In 1993, eco-fashion disrupter, Two Star Dog was launched by brothers Steven and Allan Boutrous. Shortly thereafter, I joined the team and together we created the first hemp clothing collection in the United States, which was very controversial at the time. We designed and trademarked “The Original Hemp Jeans” which quickly became a national bestseller and the company rose to the top of this niche market proving that sustainability in fashion was possible. In the mid-nineties, major growth opportunity came knocking with mainstream fashion paying attention to Two Star Dog. As the business grew, I found myself being pulled in many directions not only designing for our brand but for a myriad of other opportunities including department stores, catalogs…even wardrobe design for a few Hollywood movies. It was easy to get wrapped up in all the excitement of the moment but I wanted to experience everything I could about the industry and all it had to offer. I think I must have traveled around the world ten times as the nineties came to a close. I learned about balance in those days, I learned about focus, I learned about priorities but most of all, I learned that time doesn’t stand still and the fashion industry somehow makes it move even faster. Then, just as I thought nothing could stop us, the economic crisis of 2008 hit, taking a toll on the entire industry sparing virtually no one. During that same time, my daughter was born prematurely, sending me on a tumultuous roller coaster I was hardly prepared for. While facing the unknown, both personally and professionally I found my strength in knowing that we all have the power to change our lives with our thoughts and I chose to remain positive. Setting an example for my daughter to be a strong independent spirit became my priority, and sparked a desire to find deeper meaning in my work as well. I am spontaneous, strong and fearless. Growing up as a child of Greek immigrant parents in Germany made me tough– good traits for the competitive fashion industry that must adapt to the ever-changing social trends and economics. After much reflection and contemplation, I resolved to take a stand by creating a lifestyle brand that reflected my core values, one rooted in social and environmental responsibility– a brand that would re-energize the market by inspiring women to express their individuality through design. With the help of my amazing team I began to lay the foundation for our new direction, and by Fall 2012 the Stella Carakasi brand was born. Not long after that, we launched our e-commerce site, followed by the opening of our flagship store in Berkeley, California – both of which created a direct line of communication with our customers. This conversation and sense of community inspired me to change the direction of our business in new and exciting ways. We recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on StartEngine, the nation’s leading crowdfunding platform and invite you to take a look by clicking here. It’s a new approach to investing in a company you believe in. There are several levels to opt-in, each one offering some great perks and at the end of the day, you own a piece of a company you love. This is your opportunity to own a piece of the brand and make a difference in the fashion industry. Join us as we grow!
We’re taking Stella Carakasi to the next level and invite you to join us. If you’ve ever wanted to invest in a size-inclusive, luxury-clothing brand with roots in sustainability and social responsibility now is your chance!
By shopping the Stella Carakasi collection you’re already supporting a brand that takes these virtues to heart. But now, thanks to new crowdfunding legislation, YOU can own a piece of the brand! Your investment will give us the ability to deepen our commitment to the environment and infuse sustainability in everything we do.
Our Commitment to Sustainability
It’s in Our DNA
Our roots are in sustainability and environmental consciousness– values we honor. As an early adapter in sustainable fashion, our story started in 1992 when we launched the first full clothing collection made from hemp. Over the past 2 decades, our business has evolved but our values remain the same.
A Healthier Environment
Synthetic materials like polyester, are manufactured using toxic chemicals and take up to 1,000 years to decompose—which means that all of the polyester that has ever been produced stillexists. Whenever possible we use naturally derived fibers like silk, organic cotton, wool, hemp, cashmere, alpaca and Tencel, because they have a lower impact on the environment and feel better against your skin.
Less is More
We believe less is more when less is better. We’ve eliminated excess inventory by manufacturing in small batch productions which means we’re able to increase sustainability and ensure extremely high production standards.
Life is all about change, and in the fashion industry, it’s the driving force behind creativity and innovation. Here at Stella Carakasi, we’re embracing change as we push our business to become more sustainable, and our designs to be more size inclusive.
For us as a fashion company, it’s not just about the silhouette of the season or the color of the moment, it’s about how we do business. We’re adapting and changing every day to make sure we continue to offer the best products possible to our loyal customers. And, our direct-to-consumer business model means that we can stay in direct contact with the women that love our brand, giving us the opportunity to create clothing that speaks to their values.
A recent change in the investment world has opened up a new opportunity for our customers to be part of the Stella Carakasi brand. Thanks to new legislation, companies of any size can raise money from the “public” essentially turning customers into investors. Owning shares in new, private companies had been fairly exclusive for a long time and Regulation Crowdfunding allows anyone to get in on up-and-coming companies at relatively low minimums. This revolutionary change in legislation effectively levels the playing field for small companies such as ours to raise funds from the very customers that know and love our brand.
We recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on StartEngine, the nation’s leading crowdfunding platform and invite you to take a look by clicking here. It’s an inexpensive way to invest in a company you believe in. There are several levels to opt-in, each one offering some great perks and at the end of the day, you own a piece of a company you love.
This is your opportunity to own a piece of the brand and make a difference in the fashion industry. Join us as we grow!
We recently launched our crowdfunding campaign on StartEngine, the nation’s leading equity crowdfunding platform. Now we can offer our customers the opportunity to invest in our vision of eco-friendly, size-inclusive and affordable women’s apparel.
That’s right, you can invest in a company committed to creating comfortable and sustainable clothing that transforms the way women feel. Learn more here about Stella Carakasi’s mission.
We’re pleased to share with the public an opportunity to invest in our vision of eco-friendly, size-inclusive and affordable women’s apparel. We’re proud to utilize a trusted brand like StartEngine to educate the public about our company and the opportunities presented by Regulation CF.
Steven Boutrous, CEO and Co-Founder
Individuals interested in the Stella Carakasi DTC, Inc. equity crowdfunding campaign can find more information by visiting: www.startengine.com/stellacarakasi.
