The Beauty of Silk

 

Silk has an extensive and illustrious history. Due to its rare nature it was once only reserved for royalty, but thankfully today it is accessible to all. Silk is a natural fiber that is produced by the silkworm; fine silk has properties of being incredibly soft and luxurious, as well as versatile and durable. It is easily dyed and printed, bringing a noticeable vibrancy to each and every color. From its natural sheen to the uniform surface, it is possibly one of the most beautiful fibers to have ever been created. Silk is celebrated as the strongest natural fiber known to man, and possibly the most prestigious too!

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Because Silk is a natural fiber it is also highly breathable, helping to regulate your body’s temperature whatever the climate. It won’t cling to your body or become static, but will simply drape over your figure to create the ultimate elegant silhouette. The luster of Silk is simply stunning. Due to its smooth fibers, Silk adds a luxe element to every piece made of it. The ‘silky’ smooth nature of the fibers also means that it is a pleasure to sew, knit and weave. Garments made from this timeless fiber stay relatively crease-free, making it a comfortable and luxurious travel companion. Adding an element or two of silk to your outfit will leave you looking effortlessly elegant.

 

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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

Feeling Left Out of the Fashion Conversation?

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.

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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!)

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4 Easy Steps to Transition Your Wardrobe From Summer to Fall

 

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.

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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.

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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 (blousesdresses, 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!