Designer Crush: Sara Stein of Sisters of Los Angeles

1. Where did the idea for Sisters of Los Angeles come from? Walk us through the process of launching the company from the birth of the idea through its present day success.

I spent a lot of time traveling around Los Angeles when I had my Fashion PR firm — east side, west side, DT, Hollywood — and everywhere I went, I noticed that there was not a great selection of Los Angeles inspired gifts. For such an amazing city to not have any gifts that I would want to buy for myself or others seemed absurd to me. So I took a big leap of faith and convinced others it was a good idea as well.  We launched with a small collection celebrating our beaches, canyons, and freeways. We celebrate city and state pride in a uniquely modern and colorful way. It makes people happy.

2. Why did you decide to expand the offerings from L.A.-inspired goods to other city and state collections?

This happened very organically. Stores and customers asked us to create art for their cities too. They liked our esthetic as it is unlike any of the other brand that design urban & state pride collections.

3. Tell us about the Summer of Love 50th Anniversary collection - what inspired it, and why was it a perfect theme for Sisters of Los Angeles?

After seasons of seeing collections of product with super negative points of view I thought what a perfect time to celebrate positive energy and the timing could not have been better to celebrate the Summer of Love. We could all use a little peace, love, happiness — and yes, sunshine — these days. It’s hard not to feel a political motivation in 2017.

4. It’s clear California influences your work, but what specifically about the state and the city of Los Angeles do you find so inspiring? 

Los Angeles and California are vibrant with colors, textures, culture, and incredible urban, canyon, farmland, and beach vistas. It is a melting pot of people from all over the world that call California their home. They bring their flavors, music and traditions to this amazing place. It is a state unlike any other. Today more than ever I am proud to call California (and Silverlake, Los Angeles) my home. 

5. What are your absolute favorite items and what makes them so special?

I think it is still our Freeway Glasses – they're a very insider L.A. thing. I love hearing stories about why people have purchased them. I have a friend that received our Freeway Rocks when they moved away from L.A. so they could find their way home and others to celebrate a week’s end of commuting and traffic. We find that so many people purchase Sisters of Los Angeles to tell a story, celebrate, or remember.

6. If you could curate a Sisters of Los Angeles gift basket for any celebrity, who would it be, and which items would you choose and why? 

Back when I was a fashion publicist, it was my job to dress celebrities so this is a tough one for me. I love when I hear that a celebrity was in a store and purchased our designs or that they were given our glasses as a gift. It makes it personal. But if I could send a big basket of U.S.A., state, and city love to anyone, it would probably be Michelle and Barack Obama.

Lightning Round! 

7. Gym rat or outdoor adventurer?

Outdoor adventurer.

8. Ice cream or fro yo?

Ice cream. 

9. *NSYNC or Backstreet Boys?

*NSYNC.

10. Heels or sneakers?

Sneakers.

11. Coffee or tea?

Coffee.

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