The average American woman is a size 16. But, many trendy brands across the board only offer sizes up to 12 or 14. Fashion brands that offer sizes beyond 12 and 14 often limit their selection to BASIC and BOXY styles. This means that an entire cross-section of our population has been ignored and, quite frankly, shut out of the fashion conversation.
At Stella Carakasi, we’re here to change that. We’re bridging the size gap by creatively engineering every style in our collection to fit beautifully on women size XS-XL (sizes 2 to 16). We want our customers to have the freedom to shop our entire collection.
We have an in-house team of highly trained technical designers drafting patterns and sewing proto-types under Stella’s direction. Each garment goes through an extensive development process to ensure that it is constructed with longevity in mind and that the fit meets our standards.
Stella Carakasi creates luxurious, smart, and affordable designer wear for women who strive to live well, consume responsibly and believe in feeling comfortable and stylish no matter her age, shape or size.
We invite you to explore the Stella Carakasi collection today! Sign up here to receive our emails and be the first to know about new releases, styling tips and special events. (Plus get 10% off your first order!)
During winter months, shoppers are seeking advice on how to beat the chill without sacrificing style. Here at Stella Carakasi, our stylists direct customers to our Peruvian Alpaca collection; the perfect starting point when building a fashionable and functional winter wardrobe.
Stella Carakasi has a particular knack for creating stunning designs that also meet women’s everyday needs. On a trip to Peru, Stella was inspired to create a collection of superbly tailored coats and sublimely soft sweaters after learning about the amazing properties of alpaca.
Alpaca is one of nature’s softest and most luxurious fibers and has some surprisingly advanced technological attributes:
- Naturally insulating qualities that allow your body to regulate its temperature
- Retains body heat in cold climates and allows breathability in warmer climates.
- Alpaca fiber does not contain lanolin and therefore is hypoallergenic and does not itch
Sourced from small-scale ranchers in the Peruvian Andes and woven by family-owned artisan mills, our expertly tailored collection of luxury alpaca designer wear is made in limited quantities to ensure the highest production standard and eliminate excess waste.
Need some winter-chic inspo? Shop Looks We Love to get head-to-toe outfits put together by Stella’s top stylists.
This season the runway embraced ’80s opulence in the form of bold color, strong silhouettes, and dramatic combinations. We’ve taken some cues from the runway and infused our latest fall capsule release with luxe fabrics, statement colors and refined details.
Check out our stylists’ tips for rocking this season’s trending colors:
A Punch Of Pink
Fuchsia…a fresh, unique, unexpected vibrant shade of pink that takes your color game to the next level. We are loving this statement color for its bold beauty and ability to go from desk to dusk with confidence.
Pro tip: Pair fuchsia with denim by day and jet black by night for an ultra-feminine look that packs a punch.
Out Of The Blue
Aquarius…wake up your wardrobe with the brilliance of electric blue. We’re obsessed with the dynamic energy of aquarius because it looks fabulous on all skin tones and plays well with the colors you already have in your closet.
Pro tip: This color can be worn year round so it’s a great opportunity to splurge on a statement piece that you’ll wear season after season.
It’s All In Black And White
Black & White…these endlessly sophisticated classic colors are tried and true neutrals that mix and match effortlessly. Pop them with bold tones or shades of grey…no matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong.
Pro tip: Take advantage of their versatility and experiment with texture and pattern, even pairing prints with stripes!
Our takeaway? Bold color, stripes, and unexpected combinations rule! We’ve created a collection of Looks We Love to show you how we’re wearing this season’s hottest color trends. Need a little help deciding which size is best for you or how to put a look together? Ask us! Click here to send us an email.
A desire for tranquility, strength and optimism have inspired the color palette for our Pre-Fall 2018 capsule. We’ve taken the edge off by creating hues that work with most skin tones and look fantastic back to black. The result is a collection of easy-to-wear pops of color that are not only re-energizing but have longevity.
Explore our key colors of the season:
A Dash of Saffron
Fabulously sophisticated when paired with confident neutrals like deep black, paper white or rich sable; Saffron is a spicy yellow with an exotic touch. Create a signature style or look by combining Saffron with unexpected colors. Experiment and have fun.
A Pop of Pimento
Like the change in the color of autumn leaves, orange often represents the shift in seasons. This unexpected shade transforms the seasonal color story with a vibrant splash sure to wake up your wardrobe. A key statement color like Pimento helps round out a wardrobe that is both functional and on-point.
Caper is the New Black
A versatile “neutral” with chameleon-like ability to transcend the seasons. This tranquil shade of a green has a grounding influence on so many other colors and works seamlessly back to denim and neutrals. Use Caper to up-level your color game.
Celebrate shorter days, cooler weather and fresh directions. This fall, create your own story and style by rethinking timeless favorites and exploring new color and luxe textures. Everyone has a story to tell.
Create a Trans-Seasonal Wardrobe
Transitioning your clothes from one season to the next doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, it can be the perfect opportunity to incorporate a more sustainable approach to your wardrobe while preparing for the change in season. Here are some chic weatherproof suggestions to help build or to add to your transitional wardrobe.
1. Reach for colors that work in summer and in fall.
Brights inherently make you think of a hot summer day by the pool, while muted jewel tones bring to mind crisp fall days. The next time you go shopping, choose hues that work in both worlds—hot and cold—like white, navy, denim or army green. These neutrals will help you build a versatile color palette to keep you looking chic even as the months change and temps drop.
2. Don’t store every ‘summer’ piece.
Before you do a total seasonal switch out, think about some of the pieces you’ve been wearing and how they can transition to cooler weather and warmer tones.
In terms of what to store: Pack away anything that screams “summer” such as linen shorts, cotton dresses, bright summery prints, and flat sandals. Keep out anything made with silk or Tencel (blouses, dresses, blazers) or in cotton (T-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, lightweight sweaters) which can be worn all year around. As for shoes, feel free to keep your casual heeled sandals out—try wearing opaque tights with them under a fall skirt.
