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What the Reformation Team Wears to Work

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All photos by <a href="http://www.emilieelizabeth.com/">Emilie Elizabeth</a> for Racked</span></p>
All photos by Emilie Elizabeth for Racked

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Welcome to Working It, where Racked follows street style into the office. Forget pedestrian khakis and button-downs—these fashionable professionals take dress codes to a whole new dimension. Quick, somebody call HR!

Reformation is successfully tackling two worlds unlike anyone else: Irresistibly on-point clothes and an ecological crusade. The Los Angeles-based brand sources vintage and overstock fabric for their minimalist-sexy pieces, sold in their New York and LA stores (which more locations on the way) and their website, which got a shiny reboot earlier this year.

From concept to production, all things Ref are housed under the same roof in Downtown LA, mecca of domestic apparel manufacturing. The openness of the physical space mirrors the transparent office culture, where pattern makers work paces from stylists, and company financials are displayed in plain sight. An in-office swing, puppies-welcome policy, and the requisite startup ping pong table are among the perks for this hardworking team. After the jump, check out what the crew wears to work, how they feel about #freethenipple, and why they believe so passionately in their mission.


Yael Aflalo, Founder and CEO, wears a Reformation top and skirt, Chanel shoes, and anklets from Israel.

What is the best piece of shopping advice you have gotten?
I think its important to know what you need and to go on a mission.

What do you splurge on, and what do you cheap out on?
I splurge on shoes and bags and cheap out on clothes, because, you know I make them.


Once '90s nostalgia wanes, which decade would you like to see resurface in a big way?
I love the silhouettes of the 70's. You can see it here and there in our clothes, but I'm really trying to make it fully happen.

What are the advantages to working in fashion in LA versus New York? Disadvantages?
A major advantage in LA is having a beautiful space that houses our factory and office. We are currently rebuilding the backyard to have a garden using grey water from the office. There is a nonchalance to street style in NY that is very inspiring to me. I'm lucky to be able to enjoy both cities as much as I do.

What have you learned at the Reformation about the fashion industry that you wouldn't have known otherwise?
I've learned that fashion is the second largest polluter of clean water, that 98% of clothing purchased in the US is imported, that producing a typical cotton t-shirt takes 257 gallons of water... and that terrifying facts like these could go on forever.



Elana Rosenblatt, Producer, wears a Reformation blouse and jeans, Zara sandals, anklets from Israel, bracelets from Israel and by Jennifer Fisher, gifted necklaces, and costume earrings.

What is the best piece of shopping advice you have gotten?
Just because it's trendy or fashionable at the moment doesn't mean it looks good on you. Know your body type and dress for you.

What is your worst shopping habit?
Buying ten versions of the same thing but thinking they are different.

Which trend do you really like, and which would you never be caught dead trying?
I always have loved anything high-waisted—I'm so happy that's mainstream right now. I can't bring myself to wear Birkenstocks.

Once '90s nostalgia wanes, which decade would you like to see resurface in a big way?
1950's, I wish I could have been my age now, back then.

Thoughts on the #freethenipple movement?
If you got it, flaunt it.

What is the worst dress code or uniform you've had in a former job?
I worked at J.Crew when I was 16 and thought there was no dress code, I always thought I had to wear sweater sets.

What are the advantages to working in fashion in LA versus New York? Disadvantages?
In LA you naturally dress more casual, which is great—but also stops you from trying as hard. When I lived in NYC, I always felt like I had to dress my best at all times—you never knew where the day or night would take you!

What have you learned at the Reformation about the fashion industry that you wouldn't have known otherwise?
It's shocking how much waste the fashion industry produces and how little anyone does to combat it. I love that we are standing up to our industry and proving that you can be conscious of the environment, aware of your actions as a clothing manufacturer, but still make beautiful product.


Tabea Soriano, Head of Product, wears a Reformation jumpsuit and bra, Chloe sandals, a gifted bracelet, a vintage watch, and Sunahara rings.

What is the best piece of shopping advice you have gotten?
An Italian guy once told me to invest in good shoes and a good bag, 'cause that's all that matters.

Which trend do you really like, and which would you never be caught dead trying?
Still into Birkenstocks. My German cousins wouldn't be caught dead with them outside of the house, but they're so comfortable and come in a million colors. That said, I'd personally never do the sock in sandal thing.

What have you learned at the Reformation about the fashion industry that you wouldn't have known otherwise?
LA is pretty good at making clothes.


Lupe Vera, Pattern Maker, wears a Reformation dress and Aldo shoes.

What is your worst shopping habit?
I always buy clothes I think look amazing on the mannequin and when I take them home they don't look the same on me! Then I forget to return the items, so I have clothes in my closet I never wear.

What do you splurge on, and what do you cheap out on?
I prefer to get expensive shoes and purses. I don't really spend a lot of money on clothes—it's easy to find things that are cute and cheap.

