Women of Style: Lauren Santo Domingo
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.
Get To Know The Fashion Entrepreneur
Her First Job
Lauren doing a television appearance on Bloomberg Television as the cofounder of Moda Operandi. Photo: @thelsd
"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
The lobby of Moda Operandi. Photo: Courtesy of 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
Lauren surrounded by a glam squad. Photo: @thelsd
"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
LSD front row at the Burberry Spring '15 show. Photo: Courtesy of Burberry
"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
The Moda London office. Photo: Courtesy of Moda Operandi.
"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
Lauren in the Moda Operandi office. Photo: Courtesy of Moda Operandi.
"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
Lauren with (from left) Caroline de Maigret, Karlie Kloss and Derek Blasberg. Photo: @thelsd
"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
Thakoon Button-Up, $290
"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
Coming full circle, LSD being shot for Vogue Spain. Photo: @thelsd
"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
The Moda Operandi headquarters. Photo: Courtesy of 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
LSD with Proenza Schouler designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez. Photo: @thelsd
"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
Selections from the Moda Boutique. Photo: @thelsd
"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
Photo: BFA NYC
"Sometimes I think people forget that fashion is supposed to be fun. Don’t be afraid to take risks."
Her Go-To Designers
Photo: Oscar de la Renta Spring '15
"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
LSD at Fashion Week. Photo: BFA NYC
"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
Lauren with her husband, Andrés. Photo: @thelsd
"It's no secret: I always favor a gown."
How She Balances Work and Personal Life
Lauren's morning cappuccino. Photo: @thelsd
"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
LSD at this year's Save Venice Gala. Photo: BFA NYC
"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."