As fashion director of Reformation, the ultra-cool, L.A.-based brand, Sarah Staudinger seemed to have it all. But this dream job wasn't enough for her. Since college, Staudinger had been working on a plan that she had to see through. What if the clothing you shop for online could be customized to your exact preferences? She wondered. With this idea in mind, she launched her own line in late 2015. Staud offers a variety of easy, elegant tops, dresses, and pants that you can customize to your liking. You can change hemlines and fabrics, add or remove sleeves, and add trims like pom-poms, fringe, and beading.
Here, Staudinger gives us a peek inside her downtown L.A. studio.
What made you want to start your own line?
I felt that there was a need for women to be able to shop online and have more of a choice in finding affordable garments that were chic, simple, and fit their body type and their preferences. Personally, it was difficult for me to shop online and find something that both fit and flattered my body, and was also within my budget.
This has been a long time coming for you. How is the reality playing out?
Every day is a learning experience. We're unique in that we're not wholesaling, we're direct-to-consumer. The beauty, and the challenge, of what the direct-to-consumer market offers is that we have data showing us what our customers like and don't like right away. We have a really small inventory and most of our stuff is made-to-order. We have the ability to pivot with our customers' interest.
Who is the Staud girl?
She's a working girl who likes high fashion and appreciates beautiful designer collections, but can't necessarily afford them. She wants something more affordable that's still really chic. And she's looking for clothing that's not disposable. She's a smart shopper, for sure.
How does the Staud aesthetic differ from Reformation?
It's more sophisticated. It's chicer. It's designed for a slightly older customer. I think Reformation is designed for a young twentysomething. They're trendy, while we're timeless.
What can we look forward to next?
Well, the spring collection is really awesome. We have plans to do a concept store out of our studio. We're fortunate to work in a pretty big space that can house both our work environment and a retail environment, and we hope it becomes a place where people can really spend time, talk, and hang out.
Prices start at $125. To shop, see staud.clothing.