3. Choose your splurges wisely.
Summer style is all about your entire outfit since every piece is visible, whereas during fall and winter coats and jackets take center stage. Consider investing in a well-fitting, stylish coat that can carry an entire outfit.
It’s worth splurging on a gorgeous piece that you know you’ll be wearing for seasons to come. Make it something classic like a statement that’ll never go out of style. Don’t be afraid to experiment with color either, while black is a serious investment piece, opting for a color that complements your skin tone automatically elevates your look.
4. Layer, layer, layer!
San Franciscans are layering experts. Within a single day in our city, you can experience a 45-degree foggy morning, to a 70-degree sunny afternoon, to a bone-chillingly cold (and windy) night. Opt for a few lighter pieces that you can layer on top of each other—and take on and off throughout the day.
It’s the perfect time to reassess your closet and even take a risk or two with your personal style. Shop Stella’s Pre-Fall Collection to find the perfect pieces to set the tone for this season.
Located right here on fabulous Fourth Street in Berkeley, California and less than a mile from Stella’s design studio, the Stella Carakasi flagship store is a dream realized. After successfully launching her online store, Stella wanted to create a beautifully curated boutique that was more than just a showroom, but a creative space to collaborate with other artists, local designers and to connect with her customers.
This past year has been an amazing journey for our entire team. We’ve launched two collections, staged fashion shows, collaborated with amazing female entrepreneurs and hosted incredible in-store events with local and non-profit organizations including: The Guild, Dress For Success, Watermark and The Berkeley School.
At the heart of our store you will find our stylists, who are creative and customer focused. They delight in exceeding shopper expectations and are passionate about helping women realize their personal style.
Join us in-store July 7 and 8 as we celebrate our one year anniversary and enter a chance to win a $100 gift card! Can’t make it to Berkeley this weekend? No worries, we’ve pulled together our ultimate collection of Stella Carakasi’s top ten faves. Including flowing tunics, leggings made in San Francisco, lush pops of color and signature travel wear. Ready to start shopping?
Here at Stella Carakasi we are constantly looking for ways to infuse sustainability into our clothing and the way we do business because we believe that even the smallest of choices can make a big impact. With this in mind, we thought we would share some ways to incorporate sustainability into your own life, especially when shopping for clothes!
5 Tips For Reducing Your Fashion Foot Print:
1. Shop online
- According to this analysis, 22 percent of a garment’s climate impact comes from the process of a consumer driving to the store to try something on, driving to another store to try that thing on, then bringing their final selection home in their car. Shopping from home means one less car on the road! The courier service that delivers your package (such as UPS, FedEx, or USPS) is like public transportation for your clothing: efficient at moving a lot of stuff with minimal fuel.
- Shopping online gives you access to the retailer’s mission and story, you have the opportunity to learn about what they are doing to make fashion more sustainable before making your purchase.
- Know your size and refer to the manufacturer’s size specifications to hone in on the best fit for your size and shape to reduce return shipping.
2. Prioritize natural fabrics
Synthetic materials like polyester, nylon, and acrylic can take up to 1,000 years to decompose—which means that all of the polyester that has ever been made still exists. Those materials account for a large chunk of the clothing that’s currently sitting in landfills. Choosing all-natural fabrics is one way to work toward a more sustainable wardrobe—try silk, organic cotton, wool, hemp, cashmere, alpaca, and Tencel, which are more luxurious, breathable and feel great on your body. (Stella even uses recycled paper in some of her sweaters!)
3. Invest in high-quality products, not quantity
Choose clothes that are made with the best craftsmanship, the finest materials, and timeless classic design. Durability is a key component in the environmental impact of a garment because its carbon footprint decreases every year that you own it.
4. Consider the number of uses
Ask yourself: “Can I wear this to work and to brunch?” and “Can I wear this in multiple seasons, or year-round?”. When you choose clothes that you can picture in different places and climates you’ll keep them longer and get more use.
5. Capsule your wardrobe
A clothing capsule is an extremely edited collection of versatile pieces that can be endlessly mixed and matched, so that you get maximum use out of minimal possessions. The goal is to gain clarity of your personal style and only purchase pieces that make you feel like your best self. With a thoughtfully curated wardrobe, you can easily put together a great outfit and you’ll no longer find yourself making hasty purchases because you have nothing to wear. (You can contact a stylist at Stella Carakasi to get styling advice and help curating your own capsule.)
As part of our effort to support sustainable fashion we are excited to announce that throughout the month of June and for the first half of July, our flagship store in Berkeley, California will be hosting an in-store pop-up with Vincetta Studio, a collection of season-less pieces with intentionally minimalist design. To kick off this exciting collaboration, we are co-hosting a Sip & Shop event Monday, June 11, 2018, from 4 to 6 pm. Click here to RSVP!
We use eco-friendly fabrics whenever possible because we believe that every choice can make a difference. In celebration of Earth Day we want to shine a spotlight on one of Stella Carakasi’s favorite fibers to give our customers a deeper understanding of the impact their purchases can make on the environment. As an early eco-adapter, Stella has been using Tencel in her designs since 1996; not just for the incredible softness and drape but because this innovative fiber speaks to her commitment to manufacture clothing in a responsible way.
What Is Tencel?
Tencel is a sustainable fabric, regenerated from wood cellulose. It is obtained from eucalyptus trees that are grown on farms—no old growth forests, genetic manipulation, irrigation or pesticides are used. These forests and the pulp produced for Tencel have earned Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification that the products come from socially and environmentally responsible forests. The European Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification has also endorsed Tencel’s farming practices as sustainable. Tencel eliminates the negative environmental impacts of traditional fiber processing, using new sustainable technologies.
Tencel has some distinct advantages over traditional fibers in terms of chemical processing, which can often be extensive and toxic. For example, Rayon manufacturing generates highly polluting air and water emissions, uses catalytic agents containing cobalt or manganese and creates a strong, unpleasant odor. On the other hand, the chemicals used to produce Tencel fibers are nontoxic.
