The foundation of the modern closet is held together by ready to wear garments. Every day we pick out our select pieces obtained through various means across the years. Each garment supports us, our vision, our views, and our needs in different ways. Sometimes, a piece has to compromise on one aspect in favour of another. Perhaps we need an affordable outfit because of immediate need or maybe we need something durable but the style suffers.
While not all brands can cater all of the varied aspects of a buyer’s needs, Kelly de Gaalon, decided to take her stab at filling the void in the market by starting her brand GAÂLA.
GAÂLA is a sustainable, slow-fashion brand founded in 2019 by Kelly de Gaalon and her husband Alexander Zhalezkha. The brand focuses on quality European elegance with a conscientious dedication to all aspects of the garment’s lifecycle. All is meticulously taken into account from planning, to production to the people and the environment the garment may impact along the way.
In just the fabric aspect, GAALA narrows down waste by utilizing deadstock to give fabric a second life, taking remnants from GAALA garments for hair accessories, and donating the little left for sports padding equipment.
The family-owned brand also prevents excess by being made to order rather than having excess inventory. The pre-order system and beautiful designs create an environment of stability with its classically minded philosophy – have less clothes that are timeless and high quality.
We had the opportunity to talk with Kelly about the history of GAALA, its core philosophy and the future of GAALA and fashion.
Was there a moment that made you realize you wanted to start this brand?
Kelly: I found myself navigating a fashion landscape lacking the perfect blend of classic and contemporary that I loved, and the quest left me somewhat disillusioned. I decided to bring my vision to life myself; I started collaborating with local tailors, and as I delved deeper into the creative process, the idea to start a brand like GAÂLA began to crystallize— it was a natural progression from crafting clothing for myself and my friends to the understanding that there was a significant space for sustainable and stylish yet high quality pieces in this largely untapped niche.
Why choose slow fashion and sustainability as a core aspect of GAÂLA?
Kelly: At the time when the idea of GAÂLA was taking shape, I was already acutely aware of the fashion industry’s environmental impact and the often-disregarded human cost of fast fashion. I didn’t want GAÂLA to be part of the problem but part of the solution—the belief that style should not come at the expense of our planet or the well-being of those who create these garments. A fast fashion approach was never in question for GAÂLA. From the very beginning, my husband and I were determined to take the slow-fashion route or none at all.
Why did you choose to go with women’s ready-to-wear apparel?
Kelly: We set out to curate a collection that pays homage to the modern woman—embracing her strength, elegance, and femininity. Encapsulating this dedication is our tagline, “for the modern woman with a vintage heart.” Our goal is to infuse classic charm into the contemporary woman’s lifestyle, providing her with versatile, impeccably crafted garments that seamlessly integrate into her modern wardrobe.
What would you like to see in the future of fashion?
Kelly: I envision a transformative shift towards conscious creation and consumption. I’d love to see a world where sustainability is not just a trend, but a fundamental ethos embedded in the fabric of the industry, where eco-friendly practices and ethical production have become the norm rather than the exception. I hope for a future where consumers are not just buyers but conscious curators of their wardrobes, and where quality and longevity precede fast trends.
What aspirations do you have for GAÂLA?
Kelly: Looking ahead to 2024, our focus is on introducing eco-friendly fabrics into our collections. We’ve established partnerships with small suppliers dedicated exclusively to sustainable fabrics, perfectly aligning with our vision. You can anticipate the introduction of these innovative and sustainable materials, with beautiful patterns created by talented artists, in our upcoming spring and summer collections. We are excited and know our community will be too!
GAÂLA operates on having selected collections each year, creating an environment of unique opportunity pieces that are limited in stock.
This past fall, their ACTE II collection contained beautiful fall pieces that let wearers slowly immerse themselves into colder weather apparel in elegance and luxury.
The entire collection feels akin to a nostalgia-glazed life full of romance and appreciation of the finer details. Dresses take on a soft feminine appeal with tasteful deep neck lines and scooped open backs to add a modern touch of sensuality. Coats offer coverage with long lengths while remaining chic with faux leather fabric and classic patterning. Satin evening wear promises you an unforgettable night of golden memories.
GAALA is also coming out with two new collections: additions to the AW collection on November 27th and a Winter Getaway Capsule collection on December 5th, so keep an eye out for your new “forever” piece.