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Exploring Life & Business with Elana Kluner of Finchley Camino

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elana Kluner.

Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today. You can include as little or as much detail as you’d like.
I grew up with three major passions: dancing, writing and fashion. Straight out of high school, I studied Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Diego, where I was raised. Simultaneously, I was dancing with two companies doing performances and competitions across Southern California. During rehearsals, I would use my breaks to work on fashion sketches, and at school I would rehearse choreography between classes. Throughout my first year of my studies, I started to get recognition for my talent and got signed to a major agency in Los Angeles, where I moved the following summer. 

After a year of working as a professional dancer in the entertainment industry and a writer for a fashion blog, I decided I wanted to finish college. I moved to New Zealand and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Creative Writing from Auckland University of Technology. Throughout my degree, I wrote for various newspapers and magazines, covering everything from fashion, music and film to theatre, food and technology. I also developed my own fashion, food and romance column for my university’s publication.

During this time, I was also signed with a record label as a dancer and choreographer, working on music videos and touring the country performing with top NZ artists. In addition, I became the creative director of an all-female dance company who became recognized for always wearing very fashion-forward costumes. Because of my background, I was given the opportunity to not only choreograph and dance in, but also style the costumes for major productions such as the New Zealand Music Awards and Coca Cola Christmas in the Park. Upon completion of my degree, I moved back to Los Angeles to continue pursuing my goals in the entertainment industry.

After 10 years of dancing and choreographing for music videos, award shows, concerts, international tours, commercials, tv and film, I finally retired. I then landed a job working as a writers assistant for a major writer and director on the Universal Studios lot. I spent the next few years as a copywriter for beauty brands, fashion labels and shopping malls, while obtaining my certificate in Fashion Design and Merchandising in Downtown Los Angeles at Fashion Careers International. After my first fashion show, my designs were featured on the cover of Apparel News and I received incredible reviews and requests to purchase my pieces and rent them for events and photoshoots. 

Once the Covid-19 Pandemic struck and we were all in lockdown, I luckily had already built up my own design studio at home and saw this trialing time as the perfect opportunity to make another dream happen. So, after months and months of design and development, I finally launched my first fashion label, Finchley Camino, on Thanksgiving Day. And here we are.

Has it been a smooth road? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Absolutely not! Opening Finchley Camino has been a whirlwind of learning experiences. Firstly, I started a company in the middle of a pandemic which brings its own challenges within itself, but this is also my first business venture so I’ve really had to just figure everything out on my own, by trial and error. 

I’ve known for many years what I wanted my brand’s name to be, but it wasn’t until I filed for my trademark and attempted to buy my domain name that I ran into trouble. After doing a ton of research to make sure no one was using this name and then filing for my trademark, I went to purchase the .com for my brand and had realized that it had been taken. I decided to go with instead.

I’m also a perfectionist so when I was having the samples made for my first collection, I kept tweaking them, which took a ton of time and a lot of money. Because of covid, many of the sewers at my manufacturers were no longer working so it took way longer to complete production then I had originally anticipated. 

I also wanted all of my prints to be original, which created some more challenges. After having my textile designer work incredibly hard on all the prints, sourcing the best quality fabrics during a time when many companies had closed down and shipping was delayed, and finally finding the best printers to do the job, something happened with the machines and the prints did not come out how I wanted them to. I lost hundreds of yards of fabric, including very expensive silk charmeuse which literally just completely disintegrated in the dying process. I ended up having to find and buy all new fabric and reprint everything so they could be the exact colors, vibrancy, definition and quality that I desired. 

Please tell us more about your business or organization. What should we know? What do you do, what do you specialize in / what are you known for? What sets you apart from others? What are you most proud brand wise? What do you want our readers to know about your brand, offerings, services, etc?
Finchley Camino is a luxury womenswear brand made in Los Angeles for women who aren’t afraid to turn heads. Our first collection features feminine and flattering dresses in natural fabrics, original prints and bold colors. All of our packaging is plastic-free and we’ve created masks and scarves out of all our scrap fabric to reduce waste. We find our inspiration from all things fashion, travel, food, music, art, nature, beauty, architecture, film, décor, romance and friendship and incorporate that into all of the content we create and curate on our social channels. 

We believe being impeccably dressed shouldn’t compromise comfort which is why all of our fabrics are super soft and all of our silhouettes are easy-to-wear and unrestrictive. We want everyone who puts on a Finchley Camino dress to feel confident, inspired and free to be themselves. 

What are your plans for the future? What are you looking forward to or planning for – any big changes?
Eventually I plan for Finchley Camino to have its own brick and mortar store. I’m looking forward to growing the brand and continually designing new and exciting garments based on what our customers really want. I plan to create a community passionate about the same things we are and produce fun and engaging content for them to enjoy. I’m also looking forward to growing as a business owner and continuing to learn every day and with every challenge.

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Website:
  • Instagram: @finchleycamino
  • Facebook: @finchleycamino

Image Credits

Monica Guitti Alex Larson

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