Cleobella founder Angela O’Brien is actual sunshine in a bottle, so it’s no surprise to find that her brand, Cleobella is driven by deeply ethical practices. Cleobella’s planet and human-friendly looks support everyone from their makers in Bali to their customers in California, including fans like Olivia Wilde, Busy Phillips and Katherine Schwarzenegger.
In our In Her Closet series, we ask fashion founders like Angela to share how they shop and dress, and how they think about sustainability now…
In Her Closet: Cleobella’s Angela O’Brien
MY STYLE IN THREE WORDS: Feminine, timeless, effortless.
MY STYLE ICON: My 90-year-old grandmother, Angela, will forever be my style icon. Born in Northern Ireland, she appreciates the art of dressing up every day and she’s a constant admirer of fashion.
RECENT INSPIRATION: India. We recently came back from a trip to set up our new Cleobella office there and it always feels like coming home. I’m constantly inspired by Indian culture — the food, the music, the colors.
CURRENTLY WEARING… This dress from Cleobella’s Spring collection, layered with a turtleneck and jacket because it’s still cold outside.
BEST TIPS FOR SHOPPING SUSTAINABLY: Research brands that are passionate about sourcing sustainably. It used to be difficult to find this information, but now it’s present on company websites and as easy as Googling “what are the best eco-friendly clothing brands?” The more we support businesses who are committing to this effort, the more resources those designers will have to build more sustainably made goods. We have the power to buy the change we want to see in the world.
SIGNATURE LOOK: Always a dress. I’m most comfortable in a flowy dress that’s not constricting and feels like I’m wearing pajamas.
FAVE NATURAL MATERIALS… Organic cotton. Meeting the farmers that Cleobella buys our GOTS-certified organic cotton from is such a full-circle experience. It creates a true appreciation for the complete lifecycle of the product for me.
MY MISSION IN ONE SENTENCE… To lead from the heart and live with curiosity.
FAVE SUSTAINABLE BRANDS/DESIGNERS: Eileen Fisher and Stella McCartney. They are visionaries!
SOMETHING IN MY CLOSET I’LL OWN FOREVER… The first handbag I ever designed in 2006. It’s a camel-colored drawstring messenger bag with tassels and a beautiful turquoise jacquard lining. I traveled around the world with this bag for a year. It has had many adventures with me and I will never forget that feeling of meeting the artisan who made it and putting pencil to paper and sourcing all the materials and seeing it come to life.MOST ESSENTIAL ACCESSORY (AND HOW TO ROCK IT)… Cleobella’s weekender. I use mine as a travel bag, work bag, and ultimate Mom bag to throw everything in and go.
STYLE TREND I’M MOST EXCITED ABOUT… Oversized prints. They are bold, exciting, and they tell a story of far away places.
TREND I’M EXCITED TO SEE GO… Cut outs because less is always more.
LOOK THAT WILL NEVER GO OUT OF STYLE… Black dress. Timeless and easy to dress up and down, wearable for years, and the ultimate sustainable wardrobe staple.
CURRENT MANTRA: It’s always been ”carpe diem.” Seize the day — because life is what you make it!