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Scott Sternberg + Nicole Cari: A Brand New World

6 months ago by

Did you see Scott Sternberg’s new project? It’s called Entireworld and it’s not afraid to be entirely different from the first brand he created and that I loved, Band Of Outsiders.

The outsider spirit has always been something that drew me to Scott – he was one of the first cool brands to claim LA as a real hub for fashion and creativity and always set up to make things happen his way.

Even through the closing of the brand, he stayed opened and honest. What did he learn and in which way did it inform the birth of Entireworld? That’s what we talk about today with him and his forever partner, Nicole Cari, in his beautiful and bright Silverlake house.

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Scott Sternberg + Nicole Cari: A Brand New World

Pardon My French with Garance Doré
Scott Sternberg + Nicole Cari: A Brand New World

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Scott Sternberg Atelier Dore

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On figuring out he was a designer…
I spent most of my 20s knowing I was an entrepreneur but not actually knowing where to apply that. I knew I was a photographer and graphic designer and loved clothing and film and had all these interests. I just couldn’t put together what my company would be or this good or service that I’m going to offer or provide. It just took stepping back for a second to realize, you’re really into clothes.

On Nicole joining Band of Outsiders…
NICOLE: I was immediately taken by the brand. I said to my parents, this is going to go somewhere and this guy is so smart and so talented and I have to be on board and get involved. I went with my intuition.

SCOTT: When I called her to tell her she got the job, she literally screamed across the phone! I’m a pretty subdued guy, so I was like yes! I made the right choice. This is it. This is good.

NICOLE: It was also your psychic who told that it was probably me you should hire and not the other guy.

On choosing to work from Los Angeles…
It was off the table. This is where I live, make shit and come up with good ideas. It’s where my friends live. It’s hard to articulate, but there is just something that runs through the thread of this city that goes beyond the beautiful weather and the outdoor nature of the place that I think breeds a certain type of idea. This idea of possibility and expanse and it’s sort of weird and exotic. People who don’t live here, don’t get it. It’s a strange and wonderful place. It’s mythical to me. Even living here for 20 years, it remains that way.

Scott Sternberg Atelier Dore

On the struggle to raise money for a business…
By the time we were opening the store, we were raising more money, which is a typical thing, but having a tough time. The industry was already having a tough time. Being out here (L.A.) definitely didn’t help. Most of the sources of money were in New York and it just wasn’t coming together. Ironically, the day we opened the store, this one private equity company I was really holding out for, officially passed. That was not a fun day. That was the beginning of the end.

On the final days of Band…
I ended up finding money from a backup investor. The way the money came in was through a convertible note, which is like a loan that converts to equity once you check a bunch of boxes off. The boxes we were supposed to check off when I signed the note and took the loan were pretty straight forward and not such a big deal. But once we took the money and they came to L.A. to do a second round of due diligence, the story turned from a middle aged person’s drama to a horror movie. The set of criteria for how the company was to be run and my role in the company, it was all stuff that said no to me. And my ego was fine and I was willing to do anything I could do keep things going for my staff, the vendors, somewhat for me, though I’d emotionally let it go a bit. But these guys had a completely different vision for what they thought success was and how to get there. Complete disrespect for most of my staff and me and it was just so clear that this was a lose-lose. This is not going to be fun, this is going to fail and it’s going to be a slow motion train wreck where I’m on the train and I’ve got to get off this train.

On when Band ended…
SCOTT: The irony, or I don’t know if irony is even the word, but you were about to tell me you were pregnant when I told you we were going out of business, right?

NICOLE: The day I found I was pregnant was the day Scott told me Band was over. I felt pretty anxious at that point but it all worked out beautifully.

SCOTT: I always surprise myself in that when the worst news happens, whatever that may be at any given point, I’m incredibly resilient. I keep fighting and don’t go into the darkest of holes. The dark holes come at different times. When Band finally went away, honestly it was an enormous weight off my shoulders. It was really not fun for the last couple of years and was really a struggle. There were still great times and great work and some success, but I just really needed a break. The way I always rejuvenate, and I don’t call this work, but the gem of a really good idea starts and I just go so deep into the and wade through it and live in it.

