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.


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.

Tencel blog-CTA


The Color Trend You Need To Know in 2016

resort 600x800300dpi-resort-cropCall 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!

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Discover Jacket in Batik
Complete The Look


Resort finds Stella in a relaxed mood influenced by a combination of the timeless and updated cool.

Dive into Inspiration on Pinterest



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Go To Style Vest



Dive into Blue




How to Wear This Season’s Hot Colors

Yarra here, thinking about spring fashion. I am loving the pops of color this season. Yellow and blue are my current obsessions. Yellow, love it, but it can be challenging to wear and match. The solution is Stella’s new spring print:spring_loves

spring-1-images-600x600addituotnkThis print has everything you need for starting a spring color palette. White, black and pops of yellow and blue. Starting with this print you can build a look that is based in neutrals, and still feels fresh and fun.


Designer’s Notebook: F14

[Designer’s Notebook: F14]

Early Fall 2014, Pre-Fall or Transition. No matter what you call it, this is the season that we anxiously await. This is the time to add new dimension to your wardrobe. This excitement is not without warrant. Stella Carakasi’s Fall 2014 Collection is a gorgeous collection of essentials, statement pieces and pure tactile delight.

Mesh Combo Watercolor Print
Mesh Combo Watercolor Print

Stella Carakasi has a natural and smart approach to style with her emphasis on texture and layers for Early Fall 2014. The tactile line-up of rich neutrals has an old world aesthetic to them complemented by fresh bamboo, bittersweet and a hushed nude that all harmonize in a vivid, banded, watercolor mesh print. The intriguing line-up of pre-fall colors works just as well with the last of the summer whites as they do with denim and darks that march seamlessly into fall.

Wrap Up Cardigan in Cameo

Stella has a devotion to weaving the complicated with the simple. No matter your personal style, you’d be hard pressed not to find pairings that match your mood. For example, the fitted stretch twill pants would seem basic enough if not for the gorgeous hand and forgiving cut, because of this they are a favorite. The art of the not so basic, basic.

Whether it’s the classically tailored zip-up cocoon coat, garment dyed and cut from soft Tencel, the open weave sweater combinations, or a little shaped dip-dyed tee from the more casual side of the collection, Stella offers an array of propositions that invites a woman to pick and choose – mix and match. The sweater knits feature subtle mesh inserts that look casual yet elegant and suggest a promising start to an exciting fall season that successfully advances Stella’s global point of view.

Experience F14 in store and online today.

Style Tips for Travel

Going somewhere this summer? Of course you are! Here are some style tips from Allegra with 5 looks that take you from fun in the sun to your next big adventure.  The fabrics are comfortable and simple to care for, and the styles are easy for travel.


Easy elegance is this combination of the So Right Tank in white over the Incomparable Pants in bliss with the Layer Up Shrug in haze. This outfit can fit most heights and is a plus for the curvy, hourglass woman, as well as the small on top / full on bottom frame.


On-the-go chic is what happens when you have the Day Tripper Ankle Pants in black with the Lucky Day Tank in white. Toss on the Layer Up Shrug in aloe and add a thick corset-style belt, and you are ready for anything! This outfit can work for more than one body type. It gives curves to a straight body and properly portions the curvy frame. It even takes attention away from those pesky lower abs!


Gotta Getaway Tunic in tearose offers a peak-a-boo layer of seashell to give a tonal look. Toss on the Simple Pleasures Cardigan in tearose and you are pretty in dusty pink. This A-line tunic can be worn as a dress just above the knee, and works for women with not many curves and with plenty of curves.


The Anything But Ordinary Tunic is a unique take on a bold pattern. The printed mesh has a solid mesh overlay that gives a light and breezy feel. Pair it with the Ready to Wear Leggings in fog and you have a toss-on-and-go outfit to head for the airport. This slightly A-line tunic compliments the curvy figure.


Travel light and be prepared for anything with the Between the Lines Dress. Brushstrokes of gold and brick red give this summer print an invitation to style, and the unique details make the dress the main event. Drape the Treasured Scarf in saffron and this figure-flattering outfit is classic with a twist. Perfect for the hourglass frame!

Style is not about having the perfect body to wear everything. Style is about knowing your body and dressing it perfectly!

Buen Viaje…Bon Voyage…Goede Reis…Happy Travels!  ~Allegra

Personal Style

Viv's Photo copy

More from Vivian, followed by her 18-year old son, Brandon!  

