Defining your personal style

Personal style is self-expression without saying a word. Being who you are no matter what event or situation you might find yourself in. We all have those “no one can stop me” days when things just click; you’re feeling beautiful and confident­­– like the best version of yourself. Take note of what you’re wearing, these are the outfits that embody your true personal style and serve as a great foundation for developing a better understanding of your personal style and also serve as inspiration for style updates.

 

Personal style-looks-1

How do I know what my personal style is?

Start with the things that you know really work for you, that signature item or two that has become part of your ongoing style persona. You might be drawn to statement handbags, or scarves might be your obsession. These are things that you gravitate towards; they make you feel comfortable and confident and are the foundation from which you can build on. This is how your personal style evolves. This is your style identity.

Personal styleaccessories images

Reassess your closet

Do a style audit. Get rid of things that you never wear. Holding onto them may just be holding you back from evolving your personal style. Categorize what you have left. Casual, dressy, special occasion– look at each piece. Ask yourself what pieces work together? Where would I wear this? You may even want to take pictures of these outfits for reference later and build a library of go-to looks for certain occasions. This process will help you find “holes” in your wardrobe. You might discover that you need a statement jacket, or an easy layering sweater this process will help keep you on track.

personal style-blog-tiburon tunic

Versatility is key

Choose versatile styles such as our best selling Tiburon Tunic that can be worn in several ways. Dress it up or down, style it as a dress over leggings, or even open as a lightweight jacket. This type of silhouette goes a long way and accessories can help fine-tune each variation to keep your look fresh and on-point

personal style-blog-1200x600-poleroids.jpg

Get inspired

Collect pictures of looks you love, find a fashion mentor, someone whose style you admire and try to replicate their look. This will help you focus on what you really need to add to your wardrobe and keep you from being distracted and making a wrong purchase on a whim. Your own personal style will evolve from there. Define your style in words. Is it bohemian, classic, or modern? Sassy or conservative, you’ll more than likely pick several words that don’t necessarily blend, but these can simply be described as your style moods.

elijah-o-donnell-IcLSkrgyyxw-unsplash.jpg

Ask a trusted friend

We all wear many hats and need to “dress for the occasion” but your personal style is the common thread that makes all these looks personal. Ask a good friend what they consider to be your personal style, ask them what looks stand out and which ones fall short. It’s nice to get an idea of how you are perceived in the world and see if it matches what you are trying to put out there. Is there something people compliment you on? Whether it’s your taste for amazing jackets or your ability to accessorize like no one’s business, wearing clothes that play up your style strengths will always look stylish, no matter what is currently trending.

personal style -luminosity dress

Step out of your comfort zone

True style consists of overall health and beauty, too. A change in hairstyle or fresh makeover can super-charge your personal style and boost your confidence– that’s the root of personal style. It radiates from within and that’s what people really see. Switch things up. A new routine of meditation or exercise, even if it’s just a walk around the block will retrain your mind for change. Take small steps, once your body and mind are activated it will become your new habit. Step a little bit out of your comfort zone. Is there a certain style that draws you in but you haven’t had the nerve to take the plunge, a printed caftan or statement dress? These are your style outliers. Incorporating these into your wardrobe will push your personal style and keep your look fresh and updated.

womens-dresses-silk-organza-rose-applique-sleeveless-shift-dress-mist-side copy copy

 

It starts with you

Trust your instincts, and wear what makes you feel the most comfortable in your own skin. Take inventory of your favorite pieces. The ones that always make it into your suitcase. Replicate these pieces in a different color or texture. Figure out what about this piece works and look for similar shapes. Once you’re confident in a few key looks, finding updates will just come naturally.

Chances are you’ve likely already got a basic sense of style, so don’t fight it, build on it, refine it– and embrace it!

Personal style images-shop

 

Continue reading “Defining your personal style”

Fashion and Sustainability

Pre-order blog f19-image update-tiburon

Why offer pre-orders?

In order to further the sustainability conversation and the role we play, we are always thinking of ways in which to support this ideal. So we ask ourselves– how can we offer new products without over-producing designs that may or may not resonate with the end consumer, while at the same time let them take part in the design process? What are people really looking for? Why do they like this texture, or that color, or this sleeve length? Zipper or buttons? Pockets or no pockets? These are questions we ask ourselves with every new design.

Over-producing garments season after season is extremely wasteful and clearly unsustainable. The fashion industry, as a whole doesn’t traditionally embrace sustainability, it is about profit at all cost and has become a race to the bottom, devaluing clothing and disregarding the enormous destructive environmental impact.

The current industry paradigm, in fact, goes against the whole concept of sustainability and sadly has become one of the most wasteful industries on the planet. It’s a dirty secret that’s finally getting exposed. Now what? Dwelling on the problem or simply overlooking it has never sat well with us. We’ve successfully been able to incorporate sustainable initiatives into our sourcing and manufacturing processes since the very beginning but we also wanted to address the problem of excess inventory and the waste that happens after the products are produced. Small batch production has been a successful endeavor for us and many garment manufacturers are seeing the value-producing smaller runs but getting consistent orders spread out over time. Not only does this stabilize workflow for all involved but more importantly improves the quality of life for the workers themselves.

The concept of pre-ordering allows us to test the market’s interest in a certain fabric, color, or silhouette before it goes into a larger production. This saves time, money and resources at every stage of a garment’s journey from the fabric to the end consumer. Being the solution-oriented people that we are, we began offering a handful of our products for pre-order earlier this year and frankly we’ve learned a lot.

pre-ordr-winter coat1.jpg

What is a pre-order?

