Vacation vibes! Meet the designer behind the clothing brand Tolani that stars Nicky Hilton and Camilla Belle go to for their holiday outfit essentials
- Nicky, 33, and Camilla, 30, are fans of Tolani's eye-catching printed clothing
- The designer, Alka Tolani, talked to FEMAIL about how the brand became a go-to for celebs, how traveling influences her designs and more
Designer Alka Tolani decided to start her namesake clothing line Tolani after years of trying (and failing) to find 'clothes with interesting patterns that were colorful, stylish and comfortable' for everyday wear.
'After being disappointed by so many shopping trips, I decided that I would create a line with my vision to offer women colorful clothes with unique, exquisite patterns that are comfortable and flattering for a variety of body types,' she said.
Since its launch in 2006, the brand has become the go-to source for vacation dressing of 'It' girls including Alessandra Ambrosio, 36, Nicky Hilton, 33, and Camilla Belle, 30.
Here, FEMAIL chats with Alka about how the line became such a hit with celebs, how traveling influences her design process and what pieces every woman should pack for her upcoming summer holidays.
Style stars: Nicky Hilton, 33, (left) is often seen in Tolani's dresses, while Alessandra Ambrosio, 36, (right) tends to favor the brands printed scarves
Alka first developed a love of design and culture-infused fashions, as she grew up in North East India. 'As a child, I always loved all the vibrant colors and appreciated intricate, complex patterns that surrounded me,' she said.
Since leaving India to settle in San Diego, California, where the brand is based, her biggest source of inspiration comes from the different places she visits while vacationing around the world.
'I love to create prints based on my favorite travel experiences,' she said. 'I tend to design styles that are free flowing and breezy - that capture the excitement of beach and island vacations.'
Boho babe: Camilla Belle, 30, wore a Tolani tunic in this recent Instagram snap
Tolani first started as a line of printed scarves but after developing a huge celebrity following, it quickly expanded to include eye-catching dresses, vibrantly colored separates, stylish wraps and quirky bags.
Alka believes stars like Kristin Cavallari, 30, Cat Sadler, 42, and Mila Kunis, 33, are fans of the brand because while the pieces are easy and comfortable to wear they still make a statement.
'I also think that celebs are really drawn to our prints and how we combine colors. We design all our prints in-house and each one is carefully designed and tailored to fit different body types. Our ability to design prints and use color at this level while creating silhouettes that are stylish yet flattering makes our brand very unique,' she said.
Celeb beloved: Cat Salder, 42, (left) JoJo Fletcher, 26, (center) and Sharon Stone, 59, (right) have all been seen rocking printed pieces from Tolani
As the mastermind behind the one-stop-shop for all your vacation needs, what does Alka think every woman should travel with? A scarf!
'You can wear them in so many ways. Roll them into a necklace, use them as a cover-up, wear them in your hair, protect yourself against the rain, make them into a sleeveless top, open them up into a blanket, the possibilities are endless,' she said.
Besides classic scarves, the brand offers many other versatile pieces that can be worn in multiple ways. For instance, the Felisity Tunic can be worn as a dress on its own, as a top tucked into shorts, or over leggings.
Island time: Kristin Cavallari, 30, loves to sport the brand while on vacation
When gearing up for summer getaways, Alka's packing tips include finding options that can be worn all day, in a variety of settings, and bringing pieces made of wrinkle-free or breathable materials.
Because the clothes are often worn on holidays in warm climates, 'Tolani makes sure all the fabrics we use have a luxurious feel and that they breathe well,' said Alka. 'This is why our clothes are such popular travel items.'
As for what items are always in Alka's own suitcase? 'A scarf, an easy-to-wear tunic and sunscreen.'
SHOP IT NOW
Check out the back: 'Ava' cream top, $119, tolanicollection.com
Stylish scarf: 'Horizon' scarf, $73, tolanicollection.com
All in the details: 'Sabina' shorts, $110, tolanicollection.com
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