… So ladies, let’s talk about personal style. When I think about my style, I’m not exactly sure what word I would use to describe it. “Eclectic” would be too easy, so I’ll use the word “moody” instead.

If I look back at my journey of style, it starts back in elementary school in the sale department of Sears with my mother’s great purchase of the week – too-big blue jeans with a Superman logo on the butt. That put me in a crappy mood, especially when all the kids started calling me “super butt.”

We bought all of our clothes on sale, so it was always a mishmash of colors, styles and imitation brands. My sister and I would comb through the sale racks religiously, trying to find the next great deal. When we did, we giggled in delight, and then fought viciously to be the first to wear it. When I won, I felt euphoric! When I lost, I was mad as hell.

I loved clothes, so it hardly mattered that the logo on my shirt was not an alligator, but rather some lame animal substitute. And it hardly made a difference that my pants were 2 sizes too large or not on-trend (imagine straight leg pants when bell bottoms were in). Since we didn’t have a ton of money to waste, I really didn’t have a choice but to hardly care. I held my chin up and half-grinned.

My mother decided to enlighten me early. She grew up in the war times in the diplomatic circles in China, and her mother insisted that she sew all of her own clothes. When I hit middle school and refused to wear the next generation of super-butt jeans, she sat me down at her sewing machine and taught me a lesson.

I learned that I could design and create my own personal style, my own statement. So, I spent my middle school years hunting for fabrics and patterns and buttons, using Vogue, McCall’s and Butterick as starting points (and then veering dangerously off course). I became less attached to being “in” and more attached to bringing my vision to life (which admittedly, was at times, lop-sided).

From there, my style has become more and more my personal statement, one that has been dictated by the phase of my life, my context, and my mood (to the last point, if my style does not match my mood, it’s like dealing with a wedgie all day). Here are a few from my past:

  • The Artist: Most of my college years were spent in black. I enjoyed layers and textures and any shade of black. Very artistic, very cool, very dark and very, very moody. Sans bangs and the heavy eyeliner.
  • Elvira:  After my son was born, I gave up being anything other than a drool rag. Style was not a priority. Baggy jeans and shirts to hide the baby weight and cotton to absorb the spit. The only exception was the occasional date with Elvira.
  • Androgeny Girl: The first time I learned how to Taiko drum, I was so taken by the power of it, I went home and shaved my head. A white tank, no bra and baggy jeans (and no hair – well ok, 1/8 inch). Yes, I was a mommy then.
  • Consultant Chick: Stupid suits and pumps, which graduated to jeans and stupid boring shirts. Always looked appropriate for the occasion (and was labeled the fashionista among the corporate – ha!). My “adult” phase, which I swear I will never do again.

My Way: Today, I wear whatever I please, depending on my mood (and because I can). I move easily from one day to the next with a smile: a little shimmer and high heels; soft white and steel tips; some pink and patent leather; blue jeans and snake skin; all black and red plats. I have even discovered dresses and skirts again, despite the wrinkles above the knees and probably due to boredom. Damn, I feel great and so free to be me!

So what I LOVE is seeing women express themselves, fully and freely. I believe that real women dare to be themselves. They are confident in their unique statements, and their personal style comes through every day in a natural and effortless way.

Speaking of, we created our first profile on Michelle wearing her favorite Stella looks, and she is for sure, a real woman: smart, sassy, spontaneous, confident and cool. A lovely human being and a style chameleon, one who dares to go barefoot no less!

>> What are some of your styles, past or present?

Guest blog post from Vivian’s son, Brandon:

I was helping my mom with her last blog post, and a theme came up that was mentioned in the end of her post. I felt pretty strongly about it, so she asked me to do this. So, here I am.

For those of you who don’t know me for obvious reasons, and I’m assuming this includes all of you, my name is Brandon. As you probably could have guessed from reading my mom’s previous posts, growing up with her as my mom led to a lot of interesting choices and clothes. For example, my mom personally made my Halloween costumes until 5th grade. I was everything from Harry Potter, a hamster, to a Hershey’s kiss. I sometimes wish that last one was a joke, but what the hell, it was a fun Halloween and totally worth the story I will eventually tell to my kids.

