From hospitality to fashion, Aslaug Magnusdottir puts sustainability at the center of everything she creates.
“Proximity to the ocean is something that I grew up with both in Reykjavik and California,” says Aslaug Magnusdottir. “Now, simply walking on the beach with my little shiba inu, Icy, is one of the most restorative things I do.” PHOTO COURTESY OF BRANDS AND RETAILER
Born in Reykjavik, Iceland, and raised between there and Los Angeles, Aslaug Magnusdottir has loved fashion for as long as she can remember. “When I was 4 years old, my favorite book was Princess Penelope’s 365 Dresses and I begged my mom to read it to me every night even though I knew all the words by heart,” says Magnusdottir, co-founder of Moda Operandi and founder and CEO of Katla, the vegan womenswear line she launched in 2020. “It was only recently that I realized that the book was actually a story about sustainable fashion.” The theme of sustainability has played a big part in her career, starting with Moda Operandi’s preorder model—“It allowed us to perfectly match supply and demand, and to minimize waste,” Magnusdottir explains—to Katla’s eco-conscious ethos. “We select beautiful eco-friendly fabrics, such as seaweed blends, organic cotton and vegan silks, and manufacture locally in the United States,” she says. “Most importantly, we apply a zero-waste manufacturing policy, which means that we only produce what our customers actually buy.” After experiencing major career burnout, Magnusdottir made health and fitness (running; sessions with Mary Helen Bowers, founder of Ballet Beautiful; martial arts; and more) a priority in her life, something she’s applying to the creation of Six Senses Össurá Valley, a wellness-focused luxury resort in Iceland that will open in two to three years. Here, the Iceland-and California-based entrepreneur—and mom-to-be—shares her sustainable style picks.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF BRANDS AND RETAILER
“Cult Gaia bags have become a staple of my summer ward robe. I love how oversized this raffia bag is, which makes it perfect for going to the beach.” Cult Gaia Irma large raffia tote, modaoperandi.com
regularly use this product—made from Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater and silica mud—to deep cleanse my skin and to help minimize the appearance of pores.” Blue Lagoon Iceland silica mud mask, skincare. bluelagoon.com
“The stunning color of this dress is guaranteed to make a statement. I will be wearing it to summer cocktail parties and dinners.” Ganni cutout printed cotton strapless mididress, modaoperandi.com
“Stella McCartney is my go-to for beautiful vegan shoes. I love the chunky sole of this sandal and will be pairing it with summer dresses and skirts.” Stella McCartney Emilie vegan leather sandals, modaoperandi.com
“I partnered with an Icelandic artist to create the print for this dress, which is inspired by the beautiful poppy fields of California.” Katla Soffia dress, katla.com
“This mini version of the iconic Falabella tote is the perfect bag for casual dinners and nights out. It looks great with slacks and a button-down or cute crop top.” Stella McCartney mini Falabella crocheted cotton tote bag, modaoperandi.com