The cellulose or ground pulp used for Tencel is treated in what is known as a closed loop process in which these solvents are recycled with a recovery rate of 99.5%. The tiny amount of remaining emissions is decomposed in biological purification plants. Because of the nature of the material, the processing never requires bleach. This overall method of manufacturing fabric was awarded the “European Award for the Environment” by the European Union.
Red carpet wrap up:
We’re coming up for air after fashion week in San Francisco. We want to thank Fashion Community Week for making the Bay Area fashion scene more visible while highlighting local and international designers with a focus on sustainability. FCWSF rocked the Redwood Room at the Clift Hotel in the heart of San Francisco on March 17th. We were excited to open the Pret-A-Porter show with our spring favorites.
Stella’s vision of Spring/Summer 2018 came to life on the runway, featuring an abundance of looks that could lend themselves easily to both a casual or fashion-forward lifestyle. Stella, always designing for the woman who dresses for herself, celebrates the ease with which women move between roles and worlds, all the while balancing the duality of strength and beauty.
Shop the runway
Stella is obsessed with form and function and chose chose to highlight her ultra light weight linen sweaters, liquid Art-Silk separates and hemp fabrics on the runway for Spring/Summer 2018. The look was both modern and sleek, but at the same time totally wearable. The line up included our current Spring 2018 offering now available in-store and online …plus a forward look to the season ahead with a nod to the enduring beauty of black and white for summer, as well as the romance of sheer silky layers.
Thanks to Shirin Hashem and the amazing team at FCWSF, to the models for making our designs come to life, to all the fashion bloggers and fans near and far for your support. We look forward to doing it again next season!
Sign up to be the first to know about runway shows, special events, and all things Stella.
After weeks of planning, fittings, pinning and stitching and more fittings, we are just days away from Fashion Community Week Spring Edition fashion show.
Stella’s Spring 2018 Collection brings effortless wear-now pieces that were made to be layered. Breezy tunics, drapey tops, crisp poplin blouses and cool Art Silk pants kick off the season.
Join us on March 17 at the Clift Hotel for the Pret-A-Porter Spring Edition Fashion Show. Get your tickets here. As a fan of Stella Carakasi, please use the discount code EXCLUSIVE to receive 15% off your ticket.
Show your support for Stella by voting for her as your favorite designer! Click here to vote!
It’s our night and we want to share it with you from behind the scenes to the front of the house. Sign up now to receive updates in your inbox!
Part Three Of A New Series: A letter from Designer, Stella Carakasi:
Now that we have launched our new Direct to Consumer business model we want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU!
We love and value your ongoing support and enthusiasm for our work. Nothing makes us happier than knowing we have touched your lives and made a difference in how you feel showing up in the world dressed in comfortable clothing that accentuates your unique beauty while supporting social and environmental change.
We are a fashion company that is using technology versus a technology company that produces fashion.
In our ever faster-moving world that is technology dominated, it never fails to amaze me that even young clothing companies have to “mask” themselves as being “tech” in order to succeed. I value technology, but I also value nature, the true artistry of design, high quality, mindfulness, intention, and the wide spectrum of beauty.
We believe that great companies are built one customer at a time, one relationship at a time. We are dedicated to helping you build the best “wearable” wardrobe you’ve ever had– and it doesn’t stop with your most recent purchase. We are centered on longevity and bringing value to your life every time you wear Stella Carakasi.
I invite you to sign up to be the first to learn about live product launches, fashion shows, community events and more! Check out some of this season’s highlights:
- The latest Spring 2018 Edits have arrived!
- Fashion Community Week is almost upon us! Look for more details here.
- Make getting dressed easy. Discover our hand selected looks designed with you in mind.
Look for more exciting news, including opportunities for feedback and involvement. We’re in this together! Thank you for supporting what we do.
Part two of a new series: A letter from Designer, Stella Carakasi
Welcome back! As I mentioned in my blog post earlier this week, 2018 marks our 25th anniversary and I am thrilled to share the exciting news that we are now a Direct to Consumer company!
For those of you that don’t already know, the Stella Carakasi Brand has primarily relied on traditional retail channels to sell our product. However, during the past few years, there has been a seismic shift in the retail landscape brought on by a fundamental change in consumer buying habits via online and in-store direct to consumer shopping.
To meet this demand we jumped in head first with the launch our own e-commerce site followed by the opening of our flagship store in Berkeley thus creating a shift in the way we do business. So much so that by the Spring of 2018 we have completely transitioned into a Direct to Consumer company.
What does this mean for you?
Without the middleman markups of the past, we can pass down significant savings to you without compromising on quality or design. For me, it means having a direct conversation with you, which has opened new doors to a community of women that share a passion for many of the same values that I hold closest to my heart.
Aligning our core values with our design and manufacturing practices enables us to make a bigger social and environmental difference.
- We strive towards becoming fair trade certified, using more sustainable materials and reducing our carbon footprint.
- We offer quality over quantity and honor the artistry that is involved in creating clothing.
- We believe in slow fashion because we know that less is more when less is better!
- We are excited to bring transparency into our supply chain and share the stories of the people behind the scenes that create our clothing.
I look forward to taking this journey with you and thank you for your ongoing support
Part one of a new series: A letter from Designer Stella Carakasi:
New Year – New Direction
2018 marks our 25th anniversary and we are celebrating this incredible milestone by taking our company into a new and exciting direction that I will be sharing with you soon. I know 25 years is a long time so for those of you who have joined us more recently, I would like to start by out by inviting you on a short trip down memory lane.
In 1993, eco-fashion disrupter, Two Star Dog was launched by brothers Steven and Allan Boutrous. Shortly thereafter, I joined the team and together we created the first hemp clothing collection in the United States, which was very controversial at the time. We designed and trademarked “The Original Hemp Jeans” which quickly became a national bestseller and the company rose to the top of this niche market proving that sustainability in fashion was possible.
