Thursday, June 27, 2013

Daydreaming About Guatemala

We're daydreaming about the lush lakes, colorful architecture, and beautiful people of Guatemala. We'll be revisiting the magical city of Antigua for an upcoming shoot and we couldn't be more thrilled. In the meantime, take a peek at our SS12 look book shot in Guatemala.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Recent Happenings: Stela 9 In The New Baby!

We have been busy bees over here at Stela 9 and a lot of crazy good things have been happening for the company. Our Isabel Weekender has recently been featured in a trend report on The Zoe Report. Super cutie Ashley Tisdale was spotted rocking the Ventura Backpack and we've got new bags galore for sale soon. Our team has been or will be been traveling to places like India, Mammoth, San Francisco, Alaska, Guatemala and Paris! Here are some pictures of all these awesome recent happenings.

The Bikini Fox babes sorting through our collection picking out their goodies.

Jess posing in Mammoth with her new Marni sandals (obsessed)

The Zoe Report!!!

Ashley Tisdale rockin' the Stela 9 like a champ
Stay tuned for more updates from the Stela 9 life!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Guatemala: A Land of Abundant Inspiration

While it is commonly known that many of our bags are handmade ethically in Guatemala, the rich connection our line has with the country, traditions and people may not be such common knowledge. Our owner and designer Jess has spent a great deal of time in the country, living there on and off for a number of years. For those of us who have had the pleasure of spending time in the country, it is easy to see how it can inspire an entire label, such as Stela 9.

One of the many interesting things one can stumble upon in Guatemala are the weaving traditions of the indigenous Maya people. The textiles created through the weaving process can be seen everywhere: on the huipils, which are the traditional blouses the indigenous women wear, being sold at market stands on the streets and as decoration in homes, stores and restaurants. These textiles are either made on a traditional treadle loom which is powered by a foot pedal or the mobile Maya backstrap, which uses a simpler technology. Often times as you walk through the city streets of the lovely Antigua (a small town in Guatemala which is known for its surrounding volcanoes and tourist attractions) you can see Mayan women working on their weaving in front of shops or even in the middle of the park. Antigua is a favorite travel location of Guatemala and where Jess spent much of her time. As Stela 9 bags are known for their patterns, colors and textures it is easy to see where some of this inspiration comes from in Guatemala. Homes are painted in vibrant shades and covered in vegetation. Women walk through the streets covered in intricately weaved huipils. From the surrounding nature, to the beautiful jade stones, hand crafted leather and textiles, to the simplicity of the colorful decorations in a family's home, there are endless things to be inspired by. 

Market selling huipils, souvenirs and textiles

pattern play


The streets of Antigua

The Mayan ruins of Tikal

The doors of a hostel in San Marcos, Lake Atitlan
Lace head scarves

Little girl in the park in Antigua

Vibrant colors

patterns and textiles

Little girls playing 

Women at work

A lovely display of bags and textiles

Textile creation

Man biking in Antigua

Antigua skies
Clearly, it is hard not to be inspired. In recent years we even returned to Antigua, Guatemala to do an on location shoot for our Spring/Summer 2012 Lookbook. 

The architecture, the people, the nature, the textiles, the patterns, the weather and much more of Guatemala have all been a little piece of the puzzle that created Stela 9.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Travel: Parisian Vibes

Ahh, summertime. The freedom to jet off to a variety of locations and satisfy the wanderlust you felt while sitting in the office or pouring over school work for months. Time to spend that hard earned cash, and with one of our interns heading to Paris in just over a week, we've got the magical "City of Light" on the mind. So, we have created a personalized guide to the city including some of the happenings in the next few weeks, what to do, where to go and what to wear while there.

 Musée du Louvre

OBVIOUSLY The Louvre is a classic must visit when in Paris. Yes, the lines are always crazy but holding one of the largest, most impressive art collections in the world, you really can't not go. Plan on going in the morning right when the museum opens or at night right before it closes if you want to beat the crowd, but familiarize yourself with the layout of the museum on the website first so you save the most time and are able see as much as possible.

 Les Puces de Saint-Ouen

Sure to make any treasure hunter drool is Les Puces de Saint-Ouen, one of the largest flea and antique markets in the world. There are four individual flea markets within Les Puces with a plethora of items from vintage art posters to outrageously priced antique furniture. Let yourself wander through the twisting alleys of stalls and you just may find your next favorite thing.

 Paris Hip Hop Festival

Hip Hop in Paris? What could be better? Especially when it brings together nearly 400 artists to some of Paris's best concert halls. This festival features artists such as The Pharcyde performing at Le Glaz'arts summer stage, OFWGKTA at the Bataclan, Dizzee Rascal at Cabaret Sauvage and even Frank Ocean. There will also be dance shows, exhibitions, film screenings, block parties and graffiti jams. Check out the full program here.

