Stephanie speaks French, lives in LA, and makes clothes that can take you anywhere. It’s interesting how in this moment where LA is exploding with creativity and defining its own style, Stephanie and Justin, the founders of the brand Co, are blazing their own trail. Co is so modern. It’s luxury, but it’s affordable. It’s impossibly feminine, yet comfortable. It’s one of those brands that is growing to the beat of their own drum and I’m a fan. I’m also a fan of Stephanie’s beautiful world. Today on Atelier Doré, I’m very happy to present you her style story, shot by Angi, in her beautiful house in LA!
Describe your style in three words.
Feminine, minimal, practical.
Does your interior decorating extend to your wardrobe?
My interior design is a true extension of my life experiences as well as my cultural background. I’m originally from Morocco, grew up in Montreal, went to film school in the US, lived in Paris and travelled extensively in Asia. Today my family lives between Los Angeles, Myanmar, Paris, and Morocco. My Moroccan background influences warmth in the type of materials I choose. My Californian influences brought me to modernism. My French background influenced my love of European art deco. My travels in Asia influenced my spiritual side. I would say that my approach to clothing very much mirrors all of these influences.
Would you say you have a go-to look or uniform for getting dressed everyday?
Black. I do love color but when I’m in a hurry and have no time to play with my clothes I go to a black skirt and sweater or black dress.
Your collections are full of elevated yet classic styles, and that same aesthetic seems to be present in your wardrobe. Where did your refined taste come from?
My Parents. Their sense of refinement came from Morocco and their deep interest in travel. I’m always amazed at how refined Moroccans are. Perhaps it has to do with the history of the country having been a French colony and with deep Andalusian influence in the North. To me refinement is developed threw rich cultural identity and curiosity. When many cultural influences collide it creates a deep understanding for beauty – this I believe comes from empathy. In Morocco even street kids have style. The way they mix colors and wrap their djellabas and turbans. They have an innate sense of style.
Can you elaborate on how all of your experiences and influences influenced your brand Co?
I believe the richer your life experiences are the more it influences your style. Co is a true extension of that for me. I’m constantly digging back and referencing my cultural background and my personal experiences. I would also say that my film background and experiences deeply influenced my creative life. Having spent 20 years in the film business and being immersed in the importance of storytelling shaped the creative vision for Co.
Do you have a fashion muse? A film muse?
My muses are women I admire because their style is reflected through the work they do, the values they have and the manner in which they live their lives. On the fashion side Rei Kawakubo, on the literary side I would say Simone de Beauvoir, and on the film side Gena Rowlands. But the women who influence me the most are women that are in my life now or have been at some point. My aunt Perla Servan Schreiber comes to mind but also my ex-mother-in-law, the artist Michele Oka Doner.
In what ways are you influenced or inspired by the art world? In Los Angeles and beyond.
Art is always a great influence on our work. We use art to guide direction but mostly to influence our philosophical approach to design and life.
When it comes to style, what’s most important: comfort, beauty, or innovation?
All three. I think that to have true style all three of these elements have to come together in a balanced approach. Comfort is key for women today because of the amount of things we do and hats we wear. Beauty is a reflection of our thoughtfulness and represents our femininity. Innovation reflects a strong sense of individuality which is a sign of strength. Our clothes need to adapt to our way of life and not the other way around.
Any styling advice for people who have a hard time balancing sophistication and comfortability?
Go with simplicity in the clothes and accessorize with one great piece of jewelry.
How has your style evolved over the years?
When I was younger I had more of a masculine edge and over the years I’ve become more feminine. I was a little more punk rock in my style and maybe becoming a mom has made me more feminine. I think one’s style should evolve. We change, we grow, we learn and that should affect every part of our lives as women. Allowing ourselves to change fearlessly is a sign of intelligence and curiosity and leads to emotional wealth.