Celebrities, including Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian and Lady Gaga, are regularly spotted in STELLO, a label known for its dazzling vintage Hollywood-style creations. However, Co-Founder and Designer Stephanie Costello’s aim is for every woman to feel like a superstar sometimes.
As well as providing custom pieces fit for the red carpet, which are designed and handcrafted in LA within three weeks, the luxurious label offers bridal wear, cocktail dresses, jumpsuits and separates.
Stephanie and Michael Costello
Plus, Costello, who co-founded the company with her designer cousin Michael Costello in 2013, has plans for the brand to become more accessible with ready-to-wear and menswear collections.
The self-taught designer and fashion addict, who took lead of the label in 2015 with Creative Director Kyle Beach, has ensured there’s always a youthful spirit, which unites unconventionality, sensuality and ‘fearless glamour’. So while Costello, who was raised between Florida and California, helped those around her as a psychic before, she is now emboldening women through her brand.
She talks to Roula Allam about what interested her in fashion, her first design memory and her favourite thing about being a designer.
Other than freedom of expression, what interested you about fashion?
I actually love working with models in fashion. I just enjoy watching their beauty reflected in dresses that express their femininity and style. I’ve always been drawn towards the freedom of expression that fashion offered.
What’s your first design memory?
That would be a half orange, half pink, long-sleeved, plunge neck silk minidress, which I ended up wearing for an event.
How do you want women to feel when wearing your clothes?
I want her to feel like she owns the room, capturing everyone’s attention and standing out.
Which part about being a designer do you like most?
Designers are like magicians. There has to be a magician to make the magic happen. The best part is being able to create your own reality.
Why are you drawn to vintage Hollywood red carpet glamour?
Vintage Hollywood is the first fashion era to be in a film. Growing up in Hollywood, you admire the golden age of film and fashion, so it’s what I know best.
If you had to use four words to describe your designs, what would they be?
I would say, haunting, timeless, sculptured and glamorous.
Tell us about your plans to introduce more ready-to-wear pieces.
I’m working on ready-to-wear/streetwear collaborations, as well as menswear, suits, blazers, etc, moving into 2019.
Building a brand is hard, but keeping it going must be harder. How are you keeping STELLO in the spotlight?
I think it’s because STELLO makes the best gowns in the world. Wearing STELLO makes careers on social media, like a kingmaker, so we are picky about who we choose to dress.
Do you still get a buzz when you see a celebrity wearing one of your custom gowns?
It actually depends on the celebrity, but I get the most joy out of seeing fans’ reactions to celebrities wearing STELLO.