A pre-order is an order placed for an item that has not yet been produced. Pre-orders allow manufacturers to gauge how much demand there will be and thus the size of the initial production run. For us, testing the popularity of a garment is key and gives us crucial information that helps in this decision. We live in a consumerist society where people devote a great deal of time, energy, resources and thought to “consuming”. The general view of life in a consumerist society is that consumption is good, and more consumption is even better. Everybody seeks instant gratification and instant delivery. This hyper-consumerism has fueled fast fashion’s dominance and along with it environmental destruction. We chose to take a slower approach and deliver quality over quantity. We produce garments that are meant to last, offering value versus the excessive waste associated with “disposable” goods. Much like how the slow food movement versus fast food has become so popular in recent years. It’s time to bring the same awareness and value back into clothing. Fast fashion has completely devalued clothing at a high environmental cost and it is time to move forward and support the needed change.

pre-order blog F19-update-manufacturing image

Sustainability

We produce many of our garments in small batches right here in the Bay Area in order to maintain the highest quality standards with the lowest possible environmental impact. Overproduction and the mass disposal of unsold clothes are clearly an under-addressed issue in the fashion industry. Honestly, it is widely unknown how much “dead stock” accumulates every year. It is estimated that 20% -30% (80 million tons) of garments produced by fast fashion brands remain unsold, leading to enormous amounts of excess clothing that is either burned or thrown into landfill. Needless to say, this results in wasted human resources, fabric, dyes, not to mention the environmental impact, etc.…

fash fashion graphic-2

Gauge demand

Through our pre-order system, we can more accurately estimate how many pieces we are going to sell of a certain product. This not only leads to higher resource efficiency but also prevents senseless raw material waste. Creating less waste results in lower cost, a saving that trickles down to the end consumer so that everyone benefits. The environment, the manufacturer, and you!

Quality

Fast fashion, as its name suggests– is not produced to last. This disqualifies any attempt to produce a product more “sustainably”. We believe, that garments must have a long and useful life. Our garments are made with love and built to last.

Customer engagement

The pre-order concept goes hand in hand with our direct-to-consumer model. It allows our customers to literally get involved in the design process through direct feedback and gives us crucial information in developing new designs that address the customers’ wishes and concerns.

 What is apparel’s future?

The World Resources Institute states that apparel spending is projected to grow tremendously. This is particularly true in Asia, as hundreds of millions of people in China and India enter the global middle class. By 2030, there will be 5.4 billion people in the global middle class, from 3 billion in 2015. We can expect increased demand for clothing and other consumer goods that define middle-income lifestyles.

If consumption continues at its current rate, we’ll need three times as many natural resources by 2050 compared to what we used in 2000. Fast-changing trends and low prices have allowed people to consume even more. The average consumer is now purchasing 60 percent more items of clothing compared to 2000, but each garment is kept half as long. To keep the apparel industry viable in tomorrow’s markets, the issue of consumption must be brought to the forefront– and it must begin now.

Apparel is just one sector competing for natural resources, but it’s important that clothing makers start transforming their business models now given the industry’s strong growth trajectory. A handful of companies like ours are aware of the environmental risks and are taking action.

The next step is for consumers to get properly educated so they can change their habits as well and use their purchasing power to help the slow fashion movement gain traction. Our direct-to-consumer model, combined with the pre-order concept are just two more approaches that we’ve embraced to help move the needle forward to a more sustainable future.

Pre-order-shop-slideF19.jpg

 

Founders Journey: Stella Carakasi

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. stellax4jpg 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. stellax3-2We 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!

Stella Carakasi Creative Director and Co-Founder break barriers

We’re Ready to 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.

SE-email template

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.

2-SE-invest-now

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.

Make Every Day Earth Day

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.

ager_au_970_schmal_px

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.

kreislauf_1170px_EN_NEU

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.

Tencel blog-CTA

New Direction – Customer Focused

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!

stella photoblog-3-2-tinyWe 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:

Look for more exciting news, including opportunities for feedback and involvement. We’re in this together! Thank you for supporting what we do.

—Stella

Stella Signature

DTC-Blog-3-CTA-banner-tiny

New Direction – Direct To Consumer

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!

DTC-Blog-2-image-1-tinyFor 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?DTC-Blog-2-image-2-tiny

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

—Stella

Stella Signature

 

DTC-Blod-2-images-final-tiny

New Year – New Direction

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.

stella-editorial-image-1--tinyIn 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.

stella-editorial-image-2-tinyThen, 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. 

stella-blog-editorial-image-3-tiny.jpgWith 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!

—Stella

Stella Signature

blog-2-600x400

Spring Style Event: Don’t Miss a Moment!

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.

3-SPRING-STYLE-EVENT-1080x1080-RECHARGE

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:

Three Steps to Glowing Skin

Tips for Rosy Cheeks & Lips

Anti-Aging Skincare

Pro-Tip: Be sure to check out the skincare demo from Evanhealy. The first 50 guests will receive beauty goody bags from Whole Foods Market!

4-SPRING-STYLE-EVENT-1080x1080-INSPIRE

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 HeleneWe have crafted the perfect nod to her literary talent and the Spring season with our exclusive Protogenesis look inspired by Alysia’s book.  

Pro-Tip: Check out the preview of the “Protogena Jewelry Line” created by ANATOL, available on Protogenesis.com April 10th.

5-SPRING-STYLE-EVENT-1080x1080--CREATE

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!

Refresh – Recharge – Inspire!

STELLA-AND-ALYSIA
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.