 Luxembourg Gardens

Luxembourg Gardens is the perfect place to spend a gorgeous summer day. Pack a picnic and feel like royalty in these beautiful gardens entrenched with history. There is also an outdoor restaurant in the park which often hosts free music. Enjoy the park by strolling through and gazing at its stunning features like the Marie de' Medici fountain and outdoor modern art exhibits.


Paris is extremely well known for its quaint little cafés and restaurants. We can see ourselves now, sipping a latte and eating a croissant while doing some hardcore people watching. However, this can get quite expensive. There are great, cheaper options though, like La Marine, an upscale yet budget friendly café located along an idyllic canal. La Marine serves delicious seasonal tarts and rustic platters that will suit anyones fancy.

Les Catacombes de Paris

For bone lovers like us, this a must see. The words "Stop. This is the land of the dead." greet you as you arrive at the long, winding underground tunnels that are packed full of neatly stacked bones excavated from Paris cemeteries during the 18th century. Descending down a flight of 130 steps, visitors become surrounded by the bones of thousands of parisians. Sounds AWESOME.


Naturally the bar scene in Paris is great, but it has its best kept secrets. One of these is Ne Nous Fachons Pas, a tiny tiny bar on a tiny street just South of Place Pigalle. Despite it being in the Red Light District, the place is nothing like its surrounding area. The bar has a 60s mod type of vibe and plays mostly loud 60s mod rock. The bartenders are very cool and friendly and the crowd is full of some of the coolest, most beautiful people around Paris. Named after an old French film, the place is covered in old movie posters and scenes from the film. Definitely a good spot to hit up if you're in the neighborhood.


Paris is at the heart of the fashion world. The street style is more than enviable and the shopping is to die for. Depending on what you would like to find, it is important to shop in the right district. The Faubourg Saint-Honoré neighborhood is the pulse of Paris fashion and design. Classic designers like Hermes, Versace, and Yves Saint Laurent line the streets as well as trendy concept shops like Colette. This is a perfect area to shop for designer items, quality cosmetics and chic home furnishings. If you're looking for a bit more of an eclectic vibe, head to the Marais quarter where up and coming designer boutiques are located as well as a plethora of antique stores.

The Eiffel Tower

You can't go to Paris without visiting the Eiffel Tower. No matter where you go the top of this infamous structure is almost always visible. Picnic in front of it and gaze up at one of the greatest representations of Paris.
Now the big question is, what do you wear while walking those fashionable streets? Sarah, our social media intern on her way to Paris in a week shows us her ideas for Paris outfits.


Sarah: Graphics and patterns are in this summer so I will definitely be packing a couple graphic tees and dresses. A good Panama hat paired with a crop top and high waisted skirt will be a must as well as sneaker wedges like the Isabel Marant's pictured, as well as the to die for Isabel Marant sandals. The Stela 9 Pacaya Crossbody will be a great everyday essential!

So now that you have some ideas about the beautiful city of Paris pack your Stela 9 Isabel Weekender full and hop on the next plane!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fashion Blogger Round Up: The Beauties That Inspire Us

Now that summer is right around the corner we're stoked to be able to bare our legs in our favorite pair of cutoffs. Lately, we've been looking to our favorite bloggers for some summer fashion inspiration. We're loving the way these ladies are rocking lace, kimonos, and rad denim patchwork jackets. Who's your style inspiration?

Monday, June 17, 2013

These are a few of our favorite things:

It seems like these days everyone is on a budget of some sort and it can be difficult to stay up to date with the ever-changing trends of the fashion world. There are also those days when getting dressed is such a challenge. You look in your closet and see a motley collection of the same old, same old and feel it will be impossible to look chic in these old duds. Well, we took to one of our closets and pulled out some old and some new, fairly inexpensive pieces that are great go-tos this summer. There are some essentials most can probably dig out of their closet and the other pieces you can probably find at your local H&M.

These are a few of our favorites for day:
From left to right: last year Gypsy 05 dress from Planet Blue, bag from Guatemala (not Stela 9), Vintage Dress and Forever 21 necklace, H&M Eyelet Lace top, American Apparel Denim Circle Skirt, FP One Pacific Trails Pant, Brandy Melville Striped Gisele Crop Top, thrifted necklace above, H&M necklace.

For night, our faves get a little darker:
From left to right: Vintage Dress, Flea Market necklace, BLQMKT jacket, Stela 9 Pacaya Crossbody Bag, H&M leather skirt.
If you dig hard enough, you can probably find a couple sweet summer dresses, lace, a circle skirt, crop tops, and a few exciting going out numbers you haven't had the guts to wear in a while. So go on and conquer that closet and you might just find the treasures you've been looking for.