Stella Carakasi

Stella Carakasi

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.

Stella Carakasi

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.

Stella Carakasi

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.

Stella Carakasi

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.

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.

Stella Carakasi

Next, we stopped by to see patterns being made by hand by a very skilled and professional pattern maker.

Stella Carakasi

Once our tour of the Design House concluded, Vivian and I visited the Stella Studio. Time to shop!

Stella Studio2

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!

Stella Studio

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!

Stella Carakasi

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.

Stella Carakasi

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.

Stella Carakasi

For cooler weather, I added a long black cardigan and black sandals to It’s All About the Dress.

Stella Carakasi

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.

Stella Carakasi

These wedges added the right amount of edge to the dress.

Stella Carakasi

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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. 


  1. July 16, 2014 / 6:25 am

    What a fun experience! Beautiful clothes too, those dresses are just perfect on you and so versatile!

  2. Katie in CA
    July 16, 2014 / 6:30 am

    Beautiful clothing! I love the “Sign Me Up” Skirt, the “Need to Know” Sweater, the “Go Everywhere” cardigan and perhaps the “Opposites Attract” tunic – there are several lovely things! Thank you for this article on Stella Carakasi and her clothing line….

  3. Felicia
    July 16, 2014 / 7:13 am

    Beautiful clothing and I really enjoyed the interview. Very fascinating to learn a little about the industry. Thank you!

  4. colleen
    July 16, 2014 / 7:22 am

    The clothes are lovely – it will be hard to choose WHEN I WIN!

  5. July 16, 2014 / 7:23 am

    What a wonderfully comprehensive review my dear! I so enjoyed seeing all that goes on behind the scenes to get their products to market!

    Big kudos for your interview with the ever so chic Stella! She is so well spoken and passionate about her career … and you my friend are a Vlogging natural!

    Big kudos for a job well done! I’m clapping for you!


  6. Kathy
    July 16, 2014 / 7:38 am

    First of all, I love the outfit you wore to her showroom and studio, really gorgeous. Very interesting concept about her capsule collections being released 6 times a year or more. I’m wondering how that’ll work in the long run? I sort of like to see everything for that upcoming season at once, so that I don’t see something later that I like more after I’ve already purchased something similar, but maybe she’s on to something? You did a great job on your video, and it was an interesting interview. Thanks.

  7. July 16, 2014 / 8:09 am

    I love that you are getting opportunities to meet and interview people and attend events.
    Your in depth reviews, pictures and videos are very professional….you must be having so much fun and to be able to choose some clothes to take home in the process is a bonus! I particularly like the first sweater…and those dresses look perfect for your sunny weather.

  8. Sandra
    July 16, 2014 / 8:13 am

    What a wonderful opportunity to view so beautiful garments! I would love to own “The Need To Know Sweater” . It is so versatile and “spot on”, design wise!

  9. SISSY
    July 16, 2014 / 8:13 am


  10. Sandy
    July 16, 2014 / 8:14 am

    I love the “Need to Know” sweater!

  11. Diane
    July 16, 2014 / 8:17 am

    Thanks for the intro to Stella. Love the Command Attention Vest! As I am training to become a Pilates instructor I was so impressed with Ms. Carakasi’s posture (& clothes)!

  12. July 16, 2014 / 8:31 am

    I really like the sweater you got, Need to Know in black.

  13. Stefany
    July 16, 2014 / 8:52 am

    I love the fit and style of these clothes– thanks for sharing!

  14. July 16, 2014 / 9:17 am

    Awesome looking clothes! Hope I win!

  15. July 16, 2014 / 9:25 am

    So hard to choose – I really like the Wear it Well tunic, the Fascinating Features dress, and those comfy capri pants!

  16. Dana
    July 16, 2014 / 10:04 am

    I love her clothes, I just wish I could afford them — maybe I’ll win some!!

  17. July 16, 2014 / 10:14 am

    Wonderful behind-the-scenes reporting, Adrienne. And gorgeous take-homes too – I love those easy dresses. xox

  18. Karen Sue
    July 16, 2014 / 11:45 am

    Love the clothes. It’s hard to choose. I like the Rest Assured Top with Tank and Convertible Palazzo Ankle Pants. Also love the creative names for the clothes.

  19. July 16, 2014 / 3:29 pm

    What an incredible fashion designer and I adore her clothing line! Fabulous!
    Thank you for offering such a wonderful giveaway!

    The Arts by Karena

  20. July 16, 2014 / 3:32 pm

    LOve the sweater you are wearing, “Need to Know”!!

    The Arts by Karena

  21. July 16, 2014 / 3:50 pm

    Loved these dresses on you and the shoes are gorgeous too. Looks like well-made and beautiful fabrics. I will visit their site. I love that you are featuring a Northern Cal designer, so wonderful.
    Will I see one of these on you next week?
    xx Kim

    • July 16, 2014 / 4:45 pm

      What fabulous designs! They look comfortable, flattering and easy to style.

  22. Ledys
    July 16, 2014 / 9:43 pm

    What beautiful clothes! Thanks for such a fun post and interview!!

  23. Victoria Bahnsen
    July 16, 2014 / 10:13 pm

    What a great introduction to this Northern California designer. I love the uncluttered lines and beautiful colors. It definitely inspires me to further explore this line of clothing. Well done (and, you look great in the clothes).

  24. July 17, 2014 / 12:24 am

    So many great pieces to choose from. Loving the still go it top.