For the most part, I didn’t really get into style until the last year when my family went to China. Here is where I got my first button-down shirts that I liked, and my first tailored shirts. This is what I started to build my “look” around. Prior to this, I was inherently a skateboarder and dressed like it. (I still am, but now I dress differently when I am not skating.) But after this trip, my shirts started to fit better, my pants got skinnier, and I started to get into shoes more, okay a lot more…

This finally brings me to what this whole post is about. Confidence is everything in my opinion. This relates to more than just clothes, but we’re talking about clothes right now, so I’ll stick to that. After I came back from this trip, I started to feel better about what I was wearing and really embraced. I thought I had always felt pretty comfortable with how I dressed, but recently I realized how much more I love my new “look.” It started to feel more me, and I know people started to look at me differently.

As my senior year started (I just graduated. YAY!!!!), I went in with a new confidence and style to build on. I have always been that shy kid at school, but with my new style, I started to become more confident and really just stop caring what people thought of me.

My favorite question was when my classmates would ask me why I did something, and always my response was “ Why not?” They would ask again and that would still be my response. Most people believe that they get pigeonholed into one category or another, but why do you have to be? Be yourself, dress however you want, do what you want. If you want a new haircut that’s different, do it, if you want a tattoo, get one (thank you mom for my graduation present!) In the end, you are doing it for yourself, so why should you care what other people think?

Stand behind your decisions and people will see that unwavering confidence and will have no other option but to take it.  I find it funny that I found this out from my boss at Cal Skate Camp a few years ago (I am now his assistant/coordinator of the camp). But I learned from him that if you are going to do something, you have to be confident and stand behind it the whole time. No matter what you are doing, if you are confident, you will ultimately earn more respect for standing behind it versus wavering.

If you are going to wear something that is new and different for you, don’t be afraid to. Walking out of the house and into your workplace just knowing that you look good will give out a certain aura – one that inspires, and tells people that you are confident in who you are.

In my yearbook this year, my friend wrote, “Brandon: Your outfits constantly amaze me, and I daresay I would never have the balls to wear clothing as cool as yours.” And my response is, well, “Why Not?”

Real Women

Viv's Photo copy

Meet Vivian, Partner & CMO!

… One of the reasons I joined the Stella Carakasi team is because of the women. We are a women-run company, and all the ladies are smart, sassy, interesting, and stellar at what they do (of course, the men aren’t bad either 🙂

We are girls, mothers, partners, colleagues, sisters and friends. We compliment each other for a job well done (and for a good-looking outfit), and we call out the things that are not good enough. We bring all aspects of ourselves to the table, and we challenge each other to be better.

Simply stated, I am in the company of real women, and it’s awesome.

Why do I use the term “Real Women”? I use it out of the deepest respect for who these women are and what they manifest in the world. I use it because, at this point in time, they – WE – all dare to express ourselves fully — beauty, smarts, opinions, style and all. And yes, I consider myself a real woman, too.

I often wonder about a woman’s life story and the many things that have transpired and come together to create who she is today. Of course, this is a universal conversation that extends beyond the Stella Carakasi team to men and the world at large. However, I believe a woman’s experience in life has a different level of complexity and texture, especially in light of the many roles we embody as girls, women, girlfriends, mothers, sisters, daughters and professionals.

To this point, I want to bring our larger community of women to life, as I know there are many amazing stories to share. So, please contribute to our blogs with your perspectives and invite your friends and loved ones to join our conversations. And, if you are among the company of the real women who love wearing Stella and would like to share your favorite looks and more, let us know!

In the meantime, here’s one of my life stories:

I have loved art, design & fashion since I was a little girl. In fact, I wanted very badly to attend Parsons School of Design in NYC for college. However, I was raised by a very practical mother and chose instead to attend UC Berkeley to major in Genetics. My creativity (and frustration) expressed itself through various avenues and professions over the years: dance, choreography, costume & prop design, drumming, art projects with my two kids, aikido, branding, PR & marketing, and management consulting.  Now at 45, I have found myself full circle back at home in the world of fashion, but now with a lifetime of confidence, experience and possibilities at my fingertips. Interestingly enough, my mother, who had persuaded me to step off my path, was the very one who encouraged me to get back on. “You have to do something creative now. It’s time you did something for yourself,” she told me. And so, here I am at Stella, loving it and living it – and laughing at the irony of it all. Life makes so much more sense looking backwards, doesn’t it? And I guess mothers always know best somehow.

In reflection, I have learned along the way that my heart has always known my truth. So my advice: Trust it, and your life will follow your right path.

>> Do you have a story to share? Or some advice for life?

This is just one voice from the Stella Carakasi team: Vivian Dai, Partner & CMO