When the people at Stella Carakasi contacted me to review their line, I was elated! A Northern California company with a beautiful line of wearable, modern and unique clothing and owned, in part, by women sounded like a company I wanted to get to know. Since they are located in the Bay Area, I asked if I could come for a visit to meet Stella, the woman behind the name and Head Designer, and take a tour.
I arrived at Stella Carakasi Design House and Stella Studio which is located in the hip and up-and-coming area known as West Berkeley.
I was warmly welcomed by Vivian Dai, one of the partners of the company and a vibrant and gracious woman. At the entrance of the Design House, the first thing you see are several dress forms clad in Stella Carakasi designs.
I was introduced to the founders, brothers Steven and Allan Boutrous. Here I am – wearing my Go Everywhere Cardigan – getting a tour behind the scenes of the Design House with Steven. All designs are created from start to finish at this location, including patterns and samples which are sent to select manufacturers overseas, manufacturers that Stella Carakasi has longstanding relationships with.
But before patterns are made and samples created, designs must be developed in the Product Development department. Emily graciously stopped what she was working on to explain her role at Stella Carakasi.
Once the items for a designated season are decided, fabrics and colors must be chosen. It’s Emily’s job to source those materials and select options for Head Designer, Stella Carakasi to choose from.
Next, we stopped by to see patterns being made by hand by a very skilled and professional pattern maker.
Once our tour of the Design House concluded, Vivian and I visited the Stella Studio. Time to shop!
I love the inviting and stylish the environment. The associates are friendly and helpful and they even have a luxurious sitting area in case you want to take a break from trying on all the fantastic clothes!
I must have tried on a few dozen items. It was quite a workout. The most fun workout I have had in ages!
After my marathon session of trying on gorgeous clothes, I had the honor of interviewing Stella Carakasi herself.
Stella is an articulate, fascinating, warm, intelligent, captivating and sophisticated woman. She is someone I admire, not just for her obvious success but for her commitment to her craft, her ambition and her desire to give to women by designing wearable, unique, and flattering clothing for them.
Here is a small portion of our 30-minute interview. Here, Stella who was raised in Germany to Greek parents, discusses what it’s like being a clothing designer.
I came home with some gorgeous pieces. Since my visit I have worn this Need to Know sweater at least half a dozen times, including to A Taste of Napa last weekend. It also comes in white and is currently on sale, 50% off!
I love how it keeps me cool and comfortable without exposing a lot a skin. I wear a navy tank under my sweater but you could wear another color or even wear something with sleeves if you wanted.
I also brought home It’s All About the Dress sheath dress in Meadow. I love the asymmetric hemline and the peek-a-boo slit at the chest area. It’s so flirty and fun. For a summertime look, I wore my dress with sand colored peep-toe booties and a taupe bag with silver detailing.
For cooler weather, I added a long black cardigan and black sandals to It’s All About the Dress.
I like It’s All About the Dress so much I also chose one in a coral shade (similar to the Sunset color, but a little lighter and pinker). I love coral and navy blue together. This Downtime Jacket in Deep Sea is just right for the look I want to achieve.
These wedges added the right amount of edge to the dress.
Original and modern designs, high-quality fabrics, wearable silhouettes and reasonable prices are just a few of the reasons I love Stella Carakasi’s line.
The people at Stella Carakasi want you to experience their clothes too.
They are giving away an item to three readers of The Rich Life on a Budget!
This giveaway is open to addresses in the USA and Canada.
Three (3!) winners will receive any one item of their choice from the Stella Carakasi website, priced at up to $200!
Best of luck!
Check out the Summer Sale at Stella Carakasi going on now.
Be sure to take a look at the size chart before ordering to get the best fit.
A Small is a 6 – 8, for example.
Disclosure: I was given all Stella Carakasi clothes featured here free of charge. As always, opinions expressed are my own.