What happens when you mix vintage-inspired silhouettes with a touch of modern edge? Pure magic. And that is exactly what the Cali based brand Staud is creating. You might be familiar with some of the line’s coveted insta-famous bags worn by a veritable who’s who of fashion favorites, including our very own Chief Lover, Tamu.
But, in addition to creating these gorgeous purses, which have been selling out all over the place, the label creates a collection of stunning RTW pieces that manages to merge 70s flair with LA cool. So, it’s no surprise to learn that the brains behind the brand, Sarah Staudinger, served as a fashion director of another it-girl hotspot: Reformation. Now her line is retailing on sites like Net-A-Porter and Matches, and in addition to having a newly opened sales showroom in NYC, the brand is on the cusp of a total global takeover. So naturally, we had to sit down and chat with Sarah about her inspirations, some of the challenges she’s faced since creating the brand just 3 years ago, and what we really should be buying this spring.
How did you get your start in the industry? Was fashion always a path you wanted to have a career in?
Fashion has always been a very integral part of my life. There was never really another plan. Since I can remember, I just knew that was my future in one way or another.
When did you first meet your co-founder George Augusto and decide to create the brand?
We met in 2015. At the time George was working with female creative entrepreneurs and helping them develop and start their businesses. While developing the idea for the clothing line we realized we intersected in a unique place creatively and decided to partner full time on STAUD.
What are some of the challenges you faced early on when starting your own company, as opposed to working for another brand?
Well starting your own company is a challenge in itself. I think my biggest struggle was trying to operate the business the way people historically think you should run an organization. I have learned what works best for me is not necessarily what is considered conventional. Initially it was definitely hard to find balance within myself, but I have gotten to a place where you can pretty much throw anything at me and I am pretty confident I will figure it out. Creating your own brand allows you to really understand your customer and have your own interaction with the marketplace and break traditional standards of doing things.
Take us through your design process. Where do you find your inspiration, source materials, produce your products, etc…
I run through ideas from sketch to first proto with my team and we work together to get the design to a place where the majority of us feel excited about it. We produce in Los Angeles. I find inspiration from everywhere. Our Spring collection was inspired by Gilligan’s Island. We have different characters represented in each of the pieces.
If you could describe the aesthetic of the brand in three words what would they be?
To Be Continued …
Now in the age of social media, how do you feel it impacts a business, and what ways do you feel your brand embraces it?
Social media is incredible as long as you have a vision of what you’re trying to express. It allows us to reach out to our customers unlike ever before. We have had tremendous organic support from so many amazing influencers. We couldn’t be more grateful.
What do you think someone should look for when investing in a quality handbag?
My advice would be to invest in classic shapes. You never want to splurge on a bag that will make you cringe 5 years later.
What trends do you see coming up in handbags and fashion?
I think miniature bags are going to have a moment. We have the mini Shirley PVC bags coming out for Summer 18 that is a must.
What are some of your favorite pieces from the Spring collection?
My favorite piece from the collection would have to be the Lagoon Dress. It’s such a special piece. To me, it represents our modern take on a vintage classic silhouette.