November 18, 2016
Love Stories - Sarah Staudinger
Where do you reside?
Creative Director and Co-Founder of STAUD
How did the brand and culture of STAUD begin?
I really felt that there was a gap in the director-to-consumer marketplace that offered chic and well-made garments. So much of what was out there felt either overly trendy or unaffordable.
Is there an essence?
It seems very versatile and dynamic – is there an “every woman” motif around it?
I think it’s a very versatile collection but I wouldn't say that there is an "every woman" motif around it. I don't really know what every woman is. It's dangerous to try and put "everyone" into a single box. You may end up diluting your vision.
What’s it like have a brand and atelier in Los Angeles, California? Are there challenges?
We are located in the Arts District downtown. Which is challenging in that it’s not amongst many other stores, but also I feel really adds to the experience. Our space is really inspiring and to me represents the current cultural state of Los Angeles right now. It's become this sort of umbrella for a lot of the creative shift that seems to be happening here in fashion and in art.
Is there a formula to how you get into mode of design?
Usually it starts with a color, and sometimes one specific piece I have been envisioning in the back of my mind for a while. But mostly I start with a color or a color theme and everything sort of falls in place from there. I think many of our silhouettes, when looking back could really work in a lot of our collections, but what ties each collection together is sort of one sculptural element and an underlying color theme. Granted there are some attributes like accordion and oversized bell sleeves that are inherent to this past fall collection, but as a whole I don't think I'm the type of designer that thinks everything this season is going to be oversized or have a drop crotch. I try not to set too many rules for myself. I guess that's what does in fact make it versatile and for a lot of different type of women.
How do you maintain authenticity in such an overwhelming market?
I think that’s the answer? I just try to remain as authentic to myself and what I want and what I want to see in terms of content and design. At this stage I feel like the market is sort of missing that authenticity, so just being authentic is in and of itself creating a niche for STAUD right now. We try and think about how our customers feel when they see an image or a newsletter. Would I be excited to get that in my inbox? Does that image inspire me?
Do you have any guidance on how to run a business and a beautiful home?
Just buy the most plants.
What kind of advice do you usually take?
I take a lot of business advice. I am definitely much more of a creative person, so when it comes to running the business it’s important to me that I seek good advice from people I respect, compile it and then kind of formulate my own version.
Right now, my favorite guy is this Ficus Triangularis that we have at the atelier. I also really love a Radermachera Sinica.
Most enjoyable thing to do at home?
Today, Henry Taylor.
Do you collect anything?
5 dollar bills. I have boxes of them hidden around. It’s my form of a savings account.
Who do you think you were in a past life?
Oh man. I’d like to say Pocahontas, but it’s probably more like Imelda Marcos.
As far as jewelry is concerned, is there a go-to piece?
I go through month long phases where I pretty much favorite one or two pieces and base much of my outfit around them. I am a huge earring girl.
Do you prefer fine or costume?
Your dream piece of jewelry?
Do you keep a family heirloom?
I feel like 70 percent of my closet consists of family heirlooms.
Future plans for STAUD?
Grow as big as we can while staying true to our aesthetic, values and vision.