With the upcoming debut of her d’Offay brand, Kristen d’Offay is setting a new standard for women to feel beautiful in luxurious garments that trace their lineage to rich American glamour. | Lauri Levenfeld

With the upcoming debut of her d’Offay brand, Kristen d’Offay is setting a new standard for women to feel beautiful in luxurious garments that trace their lineage to rich American glamour. | Lauri Levenfeld


d’Offay Debut Elevates Responsible Design for Discerning Women

Blending her love of fashion with a lineage of garment making, Kristen d’Offay set out on a new career when she began development of her d’Offay line two years ago. On June 15, d’Offay will launch as a luxury women’s brand created using dead-stock textiles that provide the foundation for more-responsible fashion.

“Since I was a young child, I was always inspired by fashion. My grandmother Mimi was a clothing designer in Dallas. She made ready-to-wear fashion right off the Paris runway for all the Dallas socialites,” d’Offay said. “When I would visit her as a young child, I would look around at all the beautiful dresses, and her studio was full of sequins, silks, and I remember thinking, ‘This is what I want to do one day.’”

While the Houston native worked with San Francisco designer Isda Funari following her graduation from the University of Texas at Austin, d’Offay’s professional pursuits led her to corporate recruiting, where she flourished, and eventually to motherhood. After 10 years of raising her children, a profound life shift led her to reevaluate and revisit her fashion ambitions.

“About three years ago I got a divorce, and it really forced a big question of what am I going to do next?” d’Offay recalled. “I had always wanted to start a fashion line, and I thought, ‘I am in my mid-40s; if I don’t do it now, I am never going to do it.’ I just don’t want to look back one day and say, ‘Why didn’t I ever try it? I knew I could do it.’”

Beginning as a direct-to-consumer business, through doffaycollection.com, d’Offay will begin appearing at trade shows this fall. The XS–L pieces are priced from $400 to $1,200. Inspired by her grandmother, who was a self-taught designer, and envisioning the styles she believes her friends would want to wear, d’Offay designs to make women see the best versions of themselves through her garments.

“I really love the draping process, and when it’s cut correctly it can celebrate your curves instead of making you feel frumpy,” d’Offay said. “My inspiration draws from so many of my beautiful friends. I think about what they would like to wear out and what would make them feel good. That is always in the back of my mind when I am designing and sketching.”

The designer relies on dead-stock fabrics in faux fur, wool and recycled fibers that would otherwise be waste, yet they are also luxurious textiles from some of the most renowned mills in Italy and France. Relying on her fabric source in downtown Los Angeles, d’Offay uses these discarded textiles to create pieces in small runs. As the collection grows, d’Offay will explore additional textiles that afford greater ecologically sound options such as pineapple and mushroom leathers.


Kristen d’Offay

“It’s important to try and work with fibers that are renewable, can biodegrade and use less water. My debut collection consists mostly of silk, which is a natural fiber and can biodegrade,” d’Offay explained. “Since I am doing smaller production runs, it fits perfectly with my business model, and the price is great, too. Those are the key sustainable elements at this point.”

Another important component of the d’Offay mission is manufacturing in Los Angeles, as the designer fell in love with the city’s rebirth that had been occurring prior to the challenges of COVID-19. In a post-pandemic fashion world, d’Offay feels a responsibility toward helping the industry rebuild through her partnership with a woman-led production operation.

“So many production houses went on hold during the pandemic, and I want to make sure that I am part of the community of designers who are there to support small businesses,” d’Offay said. “It’s my responsibility as a local designer to work with this community and make sure the fashion business in L.A. not only survives but thrives.”