Lara Einzig, fashion stylist | LA Stories
After spending a day with Aussie-born, LA-based fashion stylist, Lara Einzig you feel the glow of her can-do attitude, her infectious love of life, and her unique style expressed through fashion, interiors and her approach to everyday life.
A beautiful creative collision of her innate love of nature and the beach, a life well travelled, and a successful fashion career … all culminates in an enviable lifestyle in sunny Santa Monica with her British husband and three young sons. But despite her seemingly perfect magazine life, this is someone with at least one foot planted firmly in the ground and proof that hard work and some big moves, though difficult at times, can herald exciting new adventures.
On a typical day in LA, Lara ferries her children (Raphael, and twins Flynn and Louis) around the neighbourhood in an electric cargo bike. A very stylish one of course. Then any down time sees her dashing to the beach on her street-cruiser plus surfboard to focus on the waves, her reasonably new-found passion. A quick survey of the LA street style scene then more visual trawling via the ‘gram back at home. All in the pursuit of styling inspiration for local clients and for her newest venture, Aquadorium, a visual platform celebrating a mix of beach, fashion, summer, lifestyle, and surf culture.
A bona fide fashion girl, Lara made the pilgrimage from Queensland to Sydney to London to LA with some big roles in marketing at Top Shop and as fashion director of GOOP, before settling in LA, with her young family and continuing to follow her passion for style, this time doing it for herself…
You embody a beachy vibe that’s a great mix of Aussie beach and LA surfer. Have you always had a love for the summer vibe?
If I had to describe my style I would define it as a combination of my time in the London fashion world with my heritage growing up on the beach. And now living by the ocean again in Santa Monica and having fallen in love with surfing, I’m inspired by interiors and fashion that bring a little European sensibility to the Californian surf culture and life on the beach.
Here in LA, I’m typically overdressed, but I don’t mind. I’m a dress girl for sure, they’re the building blocks of my wardrobe. My wardrobe here is West Coast relaxed – wearable, throw-on-and-go styles. Essentially beach-ready wear that also works in the city – Ulla Johnson, A Piece Apart, Isabel Marant, Chloe. In London there’s more self-expression so dressing is easy – anything goes and trips back to London are always a welcome change up – Gucci loafers, cashmere jumper, Burberry trench. It’s fun to dip in and out.
Can you tell us a little about your career in fashion?
The highlight was working at Topshop in London for 8 years as Senior Marketing Manager on UK campaigns and US launches. I remember clearly my first day – the offices and halls were crammed with clothes, shoes, and accessories and when I walked onto the buying floor it was just a sea of gorgeous, stylish, dynamic young women with piles of clothes to the ceiling and I knew I was going to love it. To work with such incredible creative talents like Kate Phelan, Kate Moss, the Unique design team, international editors, top photographers and stylists was a dream. I travelled often to the U.S and spent a lot of time in New York which was a highlight. We had incredibly high standards that elevated every campaign and it was a tremendous amount of hard work and pressure, so much of it wasn’t glamorous. Topshop remains to this day, one of my favourite brands in the world.
Then after I had the twins, I was offered a job by Gwyneth Paltrow as Fashion Director for goop.com. I curated all the fashion content on the e-commerce site and the weekly editorial newsletter and I produced and styled the photo shoots. Being in a start-up, as it was at the time, was so exciting and new and it also meant long, solitary hours. The business was changing rapidly and they moved the HQ from London to LA. I stayed in London and then moved my family to Italy for the summer and I exercised my fashion cravings at the outlets in Florence!
What I’ve really noticed about fashion especially since moving here is that there’s a slew of amazing independent, e-commerce only brands offering cool, on-trend pieces that you could easily mistake for designer at incredibly low prices to rival the high street with newness coming through almost daily ….like Style Keepers, Style Mafia, Storets, Pixie Market, W Concept. It’s a step-up from fast fashion, more premium, more niche. I’m mixing a Style Keepers top (which could easily look like it’s from Rosie Assoulin) with some more classic designer pieces and really it’s the cheaper pieces that are the talking point. And even better is that collections are becoming seasonless, which is a major bonus for those of us living in a glorified desert!
