The story goes that Haveman met Moss at an island party through friends and the supermodel said that she loved the Apolonia style that the designer was wearing. Faced with a conundrum most designers would dream of, Haveman whipped out another one and Moss was quickly kitted out. "We spent the rest of the night dancing around in the same dress!"
Supermodels aside, De La Vali is a brand that is the culmination of a life-long friendship and appreciation of style. Haveman and Castro were childhood friends on the Balearic isle and were raised with an awareness and appreciation for its bohemian history and the laissez-faire approach to life its year-round residents possess.
"Ibiza has very much inspired our brand," explained Haveman. "It’s the carefree attitude of the Mediterranean that translates into our pieces - the idea of just throwing on a dress and not knowing where the day might take you. The image of a hedonistic Ibiza in the late Seventies with girls walking around barefoot in white dresses never seems to leave my mind."
The fabrics the pair choose play a big part in their collections and the pursuit of the perfect materials to facilitate the relaxed lifestyles their customers enjoy is a constant (ie more cotton than corduroy).
"We are very involved in the sourcing of materials and we love to go to the big fairs to find special fabrics," explained Haveman. "We are constantly building on our vintage archive of prints. We also love working with artists. We recently collaborated with an incredible artist who specialises in erotic drawings - this will be part of our spring/summer 2018 collection Sacré-Coeur."
After deciding that they were going to set up shop together, the pair quickly agreed on sourcing and making their collections in India - a country whose historic aesthetic is a happy bedfellow for bohemian-inspired designs.
"Jana and I have always loved Goa and felt really inspired there so we went there to start experimenting with creating our own pieces," Castro, who shares a Maida Vale studio in London with Haveman facilitating easy access to press and buyers, told us. "We made out first collection and brought it back to Ibiza and people really seemed to like it. It all just happened from there, by word of mouth and girls wearing our dresses."
The pair are playing it down. The girls who they are talking about include Adwoa Aboah, Lily Donaldson, Charlotte Tilbury, Clara Paget and Alice Dellal - a dream roll-call for an emerging brand. But - more importantly when it comes to sales - the buyers are on-board too. Although they have been selling their collections in island outlets for some time, Browns Fashion is the first big international brand to pick them up, and the exclusive capsule collection that launches online this Friday will give the girls their first taste of international exposure.
"It’s so lovely to be able to share the excitement, emotions and adventure with someone," said Haveman of the brand's trajectory thus far. "We have been friends for so long and it’s so nice that we have each other as support."