Once '90s nostalgia wanes, which decade would you like to see resurface in a big way?
The 80's because I was a little girl then and looked up to my sisters with their crazy hair and I wanted to dress just like them. When I became a teenager that style was over, so I never got my dream of looking like a true 80's girl.

What have you learned at the Reformation about the fashion industry that you wouldn't have known otherwise?
I've worked for Yael for a long time and she's taught me so much about making quality, good-fitting, interesting clothes. Other brands have patterns that are very basic—the front and back are always the same. When new people start here they look at my patterns and think I'm crazy! But when we go into fittings and see how beautifully the clothes fit they change their mind. We are very unique in that way, we don't follow the rules.


Pia Arrobio, Style Director, wears a Reformation top and skirt, sandals from espadrillestore.com, a vintage bracelet, her grandfather's ring, and an anklet from Israel.

Whose wardrobe would you swap with in a heartbeat and why?
Giovanna Battaglia. She's just the most chic.

What is the best piece of shopping advice you have gotten?
Don't over-shop: The ideal wardrobe is a small one that consists of your best pieces.

What is your worst shopping habit?
I've been known to buy things I know aren't right for my body type, hoping that whatever it is will somehow magically look good on me one day.

What do you splurge on, and what do you cheap out on?
I splurge on concealer and delicious meals and cheap out on just about everything else.

Which trend do you really like, and which would you never be caught dead trying?
I'm happy mom jeans are socially acceptable again. You'll never find me at a festival wearing a flower crown or anything crochet.

Thoughts on the #freethenipple movement?
Mine are as free as humanly possible. As much as I support it, I'm a realist about the situation. People in the US are too tightly wound and pervy for this movement to be realized properly.

What is the worst dress code or uniform you've had in a former job?
When I was 21, I was a hostess at The Box in New York for the first couple months it was open. I don't like lipstick, but I had to have bright red lips and dress like a flapper. It's an aesthetic I appreciate, but don't really want to be involved with. Every night I ended up with red lipstick wiped all over my face.

What are the advantages to working in fashion in LA versus New York? Disadvantages?
The weather in LA is an advantage, as is having a car to store an extra pair of shoes or a jacket. New York street style is a bit more effortless, and a bit more inspiring.

What have you learned at the Reformation about the fashion industry that you wouldn't have known otherwise?
I absolutely cannot believe the harmful impact that the fashion industry has on the world. I don't understand how it's even legal. I did some research recently on various dye-houses, and found a photo of kids swimming in a stream that had run-off from a nearby factory. There were giant, pink, toxic bubbles floating down the river. My heart went nuts. I'm happy to be a part of a company that offers a solution without a sacrifice.


Stuart Leung, VP of Finance, wears a Uniqlo t-shirt and pants, Nike sneakers, Bell & Ross watch, a Miansai bracelet, and a Buddhist bracelet from his dad ("It's our friendship bracelet").

What is the worst dress code or uniform you've had in a former job?
I don't miss the boxy suits or ridiculous tie prints from my old finance days

Your closet is on fire! What three items do you save from the flames?
My leather jacket, my lucky Giants hat, and the bracelet my father gave me (pictured).

What is the best piece of shopping advice you have gotten?
Tighter! (It came many, many years ago when I wouldn't let go of my baggy pant phase.)

What have you learned at the Reformation about the fashion industry that you wouldn't have known otherwise?
When I first met with Yael to talk about the Reformation I knew a bit about the waste in the fashion industry but hadn't realized the extent of the problem or how solveable it is. I'm now convinced that we will see a very different set of manufacturing and environmental processes evolve as the industry norm in the near future.


Sara Wyman, VP of eCommerce and Retail, wears a Reformation dress, Jeffrey Campbell shoes, and a vintage bracelet.

Your closet is on fire! What three items do you save from the flames?
Ahh! I'd grab my favorite Helmut Lang t-shirt, my first pair of Giuseppe Zanotti shoes that I bought when I was 23 and have since resoled at least four times, and my Reformation "Kate Moss and Some Pizza Slices" sweatshirt that I practically never take off on weekends.

What is the best piece of shopping advice you have gotten?
Buy timeless pieces that you'll wear over and over, that will withstand trends and fads, and that you can pass down to your daughter.


What is your worst shopping habit?
Last minute online shopping for wedding attire. These expedited shipping fees are bankrupting me!

Once '90s nostalgia wanes, which decade would you like to see resurface in a big way?
I will always and forever want the '80s to be present in my life, in my aura, and in my style.

What is the worst dress code or uniform you've had in a former job?
Catering uniform. Enough said.

What have you learned at the Reformation about the fashion industry that you wouldn't have known otherwise?
The fashion industry hasn't seen much innovation over the last few decades and it's damn near time. The turns are slow, the materials are really destructive to the environment, and the way brands talk to their customers is often predictable. It's surprising how such a "cool" and forward industry has so much room for improvement, and it's a lot of fun to come to the Reformation factory each day, striving to turn the status quo on its head.
· The Reformation [Official Site]
· All Working It posts [Racked]