Burning Torch is an expression of designer Karyn Craven’s ideas about art, nature, and innate human creativity. From its beginning, Burning Torch has been dedicated to the elevation of what might otherwise be discarded or overlooked to a new kind of beauty.
The name grew out of the symbol of an uplifted torch and a wing, representing transformation and freedom. “That is what I hope for everybody,” says Craven. What began with a single collection of upcycled garments evolved into an eclectically thoughtful retail space in Venice Beach and eventually a globally-influential and inspired fashion brand.
PAIR OF WINGS:
The company's winged logo features a hand holding aloft a burning torch, symbolically championing the timeless ideals of transformation and freedom. Today as always, with colors drawn from nature and patterns unearthed from the archives of culture, Burning Torch's collections reveal us as global citizens connected to the imaginarium of a better world.
Burning Torch encompasses a vision that includes an adoration for the planet and the wondrous forms of the wild as well as the simple hope of a flower growing in your neighbor’s yard. The brand also derives inspiration from the makers of the human world: the artists, craftspeople, musicians, poets, and sages who have worked towards the evolution of our collective imagination and ascension to the better angels of our nature.
Burning Torch itself continues to evolve, producing four capsule collections each year and a wide selection of accessories, fragrance, home design, and lifestyle pieces. The latest addition to the Burning Torch family is Craven Iteri, handcrafted fine jewelry. The word "Iteri" translates to Latin for "again" and Craven's line of gold and silver pieces are intended to be a keepsake to pass on to future generations... worn again and again, like the word itself.
Burning Torch designer Karyn Craven was born and raised in Los Angeles, the second eldest of six children. Encouraged by entrepreneurial parents, her creative skills were developed in childhood and nurtured through alternative education at small private schools. Craven had dreams of being an artist for as long as she can remember; dreams that were influenced by a love of nature, a respect for world cultures and history. In some ways, Craven’s creation of Burning Torch as a “melting pot” of energies reflects her own hybrid nature formed through her large family and a heritage that combines Maltese, Scottish, English, Dutch and French cultures.
Craven graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts having studied painting, drawing and photography. Her experience and vision as an artist were key in driving her first clothing design project, two “lines” of dyed and hand painted t-shirts, bought by Fred Segal and sold under the label of K Craven/New Works. Following this initial design success, Craven traveled extensively in Southeast Asia expanding her vision and deepening her commitment to blending diverse cultural influences in her work. Upon returning to Los Angeles, she spent three years as a division head at a commercial design house and then six years as an independent design consultant to various labels, both in the US and abroad. In 1996, Craven took a hiatus from design in order to focus on her first love - photography. During this intense two-year period, she expanded her portfolio, participated in gallery shows and sold her work to private collectors.
In 1999, Craven created Burning Torch, the tangible embodiment of her personal philosophy of freedom and transformation. Craven’s first collection was bought by Barneys New York and within its first two years of operation, the line’s distribution expanded to a number of private up-scale boutiques across the country. As CEO and Designer for the brand, Craven has been at the helm in the progression of the now widely anticipated line, which has morphed into sophisticated collections that boast custom developed fabrics and embroidery, rich color palettes and timeless silhouettes. She continues to travel to international locales several times a year in order to source fabrics and cultivate her inspirations.
Craven lives and works in Venice, California.