We had the good fortune of connecting with Sasha Verruno and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sasha, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I always knew I wanted to have my own brand but I also knew that meant more than just the fun of designing. I needed more experience and knowledge of the industry before I felt ready to take on that adventure. I started working as an intern for Kimberly Ovitz in New York right after college. The company was small, only nine people, so I got to be very hands on in the design and development process. After a six month internship, they offered me a job as a technical designer, where I learned the production side of the business. The other people that worked within the company were veterans in the industry, from the likes of Alexander Wang and Donna Karan. They took me under their wing and taught me the ins and outs of running a label. Their mentorship gave me the confidence to start my own line when I moved back to LA. I wanted to make a brand that empowered women, by making them feel confident, sexy and sophisticated. I’ve always been inspired by the natural curves and the shape of the female form, which led to my design practice of draping and featuring untraditional lines.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I was a collegiate D1 soccer player on a full scholarship to USF but changed course midway through my college career to pursue my forever dream of starting a brand. I quit and enrolled in FIDM in Los Angeles to get my degree in fashion design. And that’s how it all started. I launched my first collection of SASHA VERRUNO in 2015. Building a fashion company has a unique set of challenges. Issues range from big to small; from financing and navigating business relationships to not getting fabric on time or the dye process going unwary. There is never a dull day in fashion. I am proud of taking my dream and making it a reality. I built this company from my own savings and self-financing. I am a one-woman show that manages every aspect of the label from sourcing fabric and trim, hand-draping designs, cutting and sewing my own samples in the early days, fittings (on myself at times!), managing production, sales and distribution. I am proud of how I built this company from the ground up. I am excited to enter the sIxth year of SASHA VERRUNO. I hope to collaborate and pursue new opportunities in 2021.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I grew up and currently live in Malibu so let’s start local. Pick up a breakfast burrito at Country Kitchen – bacon, potato, egg and cheese- and drive up the coast to Point Dume for a day of tanning and surfing. Hit Sunset Restaurant for a martini then make your way to The Old Place for a cabin candle lit dinner with live bluegrass music. Next morning we head to Venice/ Santa Monica.. If it’s Sunday, the Santa Monica Flea Market is a must. Start things off at Gjusta for a breakfast sandwich and coffee. Stroll on Abbot Kinney to check out local stores and definitely pop into Guild, one of my favorite stores in LA and they happen to sell SV 🙂 For dinner, make a reservation at Wallflower, an Indonesian spot. Sit at the bar, order the Renddang Mamak, the fried rice and the duck spring rolls. We will finish the evening with a nightcap at Old Lightning (it’s a speakeasy but worth the hunt.) The next day, bloody Marys and beach volleyball on dog beach.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The Kimberly Ovitz team Edgar. My sewer. A master of his craft. And my parents, for their unwavering support.
Other: Find out about trunk shows and vendors through my newsletter. Sign up on my website for 15% off your first order.
Adam Franzino – all images with gray backdrop Kaya Verruno – all images with white backdrop