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Meet the Team: Lisa Says Gah

Story by Rachel Schwartzmann – Shop Lisa Says Gah – Photos by Melissa de Mata for The Style Line

“No one wants to see or hear

the same thing over and over,” Lisa Williams stated in our interview below. “Fashion embodies change by always moving forward. It can come back again but always with a new perspective.” An industry veteran and innovator in her own right, Lisa’s e-commerce platform provides a diverse assortment of cool clothing that doesn’t compromise ethics or morals – in fact; there’s one word, in particular, that sums it up perfectly: “Gah.”

the style line lisa says gah

Trust us when we say that as soon as this sartorial anthem was uttered, a movement erupted beginning and ending with Lisa’s mission to empower women through the art of personal style, and furthermore celebrate whatever that means to them. As she puts it, “We aspire to bring joy to your life through design. Each piece is meant to enhance your current wardrobe, to make you feel your absolute best!”

From one-of-a-kind pieces to contemporary favorites, Lisa Says Gah’s approach to fashion and more importantly personal style makes it easy to feel inspired to be a part of something truly special. Speaking more to this, Lisa Says Gah prides itself on fostering ethical/sustainable standards with careful curation and involvement in every step of the buying and selling process. Taking the platform one step further, Lisa has also developed a section on the site to share interviews with women who are the pinnacle of cool style and creative thinking. With a true penchant for community, today we wanted to turn the lens on them and get to know Lisa and her team of gah-dropping (see what we did there?) style mavens who have contributed their unique talents, experience and passions to cultivate a necessary and thoughtful movement in fashion, and beyond.

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  • the style line lisa says gah
  • the style line lisa says gah
  • the style line lisa says gah

Discover our full conversation with these five dynamic women who are (what we believe to be) the next generation of leading voices in style, substance and truly (creative) problem-solving.

*THIS STORY WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN FEBRUARY 2016 AND REFLECTS UPDATED CHANGES TO THE LAYOUT

Lisa Williams – Founder + Owner + Buyer

Hello! Outside of LSG, I like to indulge in downtime.

I love work, and I now focus on valuing non-work more and more. The basic stuff – dining out with friends, lounging at home with my fiancé Louis and our cute cat George, taking breaks by reading an article or book, traveling near and far. I’m feeling my best when I can take the time to simply enjoy the life I’m building for myself, and appreciating the people that have and are shaping it.

What role has San Francisco played in your life, work, and style and how would you characterize the personal style of SF’s residents?

SF style is practical. And by practical I mean you dress for one, maybe two seasons a year. You need fewer dresses and a variety of third pieces, which translate to more layers and an emphasis on comfort to cope with the often chilly weather and those darn hills! What I love most about SF consumers is that they value craftsmanship and wearability, it must fit their lifestyle, not just their style aspirations. Since there is less closet turnover throughout the year, investment pieces take precedence over trendier (cheaper) “it” items. Purchases are more thoughtful, and that is always on my mind when I’m buying for the shop. Of course, while this is a practicality issue for SF, it seems to hit home with like-minded consumers from all over – that items should bring you that same “it” factor joy, but should be timeless and built well enough to last beyond a season.

What role do you think creativity plays in some of the world’s bigger conversations and how do you think LSG is contributing to this shift in thinking? 

Creativity is a form of change, and you have to keep the conversation going by changing it. We keep people engaged by saying something distinctive with purpose and offering an assortment that’s fresh and exciting. No one wants to see or hear the same thing over and over. Fashion embodies change by always moving forward. It can come back again but always with a new perspective. If you want to succeed in fashion, keep changing. We don’t like to stay too comfortable for too long at LSG; we are committed to continuous evolution.

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We love LSG’s commitment to sourcing ethically-made product. How would you define “ethical” fashion and how has this definition evolved as you’ve worked with more and more designers?

Our moral expectations are that goods are sourced and produced as locally as possible, by compliant factories. We exclusively work with women designers that are self-starters, that often source materials locally, and have relationships with the companies producing their collections. We often visit studios and factories with the designers – check out our interview series – we are highly involved in the entire process.

How does LSG encourage celebrating personal style? 

This is the pinnacle of what we honor at LSG! We value a wardrobe that makes YOU happy, whether it’s a yellow suede stiletto or an oversized silver earring – we aspire to bring joy to your life through design. Each piece is meant to enhance your current wardrobe, to make you feel your absolute best!

