Fashion / Style File

Dallas Native Behind Coveted Headbands Comes Home, Talks Rituals, Hall Passes and Secret Skills

Preferential Treatment With Lele Sadoughi

BY // 07.31.19

Lele Sadoughi arrives at Forty Five Ten in Highland Park Village wearing a tropical print crop top with matching pencil skirt, heels, statement drop earrings, green cat-eye sunglasses, an enviable suntan, and one of her must-have hand-knotted headbands — this one studded with pearls. With this unapologetically bold embrace of fashion — on a weekday afternoon, no less — it should come as no surprise that Sadoughi was born and raised in Dallas.

Since launching her eponymous accessories line six years ago, Sadoughi has garnered a cult following for her maximalist, feminine designs, from embellished headwear to acetate floral earrings. While she is singlehandedly responsible for a number of the biggest accessories trends in recent years, her career path is proof that she’s been a powerful creative force in the industry for far longer.

After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin (by way of Greenhill), Sadoughi went on to Central Saint Martins in London and then to New York, where she designed for Rebecca Taylor, Ippolita, Neiman Marcus, and other major retailers and brands. In 2005, she was tapped to be the J. Crew’s first ever jewelry design director, growing the division into a $40 million dollar business over five years.

Now, Sadoughi’s definition of jewelry has expanded.

“I think of jewelry as more than earrings, necklaces, and bracelets,” she tells PaperCity. “It’s also a jeweled headband. I’m doing jeweled socks and belts. I wanted a go-to place where I could find totally fun, over-the-top accessories for the jeans you already have or the dress you already have.”

She’s also added a line of colorful sunglasses with interchangeable chains to the mix, as well as handbags, hair accessories, and home décor, or, as Sadoughi refers to it, jewelry for the home. Sadoughi’s fans love her pieces for the ability to easily add personality to any outfit — something the designer herself can appreciate as a busy mother of two young children running a growing business.

Animal Fever

  • J McLaughlin - Card Deck 1 - Animal Print
  • J McLaughlin - Card Deck 1 - Animal Print
  • J McLaughlin - Card Deck 1 - Animal Print
  • J McLaughlin - Card Deck 1 - Animal Print
  • J McLaughlin - Card Deck 1 - Animal Print
  • J McLaughlin - Card Deck 1 - Animal Print
  • J McLaughlin - Card Deck 1 - Animal Print
  • J McLaughlin - Card Deck 1 - Animal Print

While multitasking has become a way of life, Sadoughi had the chance to enjoy some poolside family time while in Dallas and enjoy the comforts of home — namely Torchy’s and Tacodeli. Also while here, she answered PaperCity’s Preferential Treatment questionnaire:

Where are you right at this moment? 

I’m lounging in front of my parents’ pool in my outfit from our trunk show with Forty Five Ten. Heels off and resting before the evening.

The zip code you call home.


Style of residence.

Townhouse in Chelsea, NYC.

What you wear to bed.

Silk button-down pajama sets.

Early or late riser.

Early riser, especially since I have a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old.

Coffee or tea.

Decaf, occasionally.

Morning ritual.

Wake up, check my phone for messages from Europe and China, take the kids to the kitchen for breakfast, run back upstairs to get dressed, throw on a headband and some heels, drop off the kids at school, and get to my office.

Evening ritual.

Bath time and bedtime with the kids, make dinner for my husband and myself, and have some wine or something on the rocks.

Go-to daytime ensemble.

Bright colored pencil skirt, puffy sleeves, big earrings, heels, and a jeweled headband.

Ideal evening look.

Colorful, long, floral dress with a crystal headband and chandelier earrings.

One thing you always keep in mind when getting dressed.

More is more. Accessories make the outfit, so dress up your denim.

Your happy place destination.

Laguna is my happy place. We go there several times a year.

The hotel you call your home away form home.

The Rosewood Mayakoba. It’s where I got married.

Travel bag. 

Something big to fit my children’s clothes as well as mine.

Last person you cocktail’ed with and what was your poison?

Casamigos Reposado, neat, with three limes. With my sister in Dallas.

Dream concert. 


Store where you wish you had an unlimited charge account.

Forty Five Ten. Then I can visit Aspen, Napa, New York, and Dallas all the time!

Items currently on your coffee table.

Jewels and more jewels and my crystal lily decorative boxes.

Last movie you saw.

I never have time for the movies.

Hall pass.

Dennis Quaid from 1987 (Innerspace).

Who would play you in the movie of your life?

 People say I look like Sarah Michelle Gellar.

If you weren’t in your current profession, what would you be doing?

Designing interiors of homes.

Secret skill.

I am ambidextrous.

When others see a home,
We see a Work of Art
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