2013 Looks Bright for LA-Based Power Duo
By Nina Price
Glenn Kaino and Corey Lynn Calter outside their Los Feliz home.
Los Angeles is a town where your cool factor can be fleeting and you’re only as good as your last deal. Unless you’re fashion designer/girl-about-town Corey Lynn Calter and artist husband Glenn Kaino, a creative couple who, for more than a decade, hasn’t lost an ounce of street cred in the fast and furious world of temporary LA awesomeness.
Calter’s eponymous Downtown LA-based womenswear line, which she started in 2000, is currently growing at a rapid pace. Carried in more than 200 retailers across the country, including Anthropologie and American Rag, and adored by boldfacers like Christina Hendricks and Jaime King, Calter is getting ready to launch a collection of grown-up, yet girly footwear with Seychelles. This spring, she’ll lose the “Lynn Calter” and rebrand as simply “Corey,” with a matching website that acts as a launching pad for collaborations with musicians, poets, and other creatives (like her spring 2013 launch campaign collab with actress Nora Zehetner), in addition to showing off her feminine, colorful frocks.
Kaino, a successful digital strategist, noted conceptual sculptor, and Calter’s other half for the past 14 years (eight of them as husband and wife), has also cemented himself as a stalwart in LA’s culture scene. A student of magic theory under famed Japanese magician Shoot Ogawa, Kaino created an LAXART exhibit related to the subject in 2010, after launching into the international art world with inclusion in the 2004 Whitney Biennial. In February 2013 he’ll represent the US at the 13th International Cairo Biennale with a conceptual sand and wind cityscape sculpture that features sheets of sand that fall on the hour to reveal shapes of buildings.
Despite their accomplishments, the couple met as so many couples do—at a bar. “He came right up to me and my German friend—both of us were dressed wildly and in four-inch heels, so we were over six feet tall. And I thought, Man, this guy has guts!”
Kaino, too, recalls being beguiled. “I saw her and told my friend whom I was with that she was the woman I was destined to be with. Totally true.” Today—with two kids (Sadie Jane and Stella Rose), a 1930s Spanish-style Los Feliz manse, and skyrocketing creative careers that continue to get stronger by the day—destiny seems to be in full effect. But it’s Calter’s imaginative spirit that truly fueled the spark with her future husband. “I always credit Corey for expanding my range of thinking dramatically,” Kaino says. “Her taste and instinct are incredibly in tune to the world, and she sees cultural relevancy in things way before most people do.”
Case in point is Calter’s choice of décor in the cozy, contemporary-art-filled home they’ve shared since 2005. Inside, prints by Julie Mehretu and sculptures by Jeff Koons intermingle with antique silver beds scored on eBay and chinoiserie-printed wallpapers that elegantly clash with modern pieces of Kaino’s own work.
“The house has so much character,” Calter, whose mother is an interior decorator, says. “Coming from Philadelphia, living in an older home felt natural to me. I have fun doing it and redoing it. And it will remain a work in progress; a thought that I’m sure thrills Glenn,” she says wryly. “It’s fun to watch and be part of,” he says, indulging in his wife’s penchant for change in their split-level love nest. “Life is busy,” Kaino says. “But we both realize we can’t go it alone.”
photography by molly cranna