The KLEED brand was founded in 2016, by Carolina Guedes Cruz, a dynamic Portuguese entrepreneur, with two ruling passions in her life: fashion and wildlife conservation in Africa.
Carolina inherited both these passions from her family, who set the standards for all she does today - her grandmother, the epitome of elegance, blessed with impeccable taste and uncompromising chic; and her maternal family, who had extensive business interests in Africa. Her mother’s passion for Africa, spell-binding stories, exciting lifestyle and fascinating expeditions made their mark on Carolina very early on.
However, it was only in her twenties, whilst leading a hectic, fun-packed life in New York City, that Carolina first visited Africa. Utterly captivated, immeasurably moved, she has never looked back.
“Africa speaks to me in the most elemental way – I knew on that first trip that I had come home. Here, I live in a state of heightened consciousness, of permanent wonder. Walking barefoot in the rust-red earth; losing myself again, under the star-filled indigo sky. African wildlife is ever-present in my life – it eclipses anything else. Best of all, Africa fires my creativity in terms of prints, patterns, colours and textures. Here, I truly come alive”.
Driven by the need to translate this love of Africa into fashion, Carolina created KLEED. The word KLEED comes from the Afrikaans for “robe” and true to its mission, the African ethos is ever-present in each collection: wildlife prints, an African animal embroidered on every article, or clothing label attached with a string of colourful Maasai beads. Embracing today’s laid-back-chic lifestyle, KLEED’s pieces are swish, casual and quirky.
For Carolina – whose professional experience includes working with renowned luxury brands such as Gucci and Alfred Dunhill - Fashion is an art form that draws inspiration from different cultures; yet its language is universal, and its messages resoundingly clear:
“Today, more than ever, Africa defines who I am. Every year, I spend over a month there, working in conservation projects like GVI, N'a an Ku se, Imire, etc... She declares. ”With KLEED and our partner in conservation, Saving the Survivors, we can raise awareness of wildlife conservation issues, and protect endangered animals - starting right now. There is simply no time to lose – an elephant is killed every 15 minutes in Africa”.
KLEED’s products will soon be available in selected luxury safari lodges throughout Africa, where conservation issues are paramount and the direct result of Saving the survivors activity is clearly visible.
Enjoy the Collection.
Carolina Guedes Cruz