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- Rachel Zeilic, one half of the StyleStalker duo, at the brand’s Downtown LA studio.
- Shelves filled with magazines, books and other stylish references.
- Zeilic and Co.’s desks.
- The DTLA studio operates almost solely by the amazing natural light that comes in during the day.
- The perfect corner.
- The view from the roof.
- One oversized mirror, a little inspiration and a shot from next season’s collection.
- Zeilic and Molly hanging out in front of the window that drew the designer to this studio.
- Samples and sunset.
- There were loads of roses and candles scattered throughout the open studio.
- Couldn’t resist another shot of Zeilic and her adorbs sidekick.
- Inspiration boards.
Designers of Aussie label StyleStalker, Rachel Zeilic and Sue-Ann San, met back in Sydney when they were both studying marketing in college. Their friendship was almost instant. "I was like, 'Who's this chick? She's really well-dressed,'" Zeilic says of her first impression of San. After their marketing degree was completed, Zeilic went on to complete a law degree while San began working for an advertising company, a job the designers actually shared. It was there that the idea for StyleStalker was born. "We used the phrase like a verb, 'Have you done that report?' 'Not yet, I've been style-stalking,'" the designer said.
Zeilic and San would travel to Europe on holidays to shop in stores like Topshop and Zara and they saw the need for a middle market in Australia. Being internationally-minded, Zeilic eventually moved to LA where she would have a long-distance relationship with her best friend and design partner. "Our taste is so aligned," the designer explains of her relationship with San and their ability to co-design an entire line across the world. "If you try and play us in Pictionary you will lose because we read each other's minds."
StyleStalker is now a constant fixture on the LA blog scene, from their signature prints to the slogan tees. We caught up with Zeilic-San still resides in Australia-at the brand's office in Downtown LA. There we learned all about the company's move to Los Angeles and the inspiration behind the current collection: hint, Zeilic is a 2 Chainz fan.
What pushed you to move business to America?
"It was an organic process. My boyfriend moved to London and the plan was that I would eventually move there and work remotely but I ended up staying in Sydney for four years. It just wasn't feasible for me to move to London, so I said to Sue-Ann 'How about I move to America?' That [market] was catching up to Australia. It was this quickly growing territory with no one to look after it. So, I moved here last May, almost out of practicality."
Why LA versus NYC?
"I think New York is amazing for high end fashion but for e-commerce and the more commercial zone that we're in, LA is great. It just made a lot more sense and the weather is great. It was an easy transition from Sydney because the people and culture are similar. Once I got here, so many opportunities started opening up. There's such a great energy in LA, people are hustling and just doing cool shit."
Did you find this space right away?
"At first I was working out of my second bedroom in my house and it got to a point where there were six people there everyday and my boyfriend was like, 'Time out.'"
What's left of the business in Australia?
"Up until now, the head office was in Australia so we would do finance and production there. Design has always been a collaboration between Sue-Ann and I, so she would fly here and we would work together or I would fly back."
Where do you ladies find your inspiration for the collections?
"I think it's in the name. We get a lot of inspiration from blogs, it's all about how those girls interpret trends, wear them and make it their own as opposed to slavishly following trends. Sue-Ann and I are also a little different in the way we design, we always concept the shoot first because one of our favorite parts of the whole process is the photoshoot at the end. Often, that's the first thing we're thinking about and our collections have been quite themed."
The current collection is 'Rap Music Made Me Do It,' which is kind of amazing.
"When I first moved here, I heard 2 Chainz for the first time and was like 'Oh my God what it this!? This is the best shit on the planet.' The hip-hop music here is so overwhelming that the only thing you want to do is drive around with it pumping. There's something about this city that makes you want to do that."
And now San is moving here?
"Yes! I moved here because I couldn't do long-distance with my boyfriend, she's moving because she can't do long-distance with me."
What are some must-see spots in the area?
"Villian's Tavern is a quick little drive from here and it's a fun place to have a drink, it's a bit of a pub vibe. I am also so excited, my favorite Italian restaurant, Terroni, just opened up a branch downtown."
· StyleStalker [Official Site]
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· A Glimpse Into Sophie Monet's Venice Beach Studio Loft [Racked]
· Hanging Out With Drew Bernstein at The Original Cult HQ [Racked]