Carleen was established by designer Kelsy Parkhouse in 2012 after her thesis collection won the inaugural Liz Claiborne Concept to Product Award. This collection was inspired by the Grand Canyon and handmade American quilts, a textile that continues to inform the Carleen aesthetic both visually and metaphorically to this day.

Vintage fabrics are used in production wherever possible, for their patina and beauty as well as for their reduced environmental impact. They always use natural fibres including organic, recycled and deadstock wherever possible. Everything is made locally in Los Angeles to ensure high quality, reduce their carbon footprint and enable monitoring of the working conditions of the skilled workers who make their clothes.