What inspired you to launch Aquadorium and what are your plans for its future?
@aquadorium is an inspiration platform of images I love and some content of my own – a mix of beach, fashion, summer, lifestyle, and surf culture. Again, the collision of Aussie heritage, London fashion, the beaches of California. Through my network in LA, I’ve been approached to do some styling work which I’m really excited about and @aquadorium is essentially a representation of my aesthetic and a fun way to express my creativity.
Tell us more about your new found passion for surfing…
I wanted to be in the water so it made sense to just start surfing. I took some lessons and was instantly hooked. It’s also a break from the kids – no one can find me out there! The move was so stressful, surfing became very therapeutic. On big days, it’s the best cardio and muscular structure workout. On other days, it’s purely meditative. I’m often out there with dolphins, seals and sometimes whales – immersed in that kind of nature is mind blowing. It’s an addiction!
Do you believe style translates between fashion and interiors? How do you express your own style?
Being a visual person with a fashion background, I think my own personal style reflects design across the board – be it art, interior design, architecture, décor, but in a natural way. My heart belongs to the ocean so this is a reoccurring theme, but I’m also a city lover so the combination of beach meets street is prevalent. For both interiors and fashion, I edit often and have regular clear outs – I can’t stand a build of ‘stuff’.
How would you describe your approach to interiors? What vibe are you drawn to?
I typically love a mix of modern minimal beach house, Nordic style, mid-century modern and more recently, Spanish Mission. I love all-white walls and the space must draw in nature by being very open, light and littered with green, leafy plants. We collect pieces from around the world and love a good trawl through flea markets. And I’m currently really into the concept of investing in some art for our house online via Saatchi Art and Lumas Gallery – hours lost! Overall, though, there’s never really a ‘plan’. More random acts of things we love, thrown together.
Your house has some wonderful original features. What do you love the most? What have you kept and what have you updated?
I love the flooring – an eclectic mix of 70’s Malibu beach house-inspired hex ceramic tiles, end-grain wood parquet, and some very beautiful and unique tiles designed by Gaudi himself, inspired by marine life – cute sea snail, star, and seaweed motifs. I’d love to paint the original wood panels on the walls all white, but right now it would just be a blank canvas for dirty, sticky fingers!
Originally Australian, can you please tell us about where you grew up and the places you’ve lived before settling in LA?
I was born in Mackay and we grew up with the beach at the front of the house and the bush at the back. My sisters and I would tear around like little wild tomboys – always outside and exploring… scared of nothing. But always with dresses on – my mum handmade so many of our clothes, we were always well-dressed kids, even in the dirt.
We moved to Brisbane when I was 14 where I finished high school and went to University where I completed a business and marketing degree. Holidays were spent on the Sunshine or Gold Coasts. In my early years, we’d holiday with all the cousins – bogey boarding, swimming, beach bonfires, BBQ’s and we all learned to water ski behind my Grandad’s boat on the Maroochy River.
I finished my degree and Sydney was calling. I moved to Bondi and in the summer I always had a beach towel and bikini in the boot of my car for post work tanning and beach dwelling. It was pretty much work, party, beach, repeat. So many great memories. And then I got the Europe bug so packed my bags and headed for London, stopping off in America, Italy, and Croatia on the way. Soon after I met my husband Dan – a born and bred Londoner. I spent 13 wonderful years in London working in fashion (a dream come true) while pining for the beach and chasing the sun.
Raising three small children in central London was tough. Dan got some clients in the U.S and decided to open an office in Santa Monica and off we went. We didn’t know anyone, our twins were only 18 months old – the move was brutal! But nearly two years on and it’s the best move we’ve made.
What do you miss about Australia?
Friends and family of course. Moreton Bay bugs and mud crabs – the excellent quality of seafood in general. The Today show. Sunshine Beach in Queensland, where we were married. The Bondi to Bronte beach walk. The slower pace.
You’ve clearly travelled extensively, what are your favourite destinations?
Italy is my number one, I’ve been there countless times. There is no other magical city quite like Florence at dusk. Take a Renaissance Walking Tour, it will change your life.
Little Whale Cay, Bahamas – a friend’s private island, originally developed in the 30’s and truly a very special piece of paradise.