In the mid-nineties, major growth opportunity came knocking with mainstream fashion paying attention to Two Star Dog. As the business grew, I found myself being pulled in many directions not only designing for our brand but for a myriad of other opportunities including department stores, catalogs…even wardrobe design for a few Hollywood movies. It was easy to get wrapped up in all the excitement of the moment but I wanted to experience everything I could about the industry and all it had to offer. I think I must have traveled around the world ten times as the nineties came to a close. I learned about balance in those days, I learned about focus, I learned about priorities but most of all, I learned that time doesn’t stand still and the fashion industry somehow makes it move even faster.
Then, just as I thought nothing could stop us, the economic crisis of 2008 hit, taking a toll on the entire industry sparing virtually no one. During that same time, my daughter was born prematurely, sending me on a tumultuous roller coaster I was hardly prepared for. While facing the unknown, both personally and professionally I found my strength in knowing that we all have the power to change our lives with our thoughts and I chose to remain positive. Setting an example for my daughter to be a strong independent spirit became my priority, and sparked a desire to find deeper meaning in my work as well. After much reflection and contemplation, I resolved to take a stand by creating a lifestyle brand that reflected my core values, one rooted in social and environmental responsibility – a brand that would re-energize the market by inspiring women to express their individuality through design.
With the help of my amazing team I began to lay the foundation for our new direction, and by Fall 2012 the Stella Carakasi brand was born. We quickly gained a following of high-end boutiques across the United States, Canada, and Australia. Not long after that, we launched our e-commerce site, followed by the opening of our flagship store in Berkeley, California – both of which created a direct line of communication with you, our customer. This conversation and sense of community have inspired me to change the direction of our business in new and exciting ways. Stay tuned for the second part of my letter on our blog next week!
Thank you for your ongoing support, it means everything to us!
How do you pick the perfect lightweight jacket? At Stella Carakasi we are busy dreaming up key styles that can be worn year-round, in the office, or as throw-on-and-go travel essentials. Are you on the endless hunt for the perfect jacket?
|The Go To Style Jacket. Need we say more? Constructed from hemp/tencel®, this all-season basic, is soft and rich to the touch. Why we love it: it’s lightweight and easy to layer from winter to summer, it goes with anything, and it’s asymmetrical styling sets it apart from other trench coats.|
|The Style to Spare Jacket, made from metal sateen, has a soft luster. It’s also waterproof, travel-friendly, and a notch above the crowd. We love the balance of the feminine fitted jacket with the on-trend of a motorcycle jacket. This little number is a keeper!|
|Wearing this jacket you will know why we call it the Made For Me Jacket. Diagonal pin-tucks framed by zipper trim are the unexpected details that make this style distinctive. This is an easy to throw-on style available in a variety of neutral washes to complement your outfits from season-to-season.|
The team here at Stella Carakasi is excited to invite you to our Spring Style Event! We have customer-models walking the runway, delicious d’oeuvres, and a very special guest. We’ve created a handy guide for you to reference so you don’t miss a moment of our special event.
5-6PM Nosh & Mingle, Sponsored by Whole Foods Market
We have teamed up with Whole Foods Market to provide bites and beauty tips for Spring! Here is a sneak peek:
6-7PM Spring Fashion Show
This Spring we are gathering inspiration from women who inspire us to be our best selves and encourage an air of whimsy. In this spirit, we are honored to introduce our special guest, author Alysia Helming. Through her her debut best-selling novel PROTOGENESIS she shares her imaginative world of Greek mythology seen through the eyes of her protagonist Helene. We have crafted the perfect nod to her literary talent and the Spring season with our exclusive Protogenesis look inspired by Alysia’s book.
7-8PM Book Signing with Alysia Helming
Get a chance to meet Alysia Helming and have her sign your copy of PROTOGENESIS!
RSVP for Free Here
See you there!
Come away with us for an evening of fashion and enchantment as we show you our freshest new looks for Spring! Designer Stella Carakasi and novelist Alysia Helming celebrate a journey of discovery and transformation in an evening of collaboration through art and design at the Spring Style Event.
Alysia Helming, author of the novel PROTOGENESIS the first in a series: Protogena Chronicles crafts a young adult fantasy romance set in modern Greece, where ancient mythology and science fiction unite. Get to meet Alysia in person at an exclusive book signing session!
Taking inspiration from her tale of female empowerment and mythology Stella created a unique look that channels the spirit of PROTOGENESIS. Also, get an exclusive first-look at the “Protogena Jewelry Line” created by ANATOL, available on Protogenesis.com April 10th.
Showcasing the best of her Spring 2017 Collection, fashion designer Stella Carakasi invites Bay Area fashion enthusiasts and the media to experience her latest designs.
This unique event will take place:
Friday, March 31st 5-8pm at the Stella Studio
1370 10th Street, Berkeley CA.
Is there anything better than a totally bespoke wardrobe created especially for you? The capsule wardrobe is just that – the perfect micro-collection of clothing for any occasion. With the holidays fast approaching we have compiled a capsule wardrobe and packing tips that will have you jet-set ready!
Our Capsule Wardrobe
Rare Form Cape: This cozy cape has a sweet surprise – it is reversible! The versatility of this cape makes it perfect for any capsule wardrobe. We also love wearing it in transit – it is both chic and comfortable for any journey.
Slimming Ankle Pants: The straight leg silhouette partnered with the vegan-leather front panels make these pants especially easy to pack (and forgiving on wrinkles!). They also pair well with every type of shoe – from heels to flats and everything in between!
Shape Shifter Top: This flattering top is an essential for any capsule wardrobe. Not only does it work for layering but it is also timeless worn by itself. Some added bonuses, it comes in four different colors, is made from organic cotton, and folds up easily for packing.
