E.L.V. FAMILY STORIES
TV & Film Producer
Carla Holdforth is one of those people everyone needs in their life. Her energy in both work and home is infectious, she brings coolness and calm to every situation and most of all she is kind and bloody hilarious! She has been a producer on TV shows with Naomi Campbell, Rhianna and most recently with MTV Generation Change where she herself was empowered by a new generation of young people driving change. Carla Holdforth is the epitome of everything that E.L.V. DENIM stands for and I am so proud she is an #ELVgirl.
E.L.V. DENIM: Can you tell everyone about what you do?
Carla Holdforth: I am very much a gun for hire who produces TV shows and digital films, working with brands like BFI, House of Hackney, V&A, Topshop, The Brits, MTV and Youtube.
Being a producer means you are in the centre of the action; driving the production, cracking a whip, motivating a team and getting shit done. Communication underpin’s what I do, but without a good sense of humour it would be hard to last long in the game as some absolutely ridiculous situations arise whilst trying the deliver the moon on a plate, especially when A-list talent are involved.
In TV I have been lucky enough to work on really major productions like ‘The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show’, and ‘Victoria’s Secret Swim’ (shooting in St. Barths and Puerto Rico on a beach with 14 supermodel angels was particularly dreamlike) and a couple of big reality series, a modelling one with Naomi Campbell called ‘The Face’ and a fashion one with Rihanna, ‘Styled to Rock’. I really am in my element on these large scale productions, nothing gets me going more than being a lynchpin in a huge operation.
The TV industry has changed loads since I started my career in the 90s and most of my work now is for brands. I’m currently in the middle of producing a scripted film and stills campaign for MCQ -Alexander McQueen’s youth diffusion line which we are shooting on location in Devon. The film element to the campaign is really unique and unexpected (strong ’Withnail & I’ vibes) so I’m very intrigued to see how it will all play out.
I really love my job, but at different junctures I have dipped my toes into other arenas and as a massive photography obsessive, I have been known to side hustle on photography production, producing shoots for Nan Goldin, Sebastian Faena, Tom Munru and Alexi Lubomirski at Harper’s Bazaar magazine. Working on a Nan production meant I didn’t sleep for about a week because she was sooo wonderfully demanding. One of my professional highlights is picking up a voicemail message from her, “Hello Carla Holdforth, this is Nan Goldin...”
Carla wears the Mid / Dark Blue Contrast Straight Leg Jeans.
E.L.V. : What is the greatest interview/filming moment that you have done when you remember wearing jeans?
CH:I wear jeans a lot when I’m shooting, especially if I’m on location abroad. A special time that stands out is a New York shoot in the mid 2000s filming with Iconic supermodel Veruschka at the Chelsea Hotel. It was memorable moment for so many reasons; ‘Blow Up’ has been one of my favourite films forever and my heart skips a beat when I look at the devastatingly beautiful and arresting images she created with William Klein and Richard Avedon. At well over 6ft tall Veruschka is still a haunting and otherworldly presence in her 70s. Nobility and regality oozing out of every divine pore and she this very hypnotic deadpan voice, not dissimilar to my number one love of all time, Nico.
Another time was my first season doing collection reports from the Paris shows in the late 1990s for MTV. The whole thing was pretty overwhelming. I lived in a pair of battered jeans, while hustling to get my backstage interviews with the likes of John Galliano, Gisele, Amber Valletta, Paul Simenon, Devon Aoki, Jeremy Scott and lots of other exceptional creatives.
Carla wears the Light Blue Match Boyfriend Jean.
E.L.V. : We met through Julia Kennedy (amazing photographer who collaborated with us on this shoot). Julia and I share common values regarding conscious consumers and supporting the local community. What are your thoughts on this?
CH:I love Julia! She’s a powerhouse! And yes I’m with both of you and share these values, especially when it comes to clothes shopping. Most of clothes are second hand or antique finds. Since I was teenager I have always been a charity shopper and natural born magpie. Even now at 45 I cannot walk past a chazzer without diving in and having a rummage, trying to unearth some vintage treasure. My best find ever has been a rare Bill Gibb jacket which should by rights be in a museum. And when it comes to my kids I am a real hand me down advocate. If I shop for new things, I always ask myself is it completely necessary? That’s why I love E.L.V because the jeans are re-purposing pre-existing denim and turning them into a luxury item which adds up to a guilt free shopping high.
Carla wears the Dark Blue Match Flare Jean.
E.L.V. : What have you/are you changing in your life socially and environmentally to become more conscious?
CH: I have become a lot more conscious in the last year while working on a campaign called MTV Generation Change, a global initiative that elevates and empowers young people driving change. 18 year old American climate activist, Jamie Margolin was particularly inspiring to work with. For the last few years, she has been fighting for climate justice; challenging the US government on environmental issues and the climate crisis. Jamie has lobbied for legislation, organised protests. Mind blowing work for anyone, let alone one so young.
I’m not ashamed to say that I learnt so much from this incredible teen about how we got into this crisis through systematic oppression and how lowering emissions, protecting wildlife, reforestation and investing in renewable energy are some of the pathways to positive change.
Carla wears the Classic Jumpsuit in Dark Blue Match.
E.L.V. : What is your relationship with denim?
CH: My relationship with denim has been forged and cemented through cinema, youth tribes and bands. Denim like black leather is an icon of teen rebellion and I’m completely seduced by the romance of the denim clad rogue, rebel or runaway. Photographers such as Karlheinz Weinberger and films like ’Badlands’ and ‘Out of the Blue’ have perfectly immortalised denim’s role in counterculture and life on the margins.
I remember the first time I saw ‘The Outsiders’ as an adolescent and not really understanding the physical and hormonal reaction I had watching the ridiculously good looking and unwashed ensemble cast including Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Thomas C Howell and Rob Lowe, swathed in filthy beaten up blue jeans. All I knew is that I must get a troubled, greaser boyfriend so we could both double denim our way into Juvie.
But If we want to take it up a dangerous notch then I would have to say my ultimate denim pin up and hero is Dennis Hopper. Watching the hell raiser wrestling with his demons in triple denim is in a league if its own.
E.L.V. : What is your favourite pair of E.L.V. DENIM jeans?
CH: Jesus that’s a hard question. There is a pair for every mood, whim and fancy, but I especially love the Black Match Boyfriend jeans as they are so sexy and modern; perfect styling to empower and inspire for whatever life (or your children) throw at you!
Carla wears the Light Blue Match Jacket.