The Aeolian islands off Sicily – Panarea, Salina
Corsica – Porticcio, Piana
What do you love most about living in LA?
What I love most is the idea that we are surrounded by stunningly diverse nature – surfing the Pacific, family beaches, dessert dwelling in Joshua Tree, hiking in some seriously beautiful canyons and hitting the slopes. They’re all so close.
And LA is an exciting place. You can be anyone one you want here, the city inspires reinvention and there’s an incredible undercurrent of creativity and entrepreneurship.
Tell us why you chose Santa Monica to live and can you share some favourite local haunts?
I love Santa Monica! We live in Ocean Park and in our opinion, the best part. Such a great community feel – laid back, friendly, international and everything is walkable which is so rare in LA. There’s no mansions, just a cool, healthy, family-friendly, beachy vibe. And since it borders Venice, we’re only minutes away from more of an urban, edgy experience.
FOOD – Café Gratitude, GTA, Salt & Straw, Scopa, Main Squeeze, Thai Vegan, Hinterland, Estes, Cassia, Tasting Kitchen, Moon Juice, Butchers Daughter, Baby Blues, Charcoal, Casa Linda, Mercado …we eat out a lot!
SHOPS – Tower 20, Lost and Found, General Store, General Admission, Flannel, Heist, Huset, Santa Monica Airport Antique Markets, Merchant Modern, HD Buttercup
FAMILY – Santa Monica Beach, Annenberg Beach House, Tongva Park, Ship Park in Venice, Beach bike patch, The Santa Monica Pier, Rustic Canyon, Santa Monica Library, trips to Malibu – the pier, First Point, Zuma, Leo Carillo
What’s a typical day like for you in LA?
A typical day involves around 3 different modes of transport – the car to take my son to and from school, the electric cargo bike to drop the twins to preschool and then my beach cruiser with surfboard attached to hit the local waves at Bay Street or Venice breakwater – or back in the car to surf Sunset, Topanga or Malibu. I have to be disciplined to not surf! Then dash home for emails and phone calls with clients, research and an internet hole of fashion, e-commerce and Instagram while creating content for @aquadorium along the way.
I collect the kids and the afternoon is a vortex of play dates, karate, soccer, homework, fights, mess, dinner and bath time. By 7.30pm it’s all over and I’m pouring my first glass of wine as I wait for Dan to get home or we’ll have a date night and jump on our bikes and ride to a restaurant in Venice or Main Street.
Where you draw your daily inspiration?
Being in nature. Listening to music. Stalking fashion blogs and online stores. And I’m an Instagram fiend.
Who are your style icons?
Cool girls that I see on my travels or in chic street style pics online.
Best piece of advice you have been given?
Read Gina Ford. Truly a gift that keeps on giving.
Could you name a quote that sums up how you live life?
‘The best surfer is the one that’s smiling the most.’ I think this feels relevant for life in general – take yourself lightly.
What does living a beautiful life mean to you?
Health, love, gratitude, happiness, time with family, friendships, being a good mum and wife, travel, adventure, being in nature, feeling inspired.
Inspiring is a word we use a lot. But its challenging to find another adjective so apt for Lara Einzig. Stylist, Entrepeneur, Expat, Mother, Surfer. We can’t wait to hear what’s next…
What are you currently…
Coveting: Celine ruffle wrap skirt, cashmere jumper by The Row, a Nadia Morgenthaler ring
Wanderlusting: safari in Botswana, surfing in Puerto Rico
Reserving: a Birkin basket by Blooming Dreamer
Preparing: to launch my styling services to private clients. Nervous much!
Watching: Friday Night Lights, Mr. Robot
Listening: On Being with Krista Tippett
Reading: Hillbilly Elegy, A Peoples History of America
Trawling: therealreal.com, fwrd.com, Surfline, abchome.com
Learning:To let go. Keep it simple.
Giving: I recently went to the Stand Up To Cancer live broadcast in downtown LA. The stories and statistics are heartbreaking
Dreaming: of a 6’4 Fish surfboard by local Venice shaper, Guy Okazaki
Photography: Julie Adams
Hair and Make-up: Elsa Morgan