Scott Sternberg Atelier Dore

Scott Sternberg Atelier Dore

On doing the opposite of Band of Outsiders with Entireworld…
That price level, up here (holds hand high), it’s almost easier to attract people to that. I’d guess it’s more enticing for a celebrity to be given a free luxury item instead of a t-shirt. Across the board, there is just something more alluring about that, so that’s where I started with Band. With Entireworld, having years of experience behind me now and a set of relationships and a team and all of that, I felt emboldened to do the opposite.

On utopia as influence for Entireworld…
Entireworld is really about, from a brand perspective, this idea of utopia and how people in the past used to look at the future vs. how we look at the future now. The future used to be full of dreams and opportunity and flying cars, which I guess it’s still about. That vision in the 60s of the future. The house of tomorrow and what does tomorrow look like? It was utopian and now it’s dystopian, right, it looks like the world is falling apart. In a non-nostalgic way, in a pure way, this idea of utopia really took hold. From a product perspective just thinking about something incredibly pure.

On finding the balance of chic and comfortable…
SCOTT: I’m certainly interested as a designer in trying to find a balance of something that’s really comfortable, easy, soft and cozy and something chic, still. I always look to Nicole because she has an incredibly pure approach to her system of dressing.

NICOLE: I feel like we’ve always connected because we’re both super into fashion and quality and design. I own Celine, Prada and a lot of important brands, but how you and I both dress is very pure, simple and comfortable. We’re not the stereotypical fashion with the capital ‘F’ people. We’re not flashy or designer-y, so designing into that makes a lot of sense for both of us.

Scott Sternberg Atelier Dore

On the process of getting dressed…
Part of what I’m trying to do is like take it down a notch. Let’s clean the slate a bit. A lot of what I’m always trying to do, especially with womenswear, is to bring some of that pragmatism of menswear, this system of dressing. Outside of aesthetic, the process of getting dressed is as important. The lack of intimidation, the more the stuff you own can work together, and the longer it can last in your closet, the things you go back to over time, that’s the stuff I’m really interested in.

On the long-term plan for Entireworld…
Long term vision, it’s not tied to being an online brand. It’s very much about touch points everywhere, whether it’s a permanent store or a pop-pup or a little corner within an existing store, whatever that might be. Back to feeling things. There’s only so much you can feel through the phone. I think it remains to be seen, but that’s definitely part of the plan.

OTHER THINGS DISCUSSED…
Raymond Carver
Ed Ruscha
Elsa Klensch
Thom Browne
CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund

Special thanks to Scott for letting us record in his beautiful home in L.A. Be sure to check out Entireworld and the brand’s launch video. For regular updates and offerings, check out their Instagram!

8 comments

Add yours
  • I loved this profile. Scott and Nicole seem to have their feet firmly planted on the ground which is a good place to start for a new luxury brand. Lately I have been trying to analyze what is going on in the luxury market. Aside from companies like the Row and a few others there are just too many logos and clothing that I could not wear on a normal day. The major stores in New York are empty and full to the brim with fall clothes before its even warm here. A utopian future and simplified wardrobe sounds good to me.

  • What a story! What a fight to survive! Amazing! Love the products!

  • What an article , can an interview hold that much suspense! I have learned over a long time that a lot creative people (meaning me) need that entrepreneurial spirit. And sometimes it’s not there and a collaboration is necessary.
    Scott and Nicole when is the book coming out !
    Jandrew
    Dress The Part
    http://www.jandrewspeaks.com

  • J’adore ce genre d’articles où je découvre des marques, des personnes mais surtout des histoires. Je trouve ça si inspirant ! Merci pour ce partage !

  • I always discover so many cool people from your podcasts. Thank you, Garance. Hope to meet you someday.

    Marta Lenkevica

  • What a gift. Thank you so much! Amazing and generous conversation.

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    because i want enjoyment, as this this site conations truly pleasant funny material too.

  • You’re so interesting! I do not think I’ve read through something like this
    before. So great to discover somebody with some genuine thoughts on this topic.
    Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This web site is something
    that is needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

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