Sister act Sara and Erin Foster may be “Barely Famous” — the title of the VH1 reality show parody series they created a few years back — but the comedic writing-acting-producing duo have made quite a name for themselves as multihyphenates with a collective following of 1.3 million on Instagram.
“It’s not like we set out to be these relatable big sisters that you never had,” Sara says, “but we try to put out as much of an unfiltered life as possible to people. I think that is a big part of why our different ventures have been successful. Women don’t feel intimidated by us. They feel like they’re our girlfriends.”
The Foster sisters had those loyal “girlfriends” in mind when they created Favorite Daughter, a contemporary clothing line whose name borrows from their brand of humor (they each like to joke that they’re the favorite).
“I would have never imagined that I was in a position to have a fashion brand,” Sara admits, “but the women at Centric [Brands, which owns Hervé Léger and Joe’s Jeans] were so passionate. They said, ‘There is something here. You speak to all these women.’ They saw it before we did.”
Adds Erin, explaining that they work with a team to nail the brand’s laid-back California chic aesthetic, “We do not consider ourselves designers. We always think about what we need in our lives and what isn’t in our closets.” The Favorite Daughter squad includes design director Carla Calvelo and their younger sister, Jordan Foster, a New York-based stylist who is the label’s style director.
Launched in December 2020, Favorite Daughter opened its first store in Beverly Hills a year later. A second Palisades Village location is expected in the fall. The label consists of breezy dresses, denim, sweaters, jackets and blazers with a price range of $45 for logo tees (that say things like “Mom of the Year” and “Favorite Aunt”) to $595 for coats, which are available on shopfavoritedaughter.com.
The company’s latest release, due out July 21, is a collaboration with shoe designer Marina Larroudé. It features a summer capsule collection of strappy sandals in three colorways: black, ivory and electric blue. Erin calls the footwear, which is handmade in Brazil and retails for $275, “a heel that works for denim, dresses and skirts without being too high of a heel that you can wear by day and at night.”
The Fosters — whose father is music producer David Foster and mother is former model Rebecca Dyer — wear clothing well but admittedly share a low-key sartorial philosophy that they apply to their line.
“Sara and I run in a really fashionable crowd and we always felt like outsiders in the fashion crowd because we weren’t the girls that were spending thousands of dollars on The Row,” says Erin, whose close friends include Kate Hudson, jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer and stylist Rachel Zoe. “There are actually so many more women that connect to how we feel. That was the intention behind the brand; to create a fashion brand that feels fashion-forward but doesn’t feel exclusive. It doesn’t feel like, ‘You can’t sit with us.’ It feels accessible. We want to create things that you can wear and feel like you’re wearing a piece that’s a conversation starter but isn’t going to make you not be able to pay rent that month.”
“Neither one of us can wrap our head around spending $800 on a top. We just don’t do that. We weren’t raised that way,” adds Sara, who says, despite appearances, “We’ve always considered ourselves outsiders. We always feel like we’re on the other side of the velvet rope.”
It’s a theme the Foster sisters infused into Barely Famous, their Curb Your Enthusiasm-esque mockumentary reality series spoof that aired in 2015 and 2016. The VH1 show put the sisters on the radar of Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd, who then offered them a gig as co-heads of creative, a role they held at the dating app from 2017 to 2020.
Of that era, Sara remembers, “People in our friend group were like, ‘Are you crazy? You guys are actresses. You’re going to go have a corporate job? That won’t work and that won’t be good for you in the entertainment business.’ At the time, people were like, ‘You’re not going to be taken seriously as writer/actress/producers if you do this.’ Cut to: now it’s 2022 and every single actress is looking for companies to be investors in and advisors to — isn’t Jennifer Aniston the creative director of Vital Proteins?”
The Fosters have since created Oversubscribed Ventures, an early stage consumer-focused venture capital firm that counts Bev low-carb wines, ZenWTR and Exponent Beauty product line among its investments. The women also advised Lululemon’s recently acquired at-home fitness company The Mirror. “Erin and I love brand building,” Sara says. “We enjoy the process and it really does bring happiness.”
But the Fosters haven’t turned their backs on Hollywood. In addition to their podcast, The World’s First Podcast, the sisters have a television development deal with Disney’s 20th Century Fox. Shiksa, a Netflix comedy with Modern Family co-creator Steven Levitan, is among their projects. Erin, who is writing the series with Sara producing; it’s being developed as an acting vehicle for both.
“It’s about a girl who has to convert to Judaism who marries a guy she wants to be with,” says Erin. It’s inspired by Erin’s marriage to The Core Entertainment co-founder Simon Tikhman in 2019. (Vogue covered the couple’s Nashville wedding, which was attended by friends Hudson, Zoe, and Jonah Hill.)
Raised in Los Angeles, the Foster sisters may appear to have had a front row seat to the entertainment industry thanks to their dad’s music career; however, they say they often felt like they were on the outside looking in. “We didn’t feel like a part of Hollywood at all,” Sara says.
Erin interjects, “We were closer than other people. We grew up around the music business. Our dad was always working so hard and had his head down, focused on what he was doing.” She says his work ethic and passion did influence their personal journeys. “He didn’t have a college education,” she says. “He didn’t even finish high school. He wasn’t on some clear path and he never pushed us to be on a clear path either, but he pushed us to follow our passion. People will say to us, ‘Why didn’t your dad ever push you guys to be musicians?’ First of all, we’re not talented, so that helps, but he also was like, ‘That’s not really my job. If you’re interested in music, then you know where to find me. I’m in a studio seven days a week and if you have a passion to do this, then come and work at the studio to understand what’s going on there. If that’s not what you care about, then get a job in acting or architecture, or whatever you care about. It’s on you to figure that out and get there.’”
Sara, who got her start as a model and actor, says, “We were raised that you have to get a job. You’ve got to work.”
The Foster sisters have applied that mindset to all of their ventures. “We believe in saying yes to things and stretching yourself,” Erin says, “and if it doesn’t work, that’s okay. We believe that every chance you take, even if it’s not where you wanted to end up, it could be taking you one step closer.”
The women have only scratched the surface of what they hope to accomplish. Erin says she wants to write a book while Sara is eager to get back to acting. “I miss being funny on TV,” the latter says. “I’d love to do a third season of Barely Famous or figure out what that next thing is. People are like, ‘I don’t understand. How is there not a third season or a new iteration of that show?’ I don’t have a good answer anymore. I think we’d kick ourselves if we didn’t figure out what the next iteration is at some point.”
As for their passionate social media following, the sisters say they aren’t sure what to call their audience. “Our followers? Our friends? Whatever you want to call them — fans? I always feel weird saying that,” Sara says. “But they feel connected to us.”
A version of this story first appeared in the July 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.