Career Code: The Woman Who Made Reformation a Cult-Favourite Brand
In honour of Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power’s new book, The Career Code: Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career ($22), we’re running an interview series featuring 17 questions (in honour of the book’s 17 chapters) about the work lives of the most inspirational female leaders in the fashion industry. So far, we’ve tapped Lauren Conrad, Sally Singer, Candice Lake, and more. Up next? Yael Aflalo.
We’d be hard-pressed to encounter a stylish girl who isn’t a die-hard fan of Reformation’s flirty, wearable pieces. Since 2009, the Los Angeles–based brand has not only been making the world a more well-dressed place but also been paving the way for sustainability in the fashion industry. Using vintage surplus and sustainable fabrics while incorporating better practices throughout its supply chain, Reformation is producing garments that are lessening fashion’s environmental impact on the planet. And Yael Aflalo, the woman who started it all, continues to guide the brand as it grows and wins the undying affection of more and more women.
As founder and CEO of Reformation, Aflalo has learned a thing or two about starting your own company as a young woman, turning it into a major success story, and changing the world. And we were lucky enough to get the chance to ask her all about it.
Keep scrolling to hear Aflalo’s inspiring story and get invaluable career advice straight from a women at the forefront of the fashion industry.
“Probably Elon Musk. He began his career with a startup and has since built something that is innovative and revolutionary for our earth without compromising aesthetic, which has always been my goal with Reformation. Also, I may or may not be interested in getting on the waiting list for that new Model 3.”
“I would say going so long without realising I was part of the problem with fashion. I started another clothing brand before Reformation called Ya-Ya that had the typical fashion brand business model—manufactured overseas and the cause of tons of waste and pollution—but it took me a while to see that firsthand (when I finally visited China on a work trip). I learned so much from my experience with Ya-Ya; I just wish the realisation that I could be part of the solution would have come earlier in my career.”
“Someone who’s insanely smart and the best at their job, understands our brand and what we’re about, our goals and vision for the future, [who’s] not afraid to rethink how the fashion industry does certain things, and just an honest, hardworking, no-bullsh*t type of person who wants to be part of an awesome team. Bonus points if you’re pet-friendly.”
“My morning ritual is washing my face, throwing on a stretchy dress, and I’m out the door. Then I have a call in my car while I’m sitting in traffic, and arrive to the office early so I can get at whatever I’m working on that day. I’m kind of a pro at time optimisation. As far as the evening, I’m usually home super late from work and wind down with dinner.”
“We just opened Reformation Bridal Studio! It’s a pop-up on Melrose where women can have a private appointment to try on our wedding dresses, hang out, and drink champagne.”
If you could ask the founder and CEO of Reformation one thing, what would it be? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to shop Reformation’s new arrivals (they’re really good).
Opening Image: Katie Friedman