PROFILE: Meet the Designer Behind Studio Constance
Written by Melissa Troeller
Swedish knitwear designer Rebecca Dovenryd Almberg started her label in 2020 with a vision to improve upon the fashion industry, by using recycled materials. Studio Constance is a brand that stands for sustainable high-quality knitwear; if you’re looking for modern, chic designs to brave the cold evenings, Studio Constance has them. The pieces are truly staples, so when it gets chilly you can bundle up in style. We spoke with the knitwear designer, Rebecca Almberg on why she chose to launch a sustainable fashion company, her favorite designs, and what she enjoys doing in Santa Barbara.
What is the concept behind Studio Constance?
To build a fashion brand in the luxury segment where the number one priority is to make anything and everything we do in the most sustainable way possible.
What inspired you to start a sustainable clothing brand?
While working in the fashion industry for a few years I saw things that I believed could improve, and also realized what the fashion industry is doing to the world and our environment. I had always wanted to start my own company, so I thought of ways and ideas and I developed Constance. We need new companies to pioneer change as much as we need old companies to change.
Your brand does upcycling, could you explain what that is to someone who’s never heard of it?
We buy back used Constance garments that we resell or recycle and make new products out of. To upcycle means that you create something new from something in its current state. You give something the opportunity to have a new purpose.
What is your favorite piece you have designed and why?
I love basics and classics! That’s one way of working towards being sustainable–to create timeless pieces that you will keep in your closet for many years, that go with many outfits and that you won’t get tired of. For me, our Daffodil Crewneck Sweater is the most successful piece that I have created in terms of ways of using it. However my personal favorite is the striped Salvia Mock Neck Sweater, it just adds something to your outfit yet it’s still so easy to wear.
How have your Swedish roots played a role in your brand?
I think the minimalist way of looking at fashion and design has helped with creating a sense of timelessness to the brand. I also believe being Swedish and having to wear a lot of sweaters throughout the seasons has helped me understand what sweaters you need to have in your closet.
What inspired the name Constance?
Constance was my grandmother’s middle name. When thinking of names for my company I went through many different ideas, and one day I remembered my grandmother's middle name being Constance and did some research and learned it also means constant and faithful. At that point I knew I had found the right name.
You launched your brand just last year, what advice would you give to someone who is new to the fashion industry?
If you are new, as in just starting a company in the fashion industry, I’d say to expect nothing to go as you thought or planned for! Starting in 2020, there were a lot of extra obstacles for me, however there are a lot of things I learned and would have done differently if there wasn’t a pandemic going on.
How has Santa Barbara influenced you as a designer?
Santa Barbara is such a beautiful and peaceful place where I love to go to find creativity and inspiration.
How has COVID-19 affected the launch of your brand?
In so many ways! One of the most significant ways it affected me was that I prepared so much and for so long, and realized things would not work out as I planned.
What has been your favorite fashion trend of 2021 thus far?
Chunky flats, oversized pants, and of course the bralette–we have a really cute one in cashmere and silk!
What is your favorite thing to do in Santa Barbara?
Drive around in the hills and look at the view and the beautiful houses–dreaming about one day having one of my own! I also love all the little boutiques and coffee shops. It reminds me of Europe just walking around and sitting down at one of the outdoor tables.