Stephanie Von Watzdorf – after graduating from Parsons School of Design—where she was awarded the prestigious Golden Thimble award by Calvin Klein— landed her first role as an intern at Yves Saint Laurent in Paris. She spent the next twenty years working with some of the most respected fashion luxury brands including Giorgio Armani, Ann Taylor and Ralph Lauren. In 2004, Stephanie joined Tory Burch where she guided design development and ready-to-wear accessories for over seven years.
Now, at last, Stephanie has emerged with her own collection that’s a natural extension of her personal style. The result is Figue: a seasonless brand for women who travel—or dream of traveling—to exotic destinations and who enjoy a lifestyle that is every bit as luxurious as it is bohemian.
Figs are my favorite food. For me, they represent summertime, sunshine and freedom. My manifesto is “Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, and drink the wild air,” by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
We definitely have one passion in common and that is travel….. what does travel provide you?
Travel is inspiration, food for my soul and provides great well-being.
How would you describe your own aesthetics?
I am more bohemian and relaxed. I don’t follow rules and I love to mix styles. I love the mix of mens and womenswear, high and low and unexpected pieces. I am crazy about accessories and comfort.
Do you find in your travels that different cultures aesthetics around the globe have a lot in common and most of them do not clash?
I find beauty in the mixing of cultures. There is always something to be inspired by and to aspire to.
How do you create Figue collections inspired by diverse aesthetics from around the world and create something that resonates to a woman who lives in NYC?
I always like the mixing of different cultures. I understand how to mix colors together and different ideas, showing how easy it can be to mix things together.
Who is the Figue woman?
To me, the Figue woman is timeless and ageless. She has an innate sense of personal style. She is free-spirited and loves artisanally crafted items. She is not shy to use bold colors and patterns.
What will you say is the Figue summer essential in clothing and accessories?
The Figue summer essential is a great shirtdress, a kaftan, and Spektre sunglasses.
What is on your summer playlist?
I am loving Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Greatest Hits, Ferrell Williams’ Happy, Rhye and Brazilian bassa nova.
What is your fave summer cocktail?
I love a great silver tequila like Herradura or Casa Dragones with fresh lime juice and a splash of soda.
I am going to Comporta, Portugal, with family and friends.
Why do you think we’re yearning to incorporate “Global Looks” in our daily lives?
Fashion has become homogenized. With the internet, you can find everything anywhere. There is a yearning for something different and unique. It allows us to be part of the global consciousness.
How important is giving back when your whole business is based really on travel and far locale and working with artisans? What charities are you supporting?
Giving back is very important to me. It is the impetus for everything I do. There are so many artisans in the world and sadly, because of mass production, their skills are not being supported. We need to keep the tradition of these ancient skills and technique alive. It is a reaction to the extreme commercialization of everything. We support the Ethiopian Children’s Fund, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Foundation, Animal Haven, and the Afghan Stray Animal League.