How Staud Became the Only Label We Want to Wear

Sarah Staudinger threw the rule book out the window—and it’s working.

By: Emily Ramshaw
Photography: Emily Knecht

When you assembled your *this is how I want to dress this summer* pinboard many moons ago when it was still grey and cold, we’re betting you included a clutch of jumpsuits, shirts tied at the waist, and many, many ruffled slip dresses. In fact, we’ll place money on the fact that it looked a whole lot like Staud’s summer collection—and still, it’s pretty much all we want to wear.

Staud has been sneaking its way into our consciousness for a few years now, quietly exposing our purest sartorial desires (a clean palette; a forever-on-vacation feel). Founded in 2015 in Los Angeles by Sarah Staudinger with her partner, George Augusto, the idea was that they’d address a gap in the market that hadn’t been filled. “There was nothing at our price point that felt aesthetically elevated but not over-the-top,” explains Staudinger (see: tailored dress for under $300 that gives serious Katherine Hepburn vibes).

 

The thing about Staud is that while, yes, it feels very ~of-the-moment~, most of the pieces—including the spot-on bags (and the prices!)—are the kind we’ll wear season after season. “I have always had a love for vintage, and I try to incorporate a certain level of timelessness in all our designs,” says Staudinger. “It’s important to me that things feel different from what’s currently on the market.”

If you’re like us, then your forever style goal is not to look like everyone else—and you’ll relate to the above sentiment. Staudinger is obviously like us too, because unlike, well, pretty much every other new label out there, she hasn’t created any hard-and-fast rules for herself when it comes to her brand’s look. “Every collection feels completely different from the last, from the imagery to the product,” she says. “I think the core of the brand—this sense of timelessness, with nothing overly trend-driven—is our through-line that comes through naturally. We just went from a neutral safari-inspired collection for spring to a playful primary summer capsule. I think somehow both feel totally on-brand.”

 

The fact that Staudinger makes the clothes she feels like wearing—which, happily, we also really, really feel like wearing—can only mean good things for our future seasonal planning. The whole concept takes the seriousness out of dressing ourselves and only leaves the fun. And the fact that while Staud will launch wholesale with their Resort collection, it’s also sticking to a direct-to-consumer model online, which allows the company to react to what we’re buying and loving instantly (by creating more and better versions of a particular piece), means that as we follow Staudinger’s aesthetic, she’s simultaneously following ours—fashion’s own chicken-and-egg situation, if you will.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that forever muses like Alexa Chung and Dakota Johnson have been quick on the uptake when it comes to Staud’s designs. BRB, have to go pin our fall mood board—and we know just what our first stop will be to stock up for the season.

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