starring / Pearl Charles
photos / Kristy Benjamin
story / Koko Ntuen
Desert Sun is your ethereally 70s dream girl come true. Founded a few years ago, by designer, Anna Lakatos. The line offers a nostalgic twist to her love of the 1970s, travels around the world, cultural discoveries, and intense interest and studies within country music.
Each garment offers its own story, the intricate details of the cuts, accouterments, and shapes, the brand brings to life, well, your life! Whether its backstage at a Rolling Stones concert, lounging in the hills of the valley or picking berries with a Keith Richards offspring, Desert Sun makes each of its tales a little bit taller and a little more pleasant in the memory for those who wear it.
We chat with designer Anna Lakatos about her current inspirations, the vibes she brings to her line and her all-time style icons.
Tell us how Pearl Charles became the muse for this shoot?
The first time I went to LA three years ago, I went to one of her shows, I think it was actually on the first day. She has definitely been a muse since then. I then met her through friends a couple of years ago and we became friends. I created some custom pieces for her and some of those got to be in my new collection, so it was a no-brainer for this shoot. I think we share the same, somewhat “glamorized” retro vision of both Nashville and Las Vegas (which are the inspirations of my latest collections), so the collaboration fit perfectly!
What do you wear on a day to day?
I mostly wear jeans and either a vintage t-shirt or a Desert Sun top. I wear my Desert Sun clutch all the time, because it’s small and lightweight and my other bags tend to be so heavy because I keep leaving stupid things in them.
What do you do on your downtime?
I love going to concerts, hanging out with friends and just generally looking for inspiration for my collections, whether it’s through exhibitions, books,…
I love the 70s too! What about that era gives you a warm feeling?
I don’t know, it always has. When I was a kid I always chose 70’s style clothes. We also had a vacation home in Hungary which was all 70’s, from the furniture, toys, books,… So I guess it is also a feeling of nostalgia for me, thinking back at summertime and my childhood, even though it wasn’t the actual 1970’s.
Who are some of your style icons?
70’s Sissy Spacek and Cher, Sylvie Vartan, Nudie Cohn, Anita Pallenberg,…
What are some unconventional things that inspire you?
I guess, nothing really “unconventional”, but inspiration can really spring from random things, like the color of an old book, an amplifier (we actually have an “amp” outfit in our Downtown collection) or 70’s sci-fi art.
What message/vibe do you feel like you put into Desert Sun?
I hope Desert Sun conveys a warm vibe. The kind of feeling you have when you’re on vacation, when it’s warm out there and all you really do is go on road trips with your friends and listen to good music.
I lived in Stockholm for 4 years, I have a Swedish husband. Why do you think Europeans yearn for Cali?
I think Europeans are going to California more and more (instead of going to New York like they used to). I guess, it’s the whole thing; the weather, the lifestyle, the friendliness of people, the art, music and the fact that you can get to different sceneries (the beach, the desert, the mountains) in a couple of hours. California is definitely a vibrant state!
Who do you love to see your pieces? Friends, family, whoever.
Definitely friends and family! I love to see their reactions when I present the new pieces to them, but seeing them actually wearing the clothes definitely brings joy every time. Of course I would lie if I didn’t say seeing someone who inspires my work, like Conor Oberst, wearing the pieces I created for him isn’t awesome!
Does the current age every inspire you?
I don’t know if it inspires me, but I think it definitely impacts my work. My collections have definitely a 1970’s vibe, but I’m not sure I would create the same pieces if we were actually in the 70’s. There has been so much social, technological, lifestyle evolutions since then, so what surrounds us now must somehow have an effect on who we are and how we see things.
What is the saddest thing that ever inspired you?
I don’t remember one specific sad thing that has inspired me, but I’m definitely inspired and moved by sad things. My sister always teases me about it because only read sad books and put Townes Van Zandt or Cohen songs on repeat when I’m in a really good mood.
Tell us your dream life?
Being surrounded by friends and family, keeping creating collections, and preferably living in LA.
What is your favorite thing about Desert Sun?
I love that I am able to do what I love creatively. I think the thing I love the most is when people tell me what it makes them think of or the vibe they get from it and it’s exactly what I envisioned when I created it.
Any other areas you want to create in?
I would love to create shoes in the future!
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