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Holiday Spotlight: The Naven Twins

As the third installment of the LA Fashion Magazine’s holiday spotlight, we sat down with the Naven twins, the dynamic designer/philanthropist/DJ twin duo. We asked them about their favorite part of the holidays, philanthropy and upcoming projects.

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How did you get started as the Naven twins?

Kym:
“We started our company about 10 years ago. I do all the design/manufacturing and my sister does all the marketing and business side of it. I started designing in high school. I started a little tailor shop designing wedding dresses and grad dresses. That’s how I really got into it. I started do fashion shows and my sister was always the brains behind the business.”

Alexis:
“I do what she calls the boring side of the business, which I actually think is really exciting. I do all of our sales contracts, work with all of our accounts, manage our marketing/PR – all of the numbers. That’s my side. We do total polar ends of the company. We’re a good team together.”

Kym:
“It really works. Yeah.”

How did you get the name the Naven Twins if your last name is really McClay?

Alexis:
“We got the Naven because it’s the name of our women’s brands and it just really stuck. Everyone actually thinks our last name is Naven, but it’s actually McClay. Over the years we started to DJ together, sing together, co-produce music together – all under the name Naven Twins. We are also global giving ambassadors. We work with women’s social causes and help young girls in developing nations – it’s really a big part and purpose for our company.”

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How did the philanthropy piece of your business come about?

Alexis:
“Yeah. So we did some work with two girls, who are also twins and friends of ours that own a company called Thanks. And what they did is create this sustainable company in Africa, Uganda, and they help to employ women there; create a product. It’s this great philanthropic company and we actually did some design collaboration work with them that got awarded in Forbes Magazine and Tribeca (and spoke on a panel there). Once we got a taste for helping and how good it makes you feel we were fully addicted. This was a few years ago, so we decided that we’ve been in fashion for 10 years and we want to create a product that has meaning and more purpose than just creating something that looks good. So we decided to incorporate the charity into our complete business model. Now partial proceeds of everything we sell goes towards the charity. It’s women’s causes, so it’s a personal thing for us. Helping little girls is the most rewarding thing ever.”

Kym:
“There’s that and there’s also us being twins and the way we view other women. Because we were born with another girl beside us – we don’t know what it’s like to not be around other women. We don’t get jealous. We want to embrace other women and empower them. Being in the fashion industry it can be a kind of catty industry and we want to break that mold. We want women to empower themselves. That’s our entire personal goal with our company.”

What’s been the most exciting thing you’ve done with your business to date?

Alexis:
“I think that for us, the thing we love doing is the collaborations. Being able to do something fresh and new with a new big company where you have this really great impact is so fun for us because it switches it up and keeps it different. Our first big collaboration we did was with Seven7 Denim. We took over their dress, cut and casual department for a season and kind of revamped it – which was really fun. And then we worked with Revolve clothing for years with the NBD X Naven Twins collection and that was like a fun party girl collection, so it was completely different than what we did for Seven7 Denim. Now we do a Bebe collection that’s in stores now and it’s more sophisticated, more tailored towards their customer. They kind of took us on to give it a new feel. A fresh take.”

Kym:
“Yeah. A fresh edge.”

Alexis:
It’s always fun to do new projects and work with these great big teams at big companies.

We’ve talked a little bit about your fashion endeavors and we’ve talked about philanthropy, but where does DJing come in?

Kym:
“Well, we started DJing two years ago. We’ve always been singing. We used to be in a band in high school called Backstage. Everyone would pay a dollar to watch. So that’s how we got into music. We were always into music. We love singing and my sister’s an amazing writer. We play guitar and write songs together. We have been singing and recording on our own for years. Actually, when we started our line it was either music of fashion and we had to focus on one thing professionally although we’ve always done both.

We started co-producing, working with other producers, recording and starting to learn instruments. Then DJing was just a natural progression. We love electronic music. We grew up in Vancouver and there is such a big music scene there. We go to all the music festivals and we got asked to play at Burning Man a few years ago. So we practiced every day for 6 months, taught ourselves how to DJ and then just absolutely fell in love with it. It’s so fun. It’s such a great way to express yourself. People really get into it and we’ve been doing it ever since. We actually just got signed by The Books Agency for management based out of London.”

Alexis:
“They only represent female DJs and it’s really intertwined with music and fashion. It’s really exciting. We’ll be playing in Hong Kong soon and in Europe. So it’s really exciting.”

What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?

Kym:
“Uuumm, I think my favorite thing about this time of year in general is that everyone is so happy and excited. They’re excited to see their family and everyone is in this good mood. There’s tons of holiday parties – which I absolutely love, obviously!”

Alexis:
“We’re Canadian, so living in LA we don’t get to see my family that often – they’re kind of spread across Europe and Canada. So we’ve found that our new family is really our tribe of friends on the west side where we live. So having all of these ugly sweater parties, dinner parties and holiday parties is literally like my family here. So, I think that’s what I most look forward to during this time of year.”

What’s your favorite holiday food?

Alexis:
“We were just talking about this.”

Alexis & Kym:
“Pecan loaf!!”

Alexis:
“We grew up in a family that ate a lot of vegetarian food and a pecan loaf is kind of like a meatloaf, but without the meat – just pecans. You just smother it in cranberries and cheese sauce.”

Kym:
“It’s soooo good. Oh!”

Alexis:
“It tastes like stuffing. That would be our favorite. Anything with cranberry and lots of cheese sauce.”

Naven Twins
Instagram: @thenaventwins
Twitter: @NAVEN
Facebook: The-Naven-Twins-Naven
Websites: www.naven.com | www.thenaventwins.com

Lowell Taylor

Lowell Taylor

Photographer/Writer

Lowell Taylor is an LA-based fashion photographer and writer with an affinity for the new and novel.

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