Social media has granted us behind-the-scenes access us to the lives and wardrobes of a new wave of fashion insiders, and we find ourselves seeking style inspiration from these multi-faceted career women more so than ever before. Which is why we’ve teamed up with FARFETCH for a conversation on personal style with three influential women in fashion with both enviable careers, and the wardrobes to match. From dressing for your personality and your values, to the key pieces on their lust-lists right now, discover what fashion in 2020 means to the women who are shaping the industry from within.
Jewellery designer and sculptor
The French-Algerian designer studied engineering and worked in consulting in Paris before her career took an abrupt turn. Feeling creatively unfulfilled, Kermiche packed her bags and moved to London to study jewellery design at Central Saint Martins, launching her eponymous label upon graduating. Her brand soon garnered a cult following, and her gorgeous jewellery and Insta-famous nude vases and jugs can now be spotted on and in the homes of chic influencers around the globe including Pernille Teisbaeck and Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine Choen.
Catwalk images (clockwise from top): Christian Dior, Stella McCartney, Y/Project and Fendi
Your designs are a celebration of women. Why is that an important part of your brand?
Wearing jewellery is the most feminine statement ever because it is, in a way, quite unnecessary. Clothes and shoes have a function; jewellery is frivolous. When the time came to create my brand after spending so many years working in fields that weren’t made for me, I felt liberated. It was time to make my brand as feminine and audacious as possible. Being a designer for my own label and not for somebody else’s brand allows me to design at my own pace and to make all the creative decisions I want in terms of branding.
How has your personal style evolved?
People say 30 and 35 are comparable, but in my case I feel like a different person and I want to dress differently. At 30, I finished Central Saint Martins and wasn’t sure what my future would look like. I would still dress to impress the opposite gender, or wear quite extravagant pieces to convince myself or others that there was something cool about me. This was probably because I hadn’t yet accomplished what I wanted to creatively, and expressed this through daring, loud outfits. With age, clothes have become a comfortable envelope in which I feel myself, not an armour that tries to prove something.
What items are always worth investing in?
Coats – we are in London; we wear them eight months a year. I bought a cashmere Roksanda coat last year and couldn’t sleep for a few days wondering if it was a crazy idea because it cost an arm and a leg. I don’t regret it, though – it looks spectacular and motivates me to work harder, because it’s difficult to go back to lower quality after owning such a wonderful piece.
Editorial and celebrity stylist
This New York-based stylist, editor, and brand consultant was pre-med at university in Midwest U.S. when she began interning at fashion publications. A highly-coveted styling assistant position with Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert secured her standing in the industry, and Solange went on to serve three years at the helm of Paper Magazine as Fashion Editor-at-Large. She now splits her time between editorial and celebrity styling, with clients including Solange Knowles, Serena Williams and Susan Sarandon, to name just a few.
Catwalk images (clockwise from top): Jacquemus, Valentino, Miu Miu and Rejina Pyo
2020 has been a year of big change. Has your approach to fashion altered?
My convictions have deepened because the stakes for those we’re supporting with our hard-earned money feel more urgent. And why? Intention, intention, intention. I want purchases to make sense environmentally and financially. I also still think dressing for joy and escapism is just as important as shopping for comfort.
In what ways does your wardrobe reflect your values?
It’s mostly vintage, designed by people of colour, or has been in my closet for quite some time.
Describe your perfect outfit…
Something with texture and colour that can be accomplished in one step, such as a dress or a jumpsuit.
What items are always worth investing in?
Jewellery, chic flats, and independent designer pieces.
What role does fashion play in today’s world and how can it be a force for good?
There’s an immense ability, and therefore accountability, for the entire industry to use its influence for good. We touch all sectors of humanity and consumerism: the environment, racism, gender parity, entertainment. Tackling even one of those verticals influences the others, for more equitable and joyful living.
Complete the sentence “fashion opens doors to a world of…”
… informed agency. Whether we specifically use fashion for dreaming, community support or political messaging, it’s a clear vocabulary that we can control.
Lainy Hedaya Hoffstein
After studying visual merchandising and store design at university, the New York-based creative launched her fashion blog Haute Inhabit in 2011 as a hobby that soon expanded into a thriving career path. The style influencer and entrepreneur now commands a loyal following on Instagram, monetising her platform through brand partnerships, art commissions and most recently, personal shopping services.
Catwalk images (clockwise from top): Prada, JW Anderson, Alexander McQueen, Bottega Veneta and Ganni.
How does your design background influence your wardrobe?
My tailor always jokes “you give me the most complicated things to fix.” The pieces I sometimes invest in are very intricate and so magnificently draped and complex that they’re a tough fix… in short, when I see something and it looks hard to make, I want it.
You’ve had a lot of experience in the fashion industry; what’s the best tip you’ve picked up along the way?
You really don’t need to have a lot of clothes… but it’s best to have quality pieces. I grew up with a small, edited closet, then in college I thought I needed everything. Finally, with maturity, I’ve realised that less is more and quality is best.
Congratulations on your son turning one. How, if at all, has your style changed since becoming a mother?
It has become a lot more relaxed. A tight leather Margiela jacket with heels doesn’t really work when chasing a toddler around, which involves a lot of bending down and picking up, not to mention all the food stains. I’ve come into a good flow, I think. I never really invested in nice day basics before; now that’s all I buy.
How are you supporting sustainable fashion?
I buy from a lot of small brands – I actually prefer it. FARFETCH is great in that respect because you have access to those on a global scale.
FARFETCH opens the doors to the world’s greatest edit of desirable brands, emerging designers and over 700 boutiques. Discover more at Farfetch.com/uk