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The menswear scene is already acquainted with made-to-measure wardrobe options, and it's finally time for the rest of LA's fashionable population to enjoy customized closet staples. Enter Staud, a new luxury label that allows women to personalize their clothing from hem to hardware.
Launched just last month by former Reformation fashion director Sarah Staudinger and business partner George Augusto, the made-in-LA brand offers over 60 possibilities from just a handful of essential silhouettes, including dresses, rompers, culottes, skirts and more. Personalizing your pieces—including by fabric, length, and color—won't cost a pretty penny or require more than a month's wait; items range from $75 for a tee to $270 for a short-sleeved jumpsuit to $375 for a belted coat, and each figure-flattering garment is finished within two-and-a-half weeks.
We sat down with the founders to find out the movers and shakers that inspired their debut fall/winter collection, which pieces Staud (who's quite the style star herself) will be wearing all autumn, how they've simplified the online customization process, and more.
What was the "a-ha" moment that inspired you to create a customizable clothing brand?
Sarah: Personal need. In college I found it really frustrating that I couldn't find pieces online that fit my personal aesthetic and also my particular fit preferences. At the time, I loved wearing short dresses with long sleeves. It doesn't makes sense that you have to sacrifice design to find something that works for your body type or preferences.
What were the most important aspects you wanted to include in the customization experience?
Sarah: In terms of the customer experience, it was really important for the process to not feel "techy." One of the ways we tried to achieve this was by shooting every possible variation and option—as opposed to having every change Photoshopped in real time, which is how most customization platforms approach this. In terms of the collection, we really went through each piece and thought about all the ways someone would want to wear it. We found sleeve length was an important option to give to our customers.
How has your past industry experience lent itself to creating the brand?
Sarah: I learned a lot about unnecessary waste in fashion from my time at Reformation. Our made-to-order business model really eliminates that element from the process.
George: I come from an artist development background. We love utilizing fine artists and incorporating them into the brand. Our print designers, photographers, and set designers all come from our community—people like Luckey Remington, Ana Kras, Clara Balzary, and Amanda Charchian.
What's the design inspiration behind the fall/winter collection?
Sarah: This collection pulls from a lot of different moments in fashion. Japanese shapes mixed with '70s fabrics and details. We took our favorite elements and simplified them to work as one piece. I think this is most obvious with our Ziggy jumpsuit.
Fall/Winter draws a lot of inspiration from different artists and influential people. For instance, the Sontag skirt, named after Susan Sontag and the Uschi culottes after Uschi Obermaier—both such stylish, political activists—and the Judd jumper, inspired by Donald Judd and his minimal shapes.
What are a few of your favorite fall-ready pieces, and how do you style them?
Sarah: I go back and forth from the Ziggy and the Bronte. The Bronte is one of my favorite pieces from the collection. It's like a chic smock. It is the perfect layering piece for every occasion. I wear the midi length version over flared pants or a short dress, usually our sleeveless Strada, which creates really flattering and interesting angles.
At night I wear the mini black variation over pretty much everything black, but lately with a turtle neck and mini skirt, with sculptural silver necklaces and earrings. The Ziggy jumper is just so easy. I love wearing the culotte length version with boots.