Stephanie Danan | CO Founder/Film Producer – Kendall Conrad


Spanish noun

a woman who is very knowledgeable about an activity, subject, or pastime. a connoisseur, expert, specialist, cognoscente, an enthusiast.

Stephanie Danan | CO Founder/Film Producer

From film to fashion, Stephanie Danan has an eye for what makes a classic. Born in Morocco and raised in Montreal, Danan studied in Boston and lived in Paris before moving to LA to work in the film industry. After more than fifteen years working as a producer, Danan, who grew up in the world of fashion, saw an opening in the luxury fashion market for a label with a more approachable, accessible perspective. Together with her partner Justin Kern, Danan launched CO, a contemporary women’s clothing label in 2011. Known for their relaxed, minimalist silhouettes, the brand is a reflection of Danan’s belief that a wardrobe should be cohesive and complementary. Today, she serves as the brand’s chief designer and creative director. When I first met Stephanie it ten years ago at a Vogue party, and we immediately clicked. We caught up with her in early June just before she moved to Paris.
Stephanie was photographed at CO's Richard Neutra-designed studio showroom in Nichols Canyon.

Shop the story with the exact or similar options below each photo - just click the red links or gallery images throughout. Links work best if ad blockers or pop-up blocks are disabled.


Stephanie in CO and KC. She sits in a Chandigarh Chair by Pierre Jeanneret. See similar in gallery below.


Where are you from, and where did you grow up? 
I’m originally from Morocco but grew up in Montreal, Canada. I'd spend the school year in Montreal and the summers in Morocco. I identify very strongly with my Sepharadic Jewish Moroccan roots. The way I see it is that my North American upbringing Americanized my sense of professionalism and work ethic, but my heart lies with my cultural identity.

Where do you live now and what do you love most about it?
I live in Los Angeles but just got an apartment in Paris where I plan on moving in the next few years. I have spent almost 23 years in Los Angeles but as I get older, I'd like to be closer to my family and childhood friends who are all in Paris. I also find Paris extremely inspiring right now. I also miss a city where I can walk.

When did you arrive in the U.S?
I arrived in the US for college. I studied Film at Boston University as an undergrad and moved to NY after graduation to pursue a career in film. At the time I was inspired by producing but also writing and directing.

What do you do now?
I’m a bit of a hybrid as a designer and creative director because I’m as involved in the creative end of things as I am in the production, sales, business strategy and overall management of the company. I spent fifteen years producing films and I was trained to move back and forth with agility between my right brain and left brain. I can produce my own creative vision pretty easily, and I credit the film industry for teaching me this.

What do you like most about your work?
Because I approach the direction of the collections from a very personal place, I have a tendency to be quite philosophical about it. My favorite part of the process is truly about my own internal exploration and how this expresses itself in the clothing I design and the message we try to communicate about our brand and platform.

"I follow the trajectory of the things I’m passionate about, my observations of the world, my own self growth and evolution as well as where women in general find themselves today. I tend to use the feelings these things provoke to design the collections. Recently I’m exploring self-realization and independence, so I want to design clothing that feels empowering." 





How did you get into design?
I grew up in the fashion industry. My mother was a designer, and my father had a multi brand showroom. I grew up around designers and clothing, but I decided I wanted to go into film at a pretty young age. I was interested in exploring narrative storytelling and I loved to write. Also, I was the kind of kid who would skip school to go to the movies. The power of cinema spoke to me. After fifteen years in Hollywood, I saw a real shift from when I started and independent film was truly being celebrated. The shift moved away from film and into television and film became mostly about franchises. During that time, I had a lot of projects in development at the studios but a lot of time on my hands because of the nature of development. My partner and I decided to design a collection for fun and Barney’s picked it up right away. Before we knew it we had a business to run. As the business grew, I decided to put my film career on pause and focus on CO.




Stephanie wears a new suit from CO, coming soon, and ROUNDED RING COLLAR NECKLACE


What inspires you?
Women. My friends. Art. Music. Nature. My son.

What’s up next for you? Where do you want to take CO? 
The next big thing for me is to move to Paris and use the inspiration of a new city and new life to continue growing and evolving CO and the platform we created. We are excited to open our new offices in Los Angeles by the end of the year and to launch a few new categories.

"I think it’s so important to reinvent oneself. I thrive on reinvention. Stagnation is not something I do well with. I have to constantly be evolving and growing and challenging myself in order to feel inspired and to create." 

That’s a hard one. But If I close my eyes and truly think about my life goal, I would say it’s to continue to evolve personally. For me this is about conquering my fears and practicing the importance of living in the moment.





When are you the happiest?
When I confront my pathologies with authenticity, and I feel and see my own evolution and feel empowered by my own growth.
When I make my son laugh.
When I spend time with my girlfriends.
When I’m in nature.
When I’m traveling.

What are your favorite places that you have travelled to and where do you want to go next?
I love Japan. It’s one of my favorite countries in the world (other than Morocco). The level of refinement is so inspiring. I also find the graciousness of the Japanese to be extremely moving. I would love to go to Greece even though it’s a bit of a cliché right now. And I’m really excited to go visit my brother who lives in Burma.

Biggest luxury?
My little apartment in Paris. Going to We Care Spa once a year.






I love the images CO produces and the photographers you work with, you obviously have a great appreciation for photography. Who is your favorite photographer?
Sally Mann

What are your rules to live by?
Stay self-aware. Work on yourself. It’s a life’s work.

Please tell me about your son.
His name is Jacob. He loves to play the guitar. He loves Mindcraft and he loves to paint.

Do you have a favorite recipe to share? 
I make a pretty good Salmon Bowl.  



The Richard Neutra-designed Henderson House (1962).


Female hero and why?
My aunt Perla Servan Shreiber, and my ex-mother in law, the artist Michele Oka Doner.
Perla only wears white, and Michele only wears one silhouette. They both have one thing in common. They know who they are and exude a strong sense of self while remaining extremely feminine and gracious. They also both really commit to the things they love. That sense of commitment and discipline is something I aspire to.

I LOVE Michele, she is so cool--her sculptures and who she is! What is your super-power?
I think my superpower is reinvention. I have an ability to shift gears pretty easily. I do have an ability to manifest what I desire. Also, if things don’t work out the way I had hoped I have a way of looking at the positives of hardship and pain and using those challenges as a way to grow and change direction.

How do you unwind or de-stress?
I love a magnesium bath and I love The Tracy Anderson Method.

Do you unplug from devices? Night-time or weekends?
I’m still working on that 😊

Your skin is so beautiful-how do you take good care of it?
I don’t wear much makeup, but I do take care of my skin. I use Augustine Bader Cream and Oil, Barbara Sturm Serums and I steam my face pretty regularly. I like a natural, healthy look so I’m constantly putting oils on my face. I do add a zinc ointment to my cream and I find that it helps with keeping my face clear and moisturized.

And your body? 
I do the Tracy Anderson Method. I hike and I love hot yoga. I take a daily Vitamin D, C and Zinc.

When do you feel your best?
When I skip dinner and when I exercise regularly.

What is your style credo?
Less is More



Stephanie wears a strapless column dress from CO coming soon and the ROUNDED CHOKER and GRAND ESFERA RING.

Bold or delicate jewelry?
I like one bold piece or multiple delicate pieces.

What is your favorite KC jewelry/cuff, and how do you like to style it?
I love the gold-plated Kasbah II Ring and the Thick Rounded III Bracelet I just got. I wear it almost everyday!

What do you like best about KC?
I love the simplicity of the jewelry. I love Kendall’s natural beauty, she is the epitome of the stunning American woman.