"My vision is to not only create a line that is eco-friendly, but also to produce designs that blend sustainability with sophistication."
–Stephanie Montes, s.t.e.f. Founder
s.t.e.f. is an American made, eco-friendly clothing + accessories line that is designed and handmade in east Austin, Texas. At s.t.e.f., our vision is to build a client base that trusts in our brand - always emphasizing quality over quantity. We create garments with timeless designs that you can love for years to come.
We belive in the concept of "slow fashion." The fast fashion industry is fueled by the demand for cheap clothing, which in turn has a devastating impact on the world from child labor and sweatshops to pollution and global warming.
Craftsmanship and honesty are consistent themes throughout every season.
From the ready-to-wear collection to our custom made designs, s.t.e.f. utilizes organic cotton and hemp blend fabric as well as reclaimed textiles and materials that would otherwise be disposed of. Each piece from the collection is handcrafted by the designer as well as by local seamstresses who are paid ethical wages and work at their own pace. s.t.e.f. utilizes 100% organic cotton in all of their handmade bag linings, and integrate remnant fabrics into their collection in order to eliminate waste throughout the production process.
s.t.e.f. is the sustainable approach to the typical fashion line. Their ultimate goal is to design unique pieces that require a high level of craftsmanship with a focus on natural textiles that effortlessly blend style with sustainability.
To learn more about the designer behind s.t.e.f., read below!
Stephanie’s passion for clothing design began at a young age. During her early years, she spent her time designing and creating custom garments for family and friends.
In August 2008, she was selected as one of the two up and coming designers to premiere a collection at The Heart House Annual Charity Fashion Show in Austin, Texas. Stephanie created fifteen ensembles by hand, one of which was donated to the charity for auction. The event contributed to the raising of $80,000.00 in order to support the expansion of Heart House of Austin’s after school programs.
During her time as a student, Stephanie worked as a teaching assistant for the University of North Texas Fashion Design program, mentoring students and assisting professors. In 2009, she earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Fashion Design with a minor in Fashion Merchandising.
At Dallas Career Day 2009, Stephanie was selected by a panel of judges from over 2,000 applicants and was awarded the Texas Department of Agriculture Fiber Research Scholarship. As the recipient of this prestigious award, Stephanie attended the Paris American Academy School of Fashion Design, where she learned complex haute couture sewing techniques from apprentices of the famous Madame Grés and practiced millinery techniques with Jean-Pierre Tritz, hat maker for Jean Paul Gaultier. During her time in Paris, Stephanie also worked behind the scenes at Paris Fashion Week, assisting designers Elie Saab and Dominique Sirop.
After returning to the United States, Stephanie worked as an Assistant Designer at the White House/ Black Market headquarters in Fort Myers, Florida. A few years later, she joined the Abi Ferrin, Inc. design and production team based out of Dallas, Texas.
Having honed her skills and perfected her practice, Stephanie returned to Austin, Texas to launch her clothing line in 2013. Stephanie is partnered with her husband, an attorney by trade, who advises the company on a myriad of issues bringing his legal and business knowledge to the brand. Since launching her line, Stephanie has been actively involved in the Austin and Texas fashion community, participating in Austin Fashion Week, Fashion X Dallas, and Created Woman Fashion & Faith Magazine: Style Speaks Runway Show. Stephanie was selected to participate in the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston’s Texas Design Now Exhibition where she showcased several avant-garde designs from her studio collection. The collection was on view at the CAMH from August 22 - November 29, 2015. Recently, Stephanie collaborated with another Austin designer to develop a line of one-of-a-kind laser-cut clutches, handmade from recycled leather and organic cotton.
s.t.e.f. debuted her new accessories line from featuring laser-cut and hand-dyed & painted clutches and cuffs, along with fresh apparel pieces, that require a high level of craftsmanship with a focus on natural textiles, effortlessly blending style with sustainability.
Check out more of Stephanie Montes' collection!
Event Location: Kiki Nass
1100 South Lamar, Suite 1130. Across from Caffe Medici, near the Shake Shack and Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar!
Hours: 11-6 Monday-Thursday, 11-7 Friday-Saturday, 12-5 Sunday