  25. July 17, 2014 / 6:00 am

    There are so many wonderful styles to choose from. I would select something in the citron or saffron, most likely. I’m a little concerned about the sizing, though. Even in an XL [which I usually wouldn’t wear] I fear these might be too small, looking at the size chart.

  26. Tamara Cummins
    July 17, 2014 / 6:03 am

    What a fun day. The clothes look Fab.

  27. Charlotte
    July 17, 2014 / 7:32 am

    I love the clothing, especially the Need To Know sweater. That looks like such a versatile piece!

  28. Liz
    July 17, 2014 / 2:45 pm

    I went to the web site to take a look. That look turned into much longer than I had anticipated. I loved all the clothing, and looked everything. The Tiburon Tunic was probably my favorite piece. Loved it! a great giveaway. Thank you!

  29. July 18, 2014 / 10:15 am

    Looks like you had a great time shopping! I really like the 2 dresses you are wearing. Love the style, the hem and how comfortable it looks. Like the pretty sandals you paired with it. And the navy crochet top is a great color on you as well. Have a great weekend
    jess xx

  30. Julia Stevenson
    July 19, 2014 / 3:38 am

    The knitted sweater and dress look lovely! Sounds like a wonderful company. 🙂

  31. Ginger M
    July 19, 2014 / 6:30 am

    Thank you for introducing me to this wonderful designer! I really enjoyed your beautiful write up and interview. Love her lovely designs!

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  33. Shel H
    July 19, 2014 / 10:31 am

    I really like the unique and tasteful designs! I enjoy seeing the pieces on a real person, too. Just lovely!

  34. Mary Gonzales
    July 19, 2014 / 1:23 pm

    I love the Point Of Interest Cardigan!

  35. Linda
    July 19, 2014 / 2:35 pm

    What an interesting and fun day you had! Beautiful clothes-thank you for introducing this company 🙂

  36. Leena
    July 19, 2014 / 3:24 pm

    Love the clothes – simple and comfortable !

  37. Jayne M
    July 20, 2014 / 2:30 am

    Really like the designs and fabric choices, how fun it would be to win one of her designs. I like one of the tunic tops in the Bermuda color

  38. July 20, 2014 / 6:24 pm

    I like how the styles are mature but don’t make you look like you need an AARP card or that you’re trying to be 18. It’s so hard to find clothes appropriate for our (over 40) age.

  39. July 20, 2014 / 7:09 pm

    I love that Need to Know Sweater! It looks great, especially for our rather warm/hot weather where I live. And the clothes all look so well made. I also like the tunics!

  40. Charlotte
    July 21, 2014 / 7:54 am

    I love the “Still Got It” tank. Such beautiful clothes. Thanks!

  41. Karen Tedder
    July 21, 2014 / 9:45 am

    Cute designs and very nice interview. I love the Need to Know sweater you chose and the Love to Layer sweater. I also like the way you’ve styled the Downtime jacket.

  42. Denise L
    July 21, 2014 / 11:05 am

    Beautiful pieces!

  43. Marlene
    July 21, 2014 / 2:43 pm

    Classic clothing! I enjoyed your post and would love to win. xoxox

  44. christine
    July 22, 2014 / 10:36 am

    So much to like – everything looks so comfortable & the style is very simple.
    Thank you!

  45. Elizabeth
    July 22, 2014 / 11:24 am

    Thanks for introducing me to this brand. I’ve ordered the Get Inspired shirt, and if I win would love the Can Do skirt or Command Attention vest.

  46. Jonnie
    July 22, 2014 / 3:43 pm

    I would choose the Grace Cardigan in Fossil. Thanks for the chance!

  47. Chris
    July 23, 2014 / 8:46 am

    Love the sweater! Tks for the contest and for letting us know about this Made-in-the-USA designer.

    • Darlene B.
      July 23, 2014 / 11:43 am

      What a wonderful experience to go behind the scene and meet the designer responsible for such a unique line!

  48. Anita D.
    July 23, 2014 / 5:16 pm

    I absolutely love these clothes. The dress is fantastic and so stylish. If I won I would definitely choose the all about the dress and the need to know sweater. Beautiful clothes!

  49. TracyB
    July 23, 2014 / 6:57 pm

    These clothes are beautiful. So unique and modern! Thanks so much for sharing this designer with us Adrienne. Love that coral dress too!

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  51. Rita
    July 24, 2014 / 3:46 pm

    Fantastic collections– Thank you so much for introducing us to this designer. The Illusion tunic and Downtime jacket are two of my favorite pieces but the selection process is quite difficult. Too many versatile and fashionable pieces to choose from!!

  52. Lynn Pokora
    July 27, 2014 / 8:38 am

    What an amazing line. I love it!!

  53. July 28, 2014 / 10:33 am

    Both the pieces of clothing and you look beautiful! I would absolutely love to win 🙂

  54. Debbi
    July 28, 2014 / 10:37 am

    I would love to win! These are lovely designs.

  55. MB
    July 28, 2014 / 12:47 pm

    I am thrilled to be introduced to this designer! It seems that she makes beautiful clothes! It is not often I say “that may even look good on me!” but I do looking at these beautiful designs!

  56. Claire
    July 28, 2014 / 1:05 pm

    many great pieces to choose from. Loving the still go it top.

  57. Carla
    July 28, 2014 / 7:50 pm

    I love the “Easy Going Top”, “Ready to Wear” leggings as well! 🙂

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