New Year – New Direction

Part one of a new series: A letter from Designer Stella Carakasi:

New Year – New Direction

2018 marks our 25th anniversary and we are celebrating this incredible milestone by taking our company into a new and exciting direction that I will be sharing with you soon. I know 25 years is a long time so for those of you who have joined us more recently, I would like to start by out by inviting you on a short trip down memory lane.

In 1993, eco-fashion disrupter, Two Star Dog was launched by brothers Steven and Allan Boutrous. Shortly thereafter, I joined the team and together we created the first hemp clothing collection in the United States, which was very controversial at the time. We designed and trademarked “The Original Hemp Jeans” which quickly became a national bestseller and the company rose to the top of this niche market proving that sustainability in fashion was possible.

stella-editorial-image-1--tinyIn the mid-nineties, major growth opportunity came knocking with mainstream fashion paying attention to Two Star Dog. As the business grew, I found myself being pulled in many directions not only designing for our brand but for a myriad of other opportunities including department stores, catalogs…even wardrobe design for a few Hollywood movies.  It was easy to get wrapped up in all the excitement of the moment but I wanted to experience everything I could about the industry and all it had to offer. I think I must have traveled around the world ten times as the nineties came to a close. I learned about balance in those days, I learned about focus, I learned about priorities but most of all, I learned that time doesn’t stand still and the fashion industry somehow makes it move even faster.

stella-editorial-image-2-tinyThen, just as I thought nothing could stop us, the economic crisis of 2008 hit, taking a toll on the entire industry sparing virtually no one. During that same time, my daughter was born prematurely, sending me on a tumultuous roller coaster I was hardly prepared for. While facing the unknown, both personally and professionally I found my strength in knowing that we all have the power to change our lives with our thoughts and I chose to remain positive. Setting an example for my daughter to be a strong independent spirit became my priority, and sparked a desire to find deeper meaning in my work as well. After much reflection and contemplation, I resolved to take a stand by creating a lifestyle brand that reflected my core values, one rooted in social and environmental responsibility – a brand that would re-energize the market by inspiring women to express their individuality through design. 

stella-blog-editorial-image-3-tiny.jpgWith the help of my amazing team I began to lay the foundation for our new direction, and by Fall 2012 the Stella Carakasi brand was born. We quickly gained a following of high-end boutiques across the United States, Canada, and Australia. Not long after that, we launched our e-commerce site, followed by the opening of our flagship store in Berkeley, California – both of which created a direct line of communication with you, our customer. This conversation and sense of community have inspired me to change the direction of our business in new and exciting ways. Stay tuned for the second part of my letter on our blog next week!

Thank you for your ongoing support, it means everything to us!


Stella Signature


13 thoughts on “New Year – New Direction”

  1. Nice story, Now the time is more like you say a quarter century is long but not. I had the high privileged of meeting you at the flagshipmy name is Henri Davis I do understand effort and time which you and your team has pushed to play. Fashion is big good fashionable clothes are everything. Which I’m sure you know.

    Any chance for custom shirts to order for us guys with great taste?

    1. Hello Henri,
      Thank you for your comment. We are honored that our paths have crossed and it was so nice to meet you at our grand opening. You will be excited to know that we will be expanding the offering to include styles for men. We have some very big news coming soon.

  2. Congrats to you Stella! I realized that’s when I met you in 1993 when my daughter was born. Excited for your new year direction!

  3. As a customer since the Two Star Dog days I say keep it coming Stella! You’ve spoiled us so much with your fabulosity that I don’t bother to look anywhere else for my clothes!

  4. So appreciate you Stella being out there creating and changing. I really value design and your styles speak to me in a way that’s ever rare to find locally these days. I like to express myself through fashion and your work helps me to do so.

    1. Hello Thea,
      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. We value your eye for design and are honored that our styles speak to you. Thank you for this beautiful comment–it embodies what we have set out to do!

  5. I have worked in a small boutique in the town of Sylvan Lake, Alberta Canada for eight years, and started buying Stella Carakasi way back then!! I can honestly say these items are my favourite in my wardrobe!! So I have to tell you how disappointed I and my colleagues are that our spring order was cancelled, and it seems we are now longer able to order for our store. I’m really interested to know what is your ‘new direction’, and hope I can still buy your line of clothing!

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