Moda Operandi has revolutionized the way fashion-obsessed females can shop, providing them the ability to pre-order collections directly from the runways. It was all started in 2010 by the lovely Lauren Santo Domingo (often referred to just by her initials, LSD). The company’s cofounder, who is also a Vogue contributing editor, has an impeccable eye for fashion and a seriously keen business sense. In late 2012, the company expanded to include Boutique, a superbly curated selection of in-season items available for purchase. We find out more about the New York Based-businesswoman, wife and mother of two (who rocks a gown like few others) in our latest Women of Style interview.
Women of Style: Lauren Santo Domingo
Get To Know The Fashion Entrepreneur
Her First Job
"My first job was babysitting for our family friend’s daughter. I grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut, so babysitting was a very attractive and lucrative job."
On What Surprised Her About Launching Moda Operandi
"Most things are easier said then done. I am always captivated by what’s next and often think with a few keystrokes we can change something. What I’ve realized is launching a website is like building a skyscraper—major construction."
The Biggest Lesson She’s Learned From Starting A Business
"I think there is an assumption that working in this industry, your days are full of glamour: photo shoots, reviewing lookbooks, designer lunches. In actuality I see more numbers, analytics, and spreadsheets than one would assume, myself included."
On Her Love Of Fashion
"I’ve always been creative, but I didn’t truthfully understand the capacity of how I could get into fashion and how much I would enjoy it when I was young."
Favorites From Fashion Month
"I always order a couple of dresses every season. As the weather turns I have all my favorite looks of the season already hanging in my closet, ready to be worn. This season I was drawn to fun pieces from Thakoon, Preen and Stella Jean. But the best moment from the last month was the opening of our London space. It is truly the chicest way to shop."
Best Career Advice She’s Received
"I just got this from our CEO this week: She told me we always want to look in the rearview mirror, but we should be looking forward down the road through the windshield. Ultimately, it is not about what you did but what you can do next time."
Her Role Models
"I have a panel. I am lucky to be surrounded by so many intelligent, strong leaders in a variety of fields. You wouldn’t ask your mother for advice on the same topic as your colorist; I find the same is true with your personal life and running a business."
Her Go-To Piece
"A blue-and-white striped button-up shirt. It’s classic, reliable and effortlessly chic. I would wear it with everything from a beaded mini to perfectly tailored trousers."
The Fashion Job That Had The Strongest Impact On Her
"Vogue. I learned the importance of hard work, but I also grew to love and appreciate the fashion industry and its designers. Vogue prepared me, not only because of the long hours, stress and extreme dedication, but also because it gave me an intimate knowledge of fashion that has served me well. If I see an old dress, I can tell you what season it’s from, possibly the exit number when it went down the runway, and if it was a really special dress, maybe the model who was wearing it."
Why She Started Moda Operandi
"I knew I ultimately wanted to create a company that worked within the industry while helping designers to grow. We narrowed the gap between the consumer and the runway, omitting the pain from falling in love with a dress on the runway and then finding out it was never produced. Moda Operandi is providing access to next season’s fashion, completely unedited."
Her Advice To Someone Wanting To Get Into The Fashion Industry
"This is not an industry where one can come in and expect to succeed. So much is based on relationships, taste, vision and ultimately trust. Focus on developing a goal and don’t lose it, but accept the curveballs life always happens to throw."
The Key To MO’s Success
"The standard we set for ourselves and always being a step ahead are the keys to our success. We have been the first—and in some cases the only—place to do and offer many things. We think of what our customer wants before they do, and we stop at nothing to ensure their shopping experience is greater than anything they could imagine."
Her Fashion Philosophy
"Sometimes I think people forget that fashion is supposed to be fun. Don’t be afraid to take risks."
Her Go-To Designers
"Proenza Schouler denim and Paul Andrew for the office. Cushnie et Ochs for evening or Oscar de la Renta for an event."
Her Personal Style
"I am inspired mostly by generations before mine. I tend to favor classics, a well-tailored blazer, a thick cashmere sweater and a pleated skirt. For evening, a great cocktail dress or a gown—preferably the latter."
What She Wears When She Wants To Feel Glamorous
"It's no secret: I always favor a gown."
How She Balances Work and Personal Life
"I try to stay very organized, but after I wake up, the rest of the day is often a gamble. A cappuccino and my iPhone typically do the trick."
The Cause Dearest To Her
"I chair the Save Venice gala every spring. The money raised this year will help restore the stunning Veronese frescoes in the church of San Sebastiano."