Danielle Levine, Founder of Kaval
Kaval has been one of our go-tos for stylish equestrian wares since it launched in 2017 (have you seen the exclusive collaboration with Lingua Franca? Because it’s beyond amazing.) So naturally we knew that we had to talk to Danielle Levine, the powerhouse behind it all, for one of our Ringside Chats.
And we’re also excited to announce that later this week you’ll be able to find Free x Rein as part of Kaval’s amazing assortment.
FxR: What first drew you to riding?
DL: As a child, I collected all things horse-related but never actually rode. My parents (probably wisely) just never went there. When I was in my late 20s and working on Wall Street, I worked really long hours and my time wasn’t really my own. I decided to take riding lessons and those hours on the horse really became a form of meditation for me. My happy place.
FxR: What's your fondest memory from riding?
DL: Every time I have a really great ride, I’m happy for the rest of the day. It’s magic.
FxR: How has equestrian style influenced your fashion choices when you’re not riding?
DL: My style has always erred toward casual and classic, with some edgier pieces mixed in. I still think jeans, a t-shirt, and a great pair of shoes is one of the best outfits out there. And I’ve always loved blazers, so the equestrian look feels natural to me. If anything, KAVAL has made me realize how many more options there are for looking good in the saddle. And I now experiment much more with my barn outfits… It makes my trainer laugh.
FxR: When/how did you come up with the idea for Kaval?
DL: The idea for KAVAL was born almost three years ago. I looked around at the retail landscape and decided there might be room for a new online shopping experience. A lot of people don’t make it to WEF or HITS, and a lot of people don’t have big tack shops nearby. I thought there was room to incorporate non-equestrian brands that are relevant for riders. Finally, I wanted to give non-riders access to what is a very iconic look.
FxR: What are some of your favorite pieces on the site right now? (Or things you can't live without)
DL: I genuinely love almost everything on the site. My personal taste runs to darker colors and I am really intro monochromatic looks right now. I think riders dressed in all black or navy just look great. So I think great pairs of black and true navy breeches should be part of everyone’s riding wardrobe. That said—I also think a strong pop of color is fun on grey winter days or hot summer ones. So people should definitely put the red or pink FxR bodysuit in their rotation!
FxR: What's your favorite Free x Rein piece and why? How do you like to wear it?
DL: I think the dark long sleeve bodysuits are especially chic—the striped one looks so good with black breeches and I think also looks great with leather pants and a velvet jacket for a night out. I love that the body suits are loose fitting... I think that may become a new trend actually. Because let’s be honest, when it’s hot out, very body-conscious tops are just not that comfortable. And personally, I hate feeling restricted in the saddle.