Tuesday, December 11, 2012

designer studio: mina + olya

If you recall from a few weeks back, I recently sported this blue wool dress, sharing my newfound love for the San Francisco-based design duo -- Mina + Olya. What I didn't share, however, is how I just came to meet these lovely ladies. While I had admired them from afar (especially after Erin's post about them here) I hadn't actually tried on one of their pieces until their team graciously shared one with me to style for myself. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity. Their designs are perfect for a working woman's wardrobe -- polished, timeless silhouettes with an element of surprise in the details and fabric. (Plus, their manufacturing processes are completely sustainable and based in the Bay Area.)

The dress was, needless to say, a hit at work, after which I headed out to a few evening events where I bumped into Olya herself. We were standing in the middle of the H&M Margiela pre-launch shopping event chaos, arms full of clothes we had just grabbed, both totally surprised and delighted to meet the other! We promptly made plans for me to visit their studio, and of course, to meet Mina -- all of which was a perfect way to spend this past Sunday. Being former colleagues at a financial consulting firm (they quickly bonded over their love of good clothing and design), Mina and Olya chatted with me about how they first started out, the challenges and triumphs of launching your own business with your best friend and how to find the perfect fabric.  

Here are just a few snaps from my afternoon with them -- I hope you enjoy! And be sure to stay tuned for an extra special outfit post tomorrow. You might be seeing a particular Mina + Olya design around these parts...

Above left: Inspiration swatches on one of their moodboards. Above right: Took a lot of strength to walk away without this forest green dress in my bag.

Above: Just a few of my favorite looks from their Spring 2013 collection. That yellow dress has my name all over it!

Above: Moodboards, moodboards, moodboards!

Above: One of Olya's sketches -- how insane are the hip details here?

All studio photos are my own, collection images are courtesy of Mina + Olya

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