Office Outfits And Work Wardrobe Ideas With Fashion Designer Behnaz Sarafpour

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Long before eco-conscious fashion took off, designer Behnaz Sarafpour started producing ready-to-wear collections with organic fabrics and sustainable practices. Her namesake label, which launched in 2001, quickly shot to fame and developed a chic following, with now-iconic dresses worn by Katie Holmes and Selma Blair. In 2018, New-York-based Sarafpour channeled […]

Long before eco-conscious fashion took off, designer Behnaz Sarafpour started producing ready-to-wear collections with organic fabrics and sustainable practices. Her namesake label, which launched in 2001, quickly shot to fame and developed a chic following, with now-iconic dresses worn by Katie Holmes and Selma Blair. In 2018, New-York-based Sarafpour channeled her passion for natural materials into the debut of clean-beauty fragrances, all made with single floral essences—such as rose, neroli and oud—and the absence of synthetic oils, preservatives and dyes.

Since then, her botanical-forward collection has grown to include six, water-based perfumes as well as her latest innovation: A tri-scented candle, composed of three different layers of scent (lush florals, crisp greens and smoky woods) stacked on top of each other and contained in a single vessel, making it a rare feat in the perfume industry.

Sarafpour, who grew up in Tehran, Iran, splits her time between her West Village apartment and home in Pound Ridge, New York, where she’s surrounded by plants and wild life. When in the city, though, she zips between meetings with retailers and clients. Although she no longer produces her ready-to-wear collection, Sarafpour still creates custom pieces and partakes in collaborations—she recently launched a velvet hair ribbon for Aerin Lauder, and in the past has partnered with Target and Tiffany & Co., in addition to having her fashion pieces displayed in museums including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

To stay focused on so many projects at once, the designer and Parsons School of Design alum has a minimalist-chic wardrobe that works in any setting and, importantly, is both comfortable (and fun) to wear. Here, Sarafpour shares what’s in her closet and how she finds productivity and inspiration during her busy workday.

Behnaz Sarafpour’s Work Essentials

Her Daytime Work Look: A Chic Sweater And Leggings

“Since I started working from home, it’s all about a comfortable and streamlined look,” says Sarafpour who prefers this La Ligne cashmere sweater, with its colorful stripes along one arm and a relaxed fit, which she pairs with sleek black leggings.

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Her Evening Work Look: A Bold Printed Dress

“For me, fashion is about experimenting a little and having fun with your look,” says Sarafpour. “This year, I’ve been wearing more vintage, and also this La Double J dress, because I love the unique vintage-inspired print. Sophie Buhai gold hoop earrings are just the right finishing touch.”


Her Favorite Shoes: Nike Air Sneakers

“The shoes that I wear almost every day: white Nike Air sneakers,” says Sarafpour, of the sporty pick that goes with everything from pleated skirts to slim trousers, and keeps your feet comfortable when walking all day in the city.


Her Work Bag: A Structured Tote

Sarafpour swears by Bottega Veneta’s Arco bag, which she considers “the perfect size and a cross between a handbag and tote.” The architectural shape adds interest to any outfit and can fit all the essentials—wallet, phone, water bottle—without any bulk.


How She Stays Focused At Work: A Clean, Tidy Desk

“I’m a minimalist at heart and love organizing. It’s the best way to focus!” says Sarafpour. “I learned the idea of mise en place in cooking school, which is about gathering the components needed for a recipe. I set up my desk similarly, with only what is needed for the task at hand.”


Tech Accessories She Can’t Live Without: Apple iPad And Pencil

Sarafpour’s Apple iPad is the “one single device I live on. I draw on it, and do spreadsheets and anything else you can imagine,” she says. Another must-have accessory: “The Apple Pencil, which makes it easier to draw on my iPad.” If you want to jazz up the all-white tool, consider a colorful case (pictured).


How She Stays Energized And Hydrated: Jasmine Tea

“A cup of jasmine green tea is how I stay hydrated during the day. I drink it hot or cold, depending on the weather.” In between meetings and Zoom calls, Sarafpour refreshes her look with an easy switch. “For a super quick change, I just throw on a Khaite black blazer and pull my hair back with one of my Behnaz for Aerin hair accessories.”


How She Unwinds After Work: Eucalyptus Baths

“To de-stress at the end of the day, I love being in the water more than anything. So if I don’t have access to a beach or pool, soaking in a bathtub is the next best thing,” says Sarafpour. “Goop bath salts are a great treat to add to the bath water—specifically I love the eucalyptus-infused Beauty Nurse.”


How She Stays Inspired: Reading Cookbooks

Snacking Cakes: Simple Treats for Anytime Cravings: A Baking Book


“Anything like a book or a lesson that teaches me a new skill or opens my mind to something new is the most treasured gift to me,” says Sarafpour. “I especially like getting cookbooks, such as Yossy Arefi’s Snacking Cakes, since we’ve all been eating at home more these days.”

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