We are so excited about the River Island footwear collaboration for AW14 with Finnish born Fashion Blogger, Sandra Hagelstam from blog 5 Inch and Up.
We were super elated to receive an exclusive Q&A with the super blogger in regards to the new collection. Check out what Sandra had to say!
Q: Did you have anyone in mind when you were designing the collection?
A: I started off designing very much with a River Island girl in mind. I went into store a couple of times and whilst I was looking at the customers I realised the River Island girl is very, in a good way, she’s very loud and proud of who she is, she’s very sexy and she’s very glam. Basically you need to have a balance of what you wear, so I very much did it with the River Island customer in mind and then I brought my own style to it.
Q: Which is your favorite shoe from the collection?
A: It’s the pumps, the Black 5 Inch & Up cut out court shoes. This was my absolute first sketch and I love pumps, but I find so many of them can be so uncomfortable that you basically just have them on your dressing table. These are actually comfortable! We worked a lot around making them comfortable, because I know everything about uncomfortable shoes, so we have some padding in the shoes and they have a very nice straight heel in the back. So I challenge you all to try them on and prove me wrong, but they are really comfortable.
Q: How did you get into blogging in the first place?
A: I used to read a lot of blogs , I used to love Fashion Toast, Sea of Shoes, Carla’s Closest, mostly US blogs and I’ve always been obsessed with heels, I’m always in heels. So I was looking at my shoe closet one day and I was like I have all of those ‘it’ shoes that these girls are wearing, I need to give these shoes some attention! I just loved the idea of having a visual diary, it was very much what I wanted to do, and I’ve never been much of a writer but pictures and working with pictures felt very natural to me. I just thought as a visual diary and after upgrading my camera and using my own pictures I started to connect with brands and then it became my full time job! So bit by bit definitely. But when you do things like create your own content, it’s very unique and you have a voice it’s very valuable.
Q: Having your own style and being so unique in putting outfits together, where would you say you get your inspiration?
A: I do a lot of browsing online; obviously I’m a big blog reader myself. Pinterest is a great platform to be able to pin stuff together, have your own little mood-board. But I still read a lot of print magazines. I think the stylists in print magazines do a really good job, so it’s a mix and I’m very influenced by street style, I think it’s a very nice opposite to the runway trends that we see. I really like mixing different contrasts, and having almost a nightie as a dress that can be worn out; if you feel too naked, throw on a blazer, it’s all about contrasts and creating an interesting silhouette.
Q: What was your favorite part of the design process?
A: I was given a really free hand to do anything I wanted, which was incredible going into such a new project. I wasn’t sure how we were going to move forward, so I just started submitting sketches thinking “how much am I allowed to do? How many compromises are we going to have to make?” However I was pleasantly surprised to find I hardly had to make any compromises. I have a sketch from November [Last Year] that’s exactly the same as the pumps that are available right now. So we hardly had to make any compromises, although we did have to narrow down the collection. I had 12 styles and I was like “let’s do all of them!” and now we have six, but it’s a good narrowed down collection I think.
Q: If you’re a blogger and you’re interested in working with River Island, how do you recommend starting?
A: I’d definitely say don’t be shy. River Island do press days 4 times a year and they love having bloggers over. It’s a really nice way to get connected and you know be brave, talk to the team here, if you have a blog, maybe a business card, pass it on and try to connect. The worst thing they could say is no!
The 5 Inch and Up collection is available in select River Island stores and online at us.riverisland.com, with prices ranging from $160 – $370.
HOW TO WALK IN HEELS
With party season fast approaching, who better to show us how to walk in high heels than super-blogger Sandra Hagelstam? We caught up with Sandra ahead of her exclusive 5 Inch and Up collection launch to get her top tips on posture, poise and picking the perfect shoes.
Check out the video below for Sandra’s advice, and don’t forget to shop her capsule collection which launches online and in-stores tomorrow!