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The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration, and transit. With this in mind, what is your “the style line” in your wardrobe?

My one condition is that I need to wear something I feel myself in, something that gives me ease so I can focus on the day and not be distracted by an ill-fitting piece. Today, I wore the was the Rafa Azur heels, high-waisted vintage denim, a vintage silk blouse and a Sandro bright red cropped cardi. I get particularly excited when I have a new item in my wardrobe, or bring out an oldie – just one little change can enhance my mood and carry me through the day with confidence and ease.

“Creativity is a form of change, and you have to keep the conversation going by changing it.”

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Anna-Alexia Basile – Photographer 

I’m Anna-Alexia, an SF-based fashion, lifestyle and travel photographer.

I’ve caught a case of the perma-travel-bug and am always on the move. When I’m not chasing light you can find me floating in warm bodies of water, braiding my friends’ hair and sneaking into hotel pools. My eyes are always peeled for pretty light reflecting off windows and I’m a sucker for a well-defined shadow.

It’s pretty great to be able to capture moments and tell stories for a living! With that said talk to us about your relationship with photography – how has it evolved since joining the LSG team?

Photography is a complex language. I use images to communicate, remember and feel. I love that it requires you to notice beauty in the every day and truly be present. I feel so fortunate to have my passion and job overlap and to collaborate with such a talented and supportive team.

Working with the other gah-girls is seamless because we share similar visions and are always willing to go the extra mile (…even if that mile takes two hours during LA rush hour before catching the next flight). LSG carries the most beautiful everything, so that combined with the dreamy team makes making photos a breeze. Since joining LSG I’ve developed a tiny obsession for photographing shoes and legs (*ahem*MNZ*ahem*), I’m doing my best to get it under control.

We know that Lisa Says Gah, but what does Anna-Alexia say?

Stay busy, keep it sexy, be easy.

The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration, and transit. With this in mind, what is your “the style line” in your wardrobe? 

Great fit! It’s important to know your body and be conscious of what you feel best in. Once that’s taken care of I’m pretty open—one day you’ll see me riding my bike in heels and the next I’ll rock a Canadian tuxedo. I usually plan my looks according to the weather and draw inspiration from architecture, color, and nature. The act of choosing and outfit and getting dressed is one of my favorite parts of the day.

“No one wants to see or hear the same thing over and over. Fashion embodies change by always moving forward. It can come back again but always with a new perspective. If you want to succeed in fashion, keep changing. We don’t like to stay too comfortable for too long at LSG; we are committed to continuous evolution.”

the style line lisa says gah

Olivia La Roche – Brand Strategist + Content Editor + Vintage Buyer

Hi! I am on of those rare Bay Area natives! Well, almost.

I was born in Berkeley and raised on a commune in a little town about an hour north of San Francisco. I grew up very “alternatively.” I was homeschooled, traveled the world, hung out at Harbin Hotsprings, and went to Burning Man when I was nine. You get the picture, right?
 
Obviously, I entered the “real” world, and my life is very different now, but at the root of everything I do, there is still a connection to community, experimentation and total acceptance of the “weird.” I love the opportunity that growing up “off the grid” has given me to approach the mainstream world with a fresh eye. 
 
At this point in my life, I work a lot and try to get out in nature on the weekends but honestly, I spend most of my free time digging at thrift stores and flea markets – it’s my “downtime” and how I stay inspired!

What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

Well, THAT is a good question! Haha! I think it would be nice to have someone ask me to tell them the story behind something I am wearing. Or just a story in general. It’s such a fun way to connect! 

How would you characterize the LSG community and how do you hope to see it evolve? 

I appreciate working in fashion because it is an industry that I simultaneously love and take issue with. There are so many points of intersection that matter to me, and I get to make decisions that positively change women’s interaction with fashion – even in super small ways. It’s stealth activism! LSG is great because we cater to a community that shares those values and wants to interact with fashion in a new integrated way. I know this hunger for substance AND style will only grow!

How do you celebrate personal style?

I love to feel like a character from a film or novel – or editorial! Getting dressed is the setting of the scene and writing of the script for my day. It’s all costumery. I am my own actor or model – it’s amazing fun to think of it that way. I really feel the energy a good outfit gives me. I become the character I set out for myself. Things can get a little out of control! I’ve been teased for looking like a historical reenactor or something. Who cares, though, it’s fun! And, it’s not every day – sometimes I just want to blend in, and that’s fine too!

