Steph Shep Takes Us Behind the Scenes of Her Gold Gala Red Carpet Prep


The Gold Gala took place on May 6 in Los Angeles, honoring an elite list of trailblazing Asian creators. For the second annual event, which awarded such stars as Ke Huy Quan and Sandra Oh for their work in film, Stephanie Suganami Shepherd knew she wanted to choose her look thoughtfully. “I really wanted to wear an Asian designer for the gala, and I am such a huge fan of Joseph Altuzarra,” the entrepreneur and environmental advocate, who is better known as Steph Shep, tells POPSUGAR. “When I saw this look on the runway for fall 2023, I immediately texted my stylist that I had to wear it for something. I’ve never worn an Altuzarra [design] to an event before; I’m so excited it worked out, and I’m honored I get to wear this gown.”

The choice of an Asian designer was fitting, as celebrating her culture was top of mind for Shepherd that evening. “It’s really important for me to connect with my Japanese heritage, and to me, that means finding community here in LA,” she says. “Gold House is an incredible organization where I have been able to not only see myself but to feel a support of the AAPI community I don’t think I have ever experienced in my life.”

The gown also felt quintessentially Shepherd, with its minimalist silhouette and subversive take on the cutout trend. “I love the simplicity of it and the elegance of the long puddle skirt,” she reveals. “It feels really elevated and extravagant, yet at the same time simple and understated.”

It’s important to Shepherd that her outfit choices remain true to her unique sartorial point of view. “I always try to choose something that feels authentic to my personal style,” she says, adding, “Don’t feel pressure to conform to how everyone else is dressing or what is trendy if it doesn’t speak to you.”

Keep scrolling for more style advice from Shepherd, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at her getting-ready process for the 2023 Gold Gala.

Related: Chriselle Lim and Tina Leung on the OG Influencer Community and the Elusive “Asian Dinner”

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