Tour De Force Cardigan: A cardigan….with edge! The zipper detail and vegan-leather sleeve inserts add a layer of interest and style to any ensemble. Pair this cardigan with the slimming ankle pants for an added pop of leather.
Packing Tricks of the Trade
- Take Notes and Plan Ahead: A week or two before you travel start compiling a list of items you need to pack as you think of them. This will help eliminate some last minute packing stress and enable you to build your perfect capsule wardrobe while you travel.
- Fold and Roll: One of our biggest packing secrets is to fold your clothing in half and roll it so it is neatly compressed. The pieces in our capsule wardrobe work beautifully for this method of packing. Not only will this save space, but it will create order in your luggage!
- Pack a Laundry Bag: A washable reusable bag or pillowcase make for an excellent laundry bag on-the go. It also helps to stay organized while traveling.
- Keep Your Luggage Smelling Fresh: Slip a sachet or dryer sheets in with your luggage. The scent will give you a boost while traveling and omit a fresh fragrance.
The season of change and contrast is upon us. Crisp mornings…epic nights, Homecoming, party going. Guest lists, wish lists, and to-do lists. More to do–less time to prepare, from outside festivals to inside dinner parties, there are a plethora of events to prepare for!
This fall we invite you to shift gears, slow down–allow yourself to feel the season. Liberate your senses & your style. Time to indulge. Take the Lux approach to casual style with easy silhouettes, unstructured comfort and endless versatility with a whole new season of fresh, super mixable, ultra wearable sophisticated styles to keep you warm and elevate your cool factor. The season starts here.
Sometimes complexity is simply more interesting–so, make “dressing the part” easy, layer everything! Lots of lightweight layers create a rich multi-dimensional look and prepare you for just about anything. Sit back, sip your Pumpkin Spice Latte and let us take the guesswork out of what to wear!
Fall has so many great reasons to get together and share delicious treats and outings! Whether it’s a Friendsgiving party or a Fall Festival you will be cozy and stylish with these key pieces:
- TELL ME MORE SWEATER: Delicate hardware and easy rolled edges contrast soft femininity and edgy detail to create this ultra-wearable, totally unique statement piece.
- ARTISTIC LICENSE TUNIC: Curious side panels play with texture and design in our cozy Cashmere blend to create this flattering wardrobe essential.
- SLIMMING ANKLE PANTS: Amazing stretch, control, and comfort! The vegan leather front panels are a cool, modern update for this bestselling ponte knit pant.
- CHILL FACTOR JACKET: Cool asymmetries, cut-up pattern play, and rib-knit accents play together to create this stunning “I gotta have it” jacket.
One of the things we love about Fall is that some of the festivities are usually outside – which means you have to be prepared for the elements. Stella has you covered with these versatile pieces:
- TOP RATED TEE: Stretch Modal® always adds some polish to amplify your wardrobe.
- RARE FORM CAPE: A timeless reversible fall layering piece in our super soft & cozy Angora blend.
- DEFINING MOMENT ANKLE PANTS: Engineered to contour your body. Comfort and stretch have a whole new meaning when it comes to these divine Super Stretch Tencel pants.
Fall Events & Happenings We’re Loving
Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival | Apple Hill | Autumn Lights Festival
Giant Pumpkin Weekend | Cider Week | Haunted Lantern Tours at Fort Totten Park | Stargazing on the High Line | Queens County Farm Museum (Huge corn maze!)
Mr. Bone’s Pumpkin Patch | Knott’s Halloween Haunt | Oktoberfest
Yarra here, offering more tips on what to buy and how to wear the styles that will flatter your silhouette. Layering creates movement and draping that accentuates your curves while giving you coverage. One of our favorite fabrics for layering is Art Silk because it allows you to achieve this effect without adding extra bulk.
Layering tips for your most flattering look:
- Dress in one color, tone on tone dressing elongates the figure.
- Try leggings under a dress. Layering leggings under dresses lends warmth (while it is still cold outside) and adds length to any silhouette.
- Wear a dress as a tunic over dressy pants for a daytime look.
The Tiburon Tunic, now available in art silk, layers beautifully. It can be worn with leggings or jeans for a more casual look. This is a great style to invest in because it can be worn so many different ways.
The Freestyle Dress is that LBD that can go anywhere. This is a buy-now style because it is the perfect length for any height. Try adding a belt or a long necklace to amp up this look even more.
Read More About Layering tips in How To Create the Layered Look Effect.
Call it Cruise, call it Resort, we call it a vacation from the dark days of winter. And even when you cannot call it quits to the cold outside and land yourself on a beach in some tropical paradise with a beach boy fanning your tanned body… you can liven up your mood, your wardrobe, and your look by adding colors that make you feel like the bombshell that you are.
The color trend to try for 2016 is Batik. Referred to as Blue Hydrangea, Ocean, or simply Blue. Why we love it? Think about denim. Yes, that favorite pair of jeans or denim jacket. Why does denim work with just about everything? Because it’s really a neutral. Batik works exactly the same way – effortlessly working with so many other colors.
Explore why we are bonkers for blue this season!
Resort finds Stella in a relaxed mood influenced by a combination of the timeless and updated cool.
Outerwear is a particular highlight as we move into winter. Noteworthy styles with treatments in boiled wool, rich deep reds, and a stunning powder blue to black Ombre highlight the uniqueness of this category. The cocooning comfort of the Wrap Up Coat is on trend. The overwhelming impression, though, is one of a new softness, and a heightened understanding of what might feel good to a woman to wear.
A special fusion of creativity, craftsmanship, and intelligence go into creating such fine attention to detail that these pieces could easily be worn inside out. In the end, the big takeaway:
There is grace and beauty to be found in comfort.
Five Perfect Coats for the Season
Coats are to winter what dresses are to summer – a.k.a. the most essential part of your wardrobe. That means you should have more than one! So we’re bringing you 5 of the best styles to keep you warm (and looking cool) all season long.
