Fashion designer Steph Audino hosted a night of glamour for the launch of her 2016 collection this summer right here in Los Angeles. Hailing from Australia, this would be her first debut on the West Coast, having already impressed at New York Fashion week back in 2014.
She has three words to describe her line: classy, glamorous and sexy. You may have seen her designs most recently on celebs like Fantasia Barrino, Taylor Hasselhoff, Julissa Bermudez. And her bridal couture has been featured in weddings across the globe.
The summer launch party was for the benefit of the #Juglife Foundation, co-founded by NBA star JaVale McGee and Kez Reed. The goal of #Juglife Foundation is to increase awareness and educate on the importance of drinking water to lead a healthy life. The foundation has even extended efforts to Uganda, building a water well at a school that serves over 500 children.
We had the chance to catch up with Steph, to learn more about her and the growth of her stunning fashion line.
How did you get started in fashion design?
“I started sewing when I was 16. I was always very self-conscious of how I looked and could never find anything in the shops that would fit well and something that I felt confident in. I had a vision of what I wanted so I asked my mum to take me to the fabric store to buy some fabric. I started draping the fabric on myself, pinned it and sewed it. I learnt by trial and error.
Surprisingly, I started my studies at University doing Town Planning, however, my first year consisted of me designing my clothes instead of our towns. Following that, I swapped courses to Fashion at Challenger Institute of Technology where I graduated in 2010. I launched Steph Audino in 2011.”
So you’re from Australia, and just had an amazing launch party for your fall line here in LA. You’ve also had success in New York with Fashion Week, so you’re definitely doing well! Where do you see yourself in the next year?
“Thank you! In the next year I see myself doing more red carpet dressing, working with celebrities and stylists to create the perfect couture pieces.
I also love designing my ready-to-wear collection so launching that collection in the US will definitely be on the cards. There is so much room for growth and new opportunities always popping up so it’s always exciting.”
You’ve said that you believe in purpose driven business. How do you model a purpose driven business with your brand?
“I really believe that one of the most powerful tools behind any successful business is contribution and how much value you can add to others around you. This philosophy is a big part of my business and one that I use to motivate me everyday. I love making women feel and look their best so seeing my clients light up when they have their gown on is one of the most fulfilling parts of my job.
I have travel from Perth to L.A since 2014 to attend L.E.A.P, which is a leadership program, where I donate my time mentoring and inspiring young adults. Also, one very close to my heart is providing an education to children and helping families less fortunate. Therefore, a percentage of all our sales are donated to families in Bali and to provide their children with an education that they deserve.”
How would you describe your look for the Steph Audino fall line?
“The Steph Audino woman embraces her body, keeps it classy yet still sexy. While I design I think of the women’s body and accentuating all the right areas, embracing the flaws and making them flawless, I think luxury, glamour and stepping into your most confident self. I gathered inspiration for this collection from my travels throughout Indonesia and America. I came across many different landmarks where I saw many different textures, shapes and detail. I brought that back into my collection by adding lots of texture with lace beading and the monochromatic tones representing the contrasts that I came across on my travels.”
What’s the plan for your line, will you open a store here in LA?
“It is my dream to have my own studio and store front in L.A., however I know that will come with time. For the time being, I love working closely with boutiques to carry the ready to wear collection. I’m working on picking up some boutiques in the area to carry the line as well as with my private clients wanting the glamorous couture gowns and wedding dresses.”
What’s your favorite place to go when you come to LA?
“I love Venice, Santa Monica and Hollywood Hills. I love being around nature because it inspires me to create, clear my mind and to just have some quiet time to let my imagination run wild.
I think the most powerful creation is nature. I love looking at things differently like creating designs based off a print I see on a flower or a rock.
One of my favorite places to go in LA is to drive up the Hollywood Hills at night and see the whole city light up. I also love how every suburb is so different, I get that feeling of being home when I am in LA however it’s on a whole new level.
Opportunities are endless.”
What inspires you?
Traveling inspires me the most. I love experiencing different cultures, women, nature, fine details in architecture. I am always on the go because the more adventures I have, the more creative I am.
LA has become her home away from home, where she hopes to continue showcasing her designs in the LA fashion scene. She’s definitely one to watch!