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My earliest fashion memory was when I was around six years old. We lived in Korea and Japan at that time, and my mum brought home some vintage wedding dresses. I remember being wowed by them. They were far too big for me, but I would swan around in them thinking they were the most stylish pieces ever. I didn’t come from a particularly fashion-y family, but I would pore over glossy magazines and started doing internships in London as soon as I could. I wanted to be a journalist originally, but quickly realised that styling was my true calling – I’ve since gone on to work for British, French and Italian Vogue, the Wall Street Journal and Holiday magazine, as well as consulting for fashion brands at both ends of the spectrum.
My first designer purchase happened during my time as a fashion cupboard intern at the Telegraph. We called in a pair of Vivienne Westwood platforms and I tried them on. They were incredible. I decided I had to have them and spent what must have been my entire student loan on them. I still have them now and, in fact, they’re still sold in boutiques today – I like to think I have eye for longevity!
Self-confidence is at the heart of my personal style. I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy and, while I’m more likely to wear feminine pieces during the summer, I generally live in jeans. Comfort is paramount. Ultimately it comes down to whether you’re wearing your clothes or whether they’re wearing you. I want my clothes to feel like a second skin. My style icons include Kate Moss, Anita Pallenberg and David Bowie – it’s not always women who inspire me.
I’ve always loved buying pre-loved clothing, but I felt frustrated by the lack of luxury resale and masses of choice making it all feel a bit like a jumble sale. This is what led me to launch Reluxe – we curate an edited selection of pre-loved, designer fashion that is also delivered as sustainably as possible. We want to present pre-loved fashion in an editorial way, proving that it’s not a last resort. We also offer customers the chance to earn back some money by reselling pieces from their own wardrobe – we want to make this as easy as possible with our hassle-free concierge service, which will collect and take care of the selling process.
You might be surprised by what you can find on Reluxe. In Britain, women only wear around 25% of their wardrobes, so trust me when I say we have some seriously good pieces. My industry connections have allowed us to raid the closets of some incredibly stylish women – expect to see everything from Chanel bags to Levi’s jeans and Khaite tops that are brand new with the tags still attached. We’re also working closely with designers like Le Monde Beryl, Matteau, Bella Freud and Tove on what’s known as ‘deadstock’.
Sustainability was a big motivation behind the launch of Reluxe. I’ve worked in the fashion industry for a long time and am all too aware of the negative impact that mass production has on the environment. I want to try to provide a solution, rather than add to the problem – if you buy pre-loved you’re saving masses of water, fabric and energy compared to buying brand new. Sustainability is all about making more conscious decisions – you don’t have to get it right all the time, but doing your bit can make a difference.
Some of my proudest career moments have happened since the pandemic. I recently styled Margot Robbie’s British Vogue cover for the August 2021 issue. You can never predict how these things are going to go and we were in lockdown at the time, so there were added layers of difficulty. Fortunately, it was one of those days when everything went exactly to plan – Margot loved the clothes and the cover turned out to be a successful one. I also styled supermodels Amber Valetta, Carolyn Murphy and Shalom Harlow for the Wall Street Journal magazine – everyone was going through such a tough time back then, so I count myself very lucky to have been on shoots that were so inspiring and uplifting.
My favourite piece in my wardrobe is a black Alaïa dress. It’s one of those things I can just throw on for any occasion. It looks great with a trench coat in the daytime and just as good with kitten heels in the evening. My most worn items are jeans, which can be anything from Levi’s to Frame and Nili Lotan. I’m a bit of a denim obsessive – I recently tried to edit down my collection but I’m strangely attached to different pairs for different reasons.
If I could swap wardrobes with anyone, I would usually say Kate Moss. But seeing as I’ve worked with so many women via the Reluxe luxury concierge service, I’d happily swap with any of them! It’s addictive and I have to stop myself buying too many of the pieces from the site…