From more structured versions, to softer ones with fabric to spare, these picks will keep you on point all season.
You know how it seems that sometimes you’re having one of those days – stuff doesn’t go your way – you’re late, forgot the notes, didn’t sign the permission slip – just little things that are so frustrating.
But then, someone compliments you on your look! Maybe they ask if you got a haircut or if those are new shoes. You smile, because you know what it is – you’re having a good outfit day!
At Stella Carakasi, we are about making every day a good outfit day!
Stella’s design philosophy comes from her understanding of what real women desire – from an understanding of the real purpose of fashion – to bring out your natural beauty!
“I’m inspired by the real everyday woman, with all of her body concerns. If my clothing manages to make her feel transformed by bringing out her natural beauty, so that she feels empowered, I have accomplished what I set out to do.”
A great way to ensure that you can have a great outfit day, no matter what designs you are wearing, is to understand style and what makes an outfit great for you! Here at the Stella Studio, we have incredibly talented stylists on hand to guide you to that understanding and build that perfect outfit.
But we know that not all of you can come to the studio – so we decided to bring our Lead Style Consultant, Yarra, to you virtually.
Yup – you can get great style advice and an enhanced understanding of what makes an outfit work, from the comfort of your own home!
We’ve got 3 fantastic customer models who we will be working with to highlight 3 key aspects of how to look and feel your best – in what is in your wardrobe today. Really empowering you to build those great outfits that make you feel powerful, no matter what kind of day you are having.
Stella on style, “Style is what looks great on you and what makes you feel fabulous, just the way you are. That energetic shift is so powerful and allows you to show up in a very positive way which is the most important result.”
Join us to learn more about your personal style.
Stella’s designs are not about age, body type, or even a specific lifestyle. Stella designs to celebrate YOU – exactly as you are – knowing that style can bring out what is perfect, beautiful and unique in you. Whether you feel you have the perfect body or you’re like most women – and have parts of your body that you’d like to change – it’s Stella’s commitment that you feel confident and beautiful in everything you choose to wear!
Just as we design with you in mind, we are continually thinking of new ways that we can empower you – and we are super excited to share what we have coming up soon!
We are hosting our first ever online, live-event – and it’s all about educating you to work your wardrobe and discover what to buy to look and feel your best.
We’ll have some of our very own customers as models to demonstrate three keys to dressing your best. Once you understand these, and how to apply them – which we’ll be teaching during the live event – you’ll not only know what to do with so many of those pieces already in your closet, but you’ll be empowered to shop, for Stella and other brands, and maintain your personal style.
During the event we’ll talk about:
- How to create an outfit that feels as fabulous as your current favorite – and not just by accident
- Why the size label on your clothes often guides you to choose your least flattering option, and what to use as your guide instead
- How to update your wardrobe for the season without breaking the bank
Make sure you join us for this free event:
Work Your Wardrobe | Designer Secrets to Figure-Flattering Looks at Any Age
Stella Carakasi showed her Fall/Winter 2015 and glimpses of her Spring/Summer 2016 collections at San Francisco Fashion Week™ 2015. The sold-out event was received by a sparkling crowd of Bay Area fashion enthusiasts.
The vibe on the runway from Stella was put-together polish, mixed with unique fabric combinations and architectural silhouettes. Models and onlookers gushed, “I want to take this home, NOW.”
The word INTENTION has been a large part of Stella’s design process. Stella reflects, “The collection is a result from an extensive study of the various, realistic female shapes. It is not about age, nor about body type but instead we celebrate what is and accept it as perfect, beautiful and unique. The designs are a result of the profound love for experimentation with exclusive materials, often realized in natural and organic fibers with the soft hued colors of nature. This collection is aimed at those who love freedom, self-expression and who are not afraid of breaking preconceived molds.”
There’s sweaters, and then there’s cashmere. Stella Carakasi has a soft spot for affordable luxury. And this season she has been captivated by our Natural Lux™ cashmere blend.
Tips for caring for your cashmere and fine-knit sweaters:
- Get the Details: Check the care instructions. Stella includes detailed instructions for care on each style.
- Inside Out: Fine knits are comprised of fine yarns twisted together. To keep the surface of sweaters looking new turn your sweaters inside out before washing, even if you’re hand washing. This will make your sweater last longer and look better.
- Keep it Fresh: Store your sweaters in drawers or on shelves with dryer sheets or lavender sachets to keep your sweaters fresh between wearing.
We love black and white. There’s something reassuring about clean and simple, black and white. The modern, cool look smacks of self-confidence, and a black or white statement piece automatically takes your style to the next level. Make it do double-duty by wearing it to work and then out on date night with these three tips.
3 Tips to transform your look from Day to Night
- Work It: For day, double up sheer layers to create a more classic look for the office.
- Night Attraction: Subtract outer layers and add jewelry to amp up your look for evening.
- Fancy Footwork: Don’t forget the shoes! Transform your day look to a night look instantly with your footwear. For evening, try a shoe in glossy black or neutral metallics to play off of your monochromatic clothing.
Try a combination that creates instant wow – a pared-down palette with ultra lux details. Working the monochrome look is easy. There’s no worry of wearing colors that don’t compliment each other. Black and white make the perfect partnership.
Did someone say sweater weather? Yes please! We’re thinking cable knit details, soft cashmere, and ponchos. We love the oversized sweater look for fall. Nearly every body type can pull off this fashionable and cozy look.
4 tips for picking the perfect oversized sweater this fall
1. Get to the point: Choosing a sweater with points will create drama and the illusion of a smaller waist.
2. Build height: An asymmetrical hem elongates the body to appear taller and leaner.
3. The Bottom Line: The bigger your sweater, the leaner the pant leg. We want contrast. Try a ponte legging, Slimming Ankle Pants, or try a superstretch pant like the Define Yourself Ankle Pants.
