Read any round-up of L.A.’s best clothing boutiques and you’re bound to see Reformation on the list. The line was created by former model and entrepreneur Yael Aflalo in 2009, and specializes in clothes that feature clean lines, excellent tailoring, sustainable manufacturing, and mostly muted color palettes.
But what makes them so sought-after? Sure, their jumpsuits will bring your wardrobe game to its apex, and their crop tops would make Ilana Glazer herself cry tears of joy. Supermodel Karlie Kloss is an investor, Rihanna wore Reformation on the cover of Rolling Stone in 2013, and the brand touts their sustainability, noting that their clothes are made from eco-friendly fabrics.
Still, we’re wondering: Why is this shop different from all other shops? We did a little research, and here’s what we discovered:
The majority of Reformation’s clothes are manufactured in L.A. Reformation has a two-story factory in DTLA, two stores in New York and two in Los Angeles. The few items that aren’t made locally are made by their manufacturing partners in the U.S. or abroad.
Ideas for designs are brainstormed by real women. To come up with new lines, Aflalo crowdsources by assembling a group of women in their 20s and 30s — the line’s target demographic — and talking with them about what they want to wear.
Aflalo sits in on “90% of fittings,” so she can oversee the minutia of the tailoring process. Reformation’s structured pieces look like they were tailer-made, and that’s largely due to the time and diligence Aflalo puts into the nuance of their fit.
About 40% of their clothes are made from vintage or deadstock, meaning that those fabrics would be destined to a landfill otherwise.
Much of the rest of their clothing is made from Tencel, a fabric manufactured from the wood cellulose of eucalyptus trees by the Austrian company Lanzig. Tencel is known for the flattering way that it falls on the body, and for its eco-friendliness; the process used to make Tencel won a “European Award for the Environment” from the European Union.
The company’s commitment to sustainability trickles down to their factories, which use greywater and energy-efficient power and heat/AC; their stores, which use tote bags and recycled hangers; and their supplies, from pens and pencils to furniture to snacks.
The majority of Reformation’s management is female or from underrepresented populations.
But mostly, Reformation is so beloved because it’s just so damn good. Customers of any shape and size can find a cut that looks good on their body type, their clothes are nice enough for evening and relaxed enough for daytime, and as Aflalo told Vogue in 2015, sustainability does not come at the cost of creating beautiful clothing. “You buy clothes because you really want them,” she said. “The sustainability part is for us to figure out.”
We couldn’t agree more — so here’s more stuff to scroll through and pine for: