It’s been fun to introduce you to Bay Area designer Stella Carakasi over the past two weeks. In case you missed the first few days, here’s the lowdown: Daisy Tribe was invited on an exclusive, behind the scenes visit to the Stella Studio in Berkeley. Our NorCal team had a great time exploring the studio, trying on pieces from Stella’s collection, meeting some of the amazing people behind the brand, and of course taking pictures to document the whole thing for our readers. The Stella Studio is located on 10th Street in Berkeley’s Gilman District. If you live in the area, you know that the Gilman District is the new hot spot in Berkeley, with tons of cool shops, restaurants, and artist lofts popping up all over. The neighborhood is buzzing with energy and excitement, and the Stella Studio is right in the middle of it. The boutique is open and airy, with tall windows and high lofty ceilings. There’s a relaxed California vibe to the space, which you feel from the moment you walk in the door. The walls are adorned with a few well-selected paintings by Yarra McClure, and of course, there’s the clothes! Row upon row of soft, elegant pieces from Stella’s current collection line the floor of the boutique.
In the middle of the studio are dressing rooms and a super comfy lounge area. The Stella team had so warmly set out some coffee and sweet treats for us – which I’m not even sure we acknowledged properly (because hello, the clothes!) If you come in you have to meet Brittany, one of the super sweet and stylish members of Stella’s team. I got her to model for me since she happened to be wearing some beautiful Stella Carakasi clothing and Janet Harrer jewelry.
Now I’m going to let you in on a little secret and I promise it’s a good one. The back of the Stella Studio serves as an outlet for past collections – so if you love Stella’s clothes but find them to be a little out of your price range, you can find some amazing steals here that you will not find anywhere else. Oh and hey, there’s me in one of Stella’s beautiful coats. Seriously, this coat is so gorgeous and easy to wear, it deserves it’s own post!
After our impromptu fashion shoot in front of the boutique, it was time to head into the design house where the magic really happens. You would never know that connected to this chic little boutique is a huge warehouse filled with everything it takes to run a global brand like Stella Carakasi. After passing through rows of boxes and fabric bolts, we made our way to the offices of the people behind Stella, which were buzzing with activity and excitement about Stella’s upcoming collections. I was so excited to run into Charlene – who has a super important title that includes the word Global Director – because she was wearing Stella’s Tiburon Tunic which I absolutely adore. The tunic is simple and artsy, and looks amazing with anything from jeans and sneakers to black leggings and heels. I don’t think Charlene came to work expecting to have her photo taken – but I really loved her look and she agreed to let me snap her picture anyways. Thank you, Charlene!
We may or may not have seen some top-secret information like sketches of the 2015 collections and a fitting for a beautiful kimono coming out in the fall. Unfortunately if I had seen any of that, I wouldn’t be allowed to show you on the blog, so you’ll just have to wait and see what Stella has in store. And speaking of Stella – did I mention that we met her?! You guys, she was so warm, elegant, gracious, and funny. She showed us around her space and even came out to shoot a few photos with us.
On our way back in, we ran into Vivian, who is one of the partners behind Stella Carakasi and all-around awesome person. On the day of our visit, Vivian and Yarra had just returned from LA, where they were dressing the stars at the Golden Globes gifting suites. I couldn’t leave without getting a few images of Vivian and her sassy red and black cowgirl boots. Her little pup was a total rockstar and happy to pose for the camera.
It was so much fun to get a peek behind the scenes at the Stella Carakasi studio and design house, and meet some of the faces behind the label. I fell in love with Stella’s brand for so many reasons – I love that her clothes are simple, elegant, and easy to wear. She uses natural, sustainable, and eco-friendly fabrics into many of her pieces, and incorporates great architectural and California influences in her designs. And obviously she has a great team behind her. But I think what I love most of all about Stella’s clothes is that they look great on women of all ages and body types. I feel like Stella really gets women’s bodies, and designs her pieces with great attention to detail, so that everything falls exactly where it should. Her clothes work on women of all ages because they are modern and on-trend without looking “trendy”, if that makes sense. It was a great pleasure to work with Stella and her team and hopefully you’ll be seeing more posts about Stella in the future.
Now, if you missed the first few days, I’m going to get you caught up! On Day 1, our Style Editor Delia modeled two outfits that included accessories from local jeweler Janet Harrer. (To read the full story and see more pictures, click here).
On Day 2, we did a a special Creative Feature on Yarra McClure, Stella’s Director of Customer Engagement and an accomplished painter. Yarra shared her creative journey, as well as her advice for finding inspiration and growing as an artist. Here’s a link to Yarra’s story and more photos of her beautiful paintings.
Our Social Media Director Janaia’s picks were up on Day 4, and she showed you two looks incorporating classic, neutral pieces with a modern twist, like this tunic that can be worn multiple ways and the amazing Work It Coat. You can get the details on Janaia’s outfits in this post.
And now I am sorry to say, that like all good things, this series of posts must come to an end. I hope you enjoyed learning more about Stella Carakasi and the team behind the label. You can follow Stella Carakasi on their website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Thank you Stella, Yarra, Vivian, and everyone who made us feel so welcome on our visit!