behind Kajan Padraig are probably the most professional designers I’ve ever worked with. They come to models calls and fashion production meetings extremely prepared and always have a handful of great questions to ask. It’s been a lot of fun to get to know both Cake and Patrick better of the past couple of months and I look forward to seeing their show at the Give Back Gala on April 2nd, 2011.

Cake Carlos and Patrick Steber of Kajan Padraig

Cake and Patrick took some time out of their busy schedule to answer a couple of questions for our readers, here goes.

Style Bust: How did you get into fashion design?

Cake Carlos: Looking at how my life came together, it just made sense. I have a talent and passion for sketching that really came to life when I moved to America from Thailand. As a child and adolescent, I would help my mother sew piece goods. I have always loved clothing and had an eye for design. With skills and passion in these areas, I moved confidently in the direction of fashion and enrolled myself at FIDM.

Patrick Steber: My first love is fabric. I remember walking through department stores with my mother, arms outstretched, feeling all the fabrics that I could get my hands on. As I grew older, I would
pull out vintage clothes of my mother’s and dress my sister in them. I would then create elaborate runway shows the length of my parent’s hallway. It did not dawn on me until I was twenty that I could do more than just imagine these shows. With that realization, I submitted my application to design school and never looked back.

Style Bust: How did the two of you form your design partnership?

Patrick Steber: Cake and I worked together at a very talented San Francisco designer for three years before setting off on our own. We both wanted our own design house some day and talked about it often. We worked extremely well together and had the same passion and energy to succeed. Our strengths complimented each other. What sealed the deal for our partnership was that we could actually enjoy each other’s company even after ten hours of working side-by-side, six days a week.

Style Bust: How long have you been designing together?

Cake Carols: We have been designing together as Kajan Padraig since December of 2009.

Style Bust: Were you designing independently before you teamed up?

Patrick Steber: Yes, but both on a much smaller scale. Cake was making dresses for herself and her sister for weddings and other events. I designed and presented for a few indie fashion shows in San Francisco. Both of us have continually re-purposed our own clothes to keep them fresh and exciting. We draw on these past experiences and designs in our work together.

Style Bust: What would you say are some of the benefits to designing with a partner?

Cake Carols: Someone to share the stress!! In all seriousness, it is extremely beneficial to have another pair of eyes and another creative viewpoint. As designers, we tend to get stuck in our own heads. It is nice to have someone help you continue in a positive direction, or to help you rethink something you have stared at for too long. We help each other grow as designers and as entrepreneurs. It is very easy to spread yourself too thin and we both feel very lucky to be able to focus on our strengths, knowing that the other is there to help carry the load.

Style Bust: Describe your philosophy about the art of fashion.

Patrick Steber: Our philosophy of the art of fashion follows that of the philosophy of all art. The new is created in response to the old. Either building upon or reacting against. Fashion is ever changing and, for us, it is anything we want it to be. Our aim is to design beautiful clothes that make women feel confident, regardless of trend.

Style Bust: Describe the collection you will be showing at the Give Back Gala.

Cake Carlos: We are showing a full collection from shorts and tank tops to full length evening gowns. Our collection is bright and optimistic, while drawing it’s strengths from the solid foundations of design. Our color choices evolved from this philosophy. We started with solid, sensible neutrals then introduced chartreuse, lavender and watercolor prints to infuse optimism and hope. Nothing is so over the top that you can’t see yourself wearing it right off the runway.

Style Bust: What inspired this collection?

Patrick Steber: In a word, Lines. More specifically, the shapes and emotions they create. We played with soft, draped lines to tailored and architectural lines and then the occasional manipulation of those lines. The beauty of the female back also inspired us. A lot of the designs have the focus on the back.

Style Bust: Why should people come out to see your work at this show?

Cake Carlos: We are creating a full experience for the audience. We are putting on a show, of course, but more importantly, we are showcasing the beauty of our aesthetic. We want women to see that beauty, relate to it and want to be a part of it.

Style Bust: If you could do anything else (professionally) what would it be?

Cake Carlos: I don’t see myself doing anything else.

Patrick Steber: Designing runway shows and making innovative textiles.

Style Bust: How can people get in touch with you?, email: [email protected]