We know that Lisa Says Gah, but what does Olivia say?

Ha! Well. I am a very opinionated person so, probably, “Actually…” right before I correct someone or contribute a random fact. It’s kind of an asshole move. I’m working on it! 
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The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration, and transit. With this in mind, what is your “the style line” in your wardrobe? 

Fashion is like a ticker tape of social commentary; you can take the pulse of a nation just by opening your eyes in public. I watch people and attempt to decipher their commentary then adopt what fits with my sense of self. I consider myself highly influenced – I see or experience someone or something and I have to approximate the feeling the interaction gave me immediately. Cities are wildly inspiring. I love watching people who are not intentionally expressing themselves through fashion but TOTALLY are. That’s where a trend begins – on the street. 
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Gabriela Pelletier – Assistant Buyer

I was born and raised on the beautiful island of Oahu

and the constant craving for more brought me to San Francisco where I study at the Academy Of Art University. I’m in my senior year majoring in Merchandise Marketing. Outside of LSG, I’m a breakfast enthusiast, coffee connoisseur, and lipstick hoarder. I value commitment, respect and a sense of self.

Would you say life in San Francisco has informed your sartorial eye and what’s been one of the biggest discoveries you’ve made as LSG’s assistant buyer?

Life in San Francisco has enlightened my sartorial eye because it’s a place where there is a lot of the same type of style but in between all the sameness is a very exciting customer who appreciates investing in beautiful quality pieces and has a unique aesthetic. The most profound discovery of being a buyer at LSG is the connection to the desire our women have to truly feel special and craving a unique assortment that tells a story.

We hear a lot about the importance of personal style and at The Style Line, it’s something we like to use as a lens to tell stories. Can you think of a moment when personal style been a part of a life-changing or pivotal time in your life?

I’ve always had a very distinct personal style. My personal style set me apart from my peers because it’s always been more mature in comparison. I used it to not only express how I felt but how I wanted to be treated and talked to. I wanted people to take me seriously – personal style was and is still a way for me to do that.

We know that Lisa Says Gah, but what does Gabriela say? 

I say GAH to being a confident and empowered woman.

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The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration, and transit. With this in mind, what is your “the style line” in your wardrobe? 

I’m always on the go, but I don’t let my style reflect that. My wardrobe is easily defined by pieces that truly make me feel good, make me feel feminine while still functional and practical. My emotions are my biggest inspiration when getting dressed in the morning; it’s a very personal, yet special, experience because that’s usually the only time of day I really get to choose what I want and what makes me feel special. I love pairing a romantic silk slip dress under a cozy sweater with my white high top converse sneakers to run around the city in or the old faithful of a good pair of high-waisted cropped flare jeans with a black turtleneck, bold lip, and a little pump.
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Kenya Addams – Intern 

Outside of LSG, I spend lots of my time walking around the city

that’s what happens when you don’t have a car around here! The upside to no car is finding cool shops and thrift stores I would never have noticed had I not been forced to walk; also having that time to yourself to take in your surroundings and just be is very precious.

What’s one of the biggest discoveries you’ve made about yourself and your style that you might not have, had you not joined the LSG team?

I just recently joined the LSG team, so far it’s been super great to be around such inspiring people. There is a very minimalistic yet elegant feel to the shop and what we carry, to be in this environment you learn fast that less is more and craftsmanship is everything!

Do you have any style-related resolutions this year? If so what are they and what steps will you take to fulfill them? 

This year I’m really trying to hone down my closet and just have what I need! On the same note, I’m trying to integrate more color into my wardrobe. I think color is the perfect way to show one’s personality and a good reminder to have fun in whatever you do throughout the day!

We know that Lisa Says Gah, but what does Kenya say?

Kenya says wow! I’m definitely a wow-er. Wow is the perfect way to express admiration and success.

The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration, and transit. With this in mind, what is your “the style line” in your wardrobe?

San Francisco is such a colorful city full of beautiful people, I definitely get my drive for wanting to wear more color here. People watching is another great way to get inspired, there are so many little things to take away from other people and integrate into your own style -especially from cute grannies.