4. Try A Trend: The poncho is a dramatic and trendy look this season. Use it as a fun way to keep this look fresh.
Layering is an easy way to create a modern, fun and casually chic look. Here’s 5 layering tips and some suggested styles that will have you creating new looks with ease.
We love this effortless look. Stella has a way with romancing well-made non-trendy staples. For fall, the scale reads modern and chic but with a relaxed mood. We hope you love Stella’s take on the layered look.
1. Start the first layer with a lightweight style that has a tighter fit than the piece you will be layering over it. We suggest the Agenda Tunic as a first layer.
2. Layer in one color. Tone on tone instantly looks rich.
3. Play with shorter layers over longer layers. This instantly elongates your figure and balances proportions.
4. Save texture and statements for your outer layers and accessories. Have fun with outer layers that provide the final touch of interest for your outfit, whether you choose to go minimal or lux.
5. Keep your waist flat. You want to layer on top of a smooth foundation. Avoid pants with belt loops and bunches. Instead try an invisible waist, such as Stella’s Define Yourself Ankle Pants.
The feeling of the moment is one part nostalgic and one part modern. Translation: new statements and essentials to mix with fall staples. Choose head to toe knit dressing or pair your new favorite sweater with the jeans that you love best.
It’s fair to say that sweater dressing is an integral part of this collection. Stella Carakasi’s focus on lux fibers like Tencel® and cashmere mixed with wool and cotton, and combination knits and texture-blocking gives classic silhouettes a fuzzy, comfortable quality. The pieces here are generally relaxed but with a lot of fabric manipulation and whimsical play on proportions; including ribbed knits that drape the body like your coziest blanket, new shapes, like a swingy poncho and less conventional pieces embellished with Mondrian-esque intarsias. These wearable clothes don’t require much explanation to grasp their “classic with a twist” modern appeal.
What works for fall: soft hued colors of nature and traditional craftsmanship with no compromises. Stella’s vision for fall is translated into cashmere, wool, and art silk. What works this fall is classic with a twist – taking the best fabrics for fall and combining them to create new silhouettes. The result is a new formula for dressing this fall–modern feel, favorite fabrications.
Fall fashion is here! Despite balmy summer temperatures last weekend, excited fashionistas congregated at the Stella Studio on Friday night where Stella Carakasi presented The Fall Style Event in partnership with The Rich Life (on a budget), and in celebration of San Francisco Fashion Week. Collaborators in the event included Fashion Over Fifty, Daisy Tribe, jewelry designer Janet Harrer, and Style Equation Magazine. The designer presented a private show to bloggers and local fans who mingled and noshed on delightful treats from Whole Foods Market and grooved to cool beats provided by DJ Rimarkable.
Guest Blog by Carrie Motamedi
I am an introvert, I like to make things happen behind the scenes and make other people successful: It is my comfort zone. However there are many contrasts to this in my life, and it can sometimes make me very uncomfortable. I’m an executive at a startup who sometimes has to speak in front of large crowds. The company I work for is a DIY workshop where creative people (the majority in their 20s and 30s) use high-end machinery and wear jeans and t-shirts. Though I’m in my forties, even as a kid I never really wore jeans. My main work-from-home outfit is a combo of PJ tops and sweat bottoms, but sometimes I have to go to the city or other places where the “jammie chic” look won’t cut it.
Recently I had a string of speaking engagements in the Bay Area and Austin, and it sent me into a bit of a panic after seeing photos of my last attempt at self styling for the stage. I turned to my amazing and always put together friend Julie Gordon White for advice and she simply said, “I have the perfect line for you. Do you know Stella?”
I’m not familiar with any fashion designer or high-end brand of anything when people ask, so no, I had not heard of Stella Carakasi before then. I looked online and saw the gorgeous model and thought it just wasn’t me; clearIy clothes like these were made just for her. Mine is not the body type to pull off those cuts. Julie waved away my initial reluctance and made an appointment for me to go in to the shop (of course she had to come with me as my extrovert helper). “I’m telling you, these clothes were made for you!”
And so started my journey with Stella, as I took in pieces that I thought were “maybes” and walked out as if someone finally got me. I left the shop with several items, feeling like those amazing French women who have a few basic pieces that plug and play and wow. I wore my “Pressing Engagement” jacket for my next talk. (BTW , Julie ended up getting the same jacket and despite us being different heights, it looked amazing on her too.)
Not long after that I had the opportunity to hear Stella Carakasi speak . When she talked about her own challenge with being more on the introverted side and having to be the front person of a label and give talks, it provided so much insight into the soul of her clothes. Now I understood why someone like me could feel comfortable wearing something that was eye catching. Her clothes made me stand out without making me feel like I was trying too hard or over thinking it.
I was hooked and went back before heading out to moderate a panel at SXSW (South by Southwest) in Austin. I even wore some things from the Spring line that I wouldn’t normally have (like the “Made for Me” jacket which was rock n’ roll fun). I’d learned to trust the style and was able to go from an executive formal work dinner to a band performance at a local bar.
The outfits took me from technology panels to after parties because the clothes were elegant, timeless, current, fresh and — most importantly — made me feel comfortable enough in my own introvert skin to dabble in being an extrovert. (The “Attitude” pencil skirt is one of those pieces I want to own five copies of, just to make sure I have it in my wardrobe for the rest of my life!)
Fashion should transform you, not help you hide. Clothing can impact not only the way you look and feel but how you ARE. I don’t want to worry anymore about what to wear. I want to be me and be comfortable so I can focus on what I’m doing, who I’m with, and enjoy any moment in life comfortably. But looking good certainly doesn’t hurt, and since I have been wearing Stella I’ve gotten so many compliments that I know I can grab anything from the line and go. Now, I’m actually ok with putting myself out there.
Carrie lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two active boys. She is Vice President of Marketing for TechShop, a do-it-yourself workshop and fabrication studio. Cooking, Baseball and inspiring people to make things are her passions.