She’s taken the blogging world by storm, and now she’s treading on toes in the fashion industry with her new shoe collection for River Island. Fashion blogger Sandra Hagelstam, owner of 5 inch and up talks about her new collaboration with the high street store which launched on November 6.
It all started when Finnish born Sandra, who studied fashion design and marketing at London College of Fashion had to get an internship as part of the course.
“I walked into River Island HQ to find pictures of me and my blog on their mood boards. I had no idea that people knew about my blog or people in the industry took notice. I got the job with a nice introduction to what River Island is all about.”
Owning over 400 pairs of shoes herself, it was only right that she should work alongside River Island to create her own shoe collection.
“I was given a free hand to do pretty much anything I wanted which was incredible, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I hardly had to make any changes. In fact, I had to narrow down the collection from twelve shoes to my favourite six.”
With an edgy yet wearable collection Sandra has definitely kept the River Island customer in mind: “I wanted to create something quite sexy, yet sophisticated and suitable for the River Island girl. She’s young, fun and proud of who she is. She’s glamorous, but not what I call a Christmas tree; you have to find a balance and sometimes less is more.”
“I still wanted to bring my Scandinavian background into the shoes; therefore designing quite a minimal shoe was key,” she explained. “There’s been a lot of flats, chunkiness, and I’d say ’90s influence has been in trend at the moment. But I’ve always loved ay high heel that’s very feminine, so my inspiration came from underwear with a bit of Victorian influence in there as well.”
When asked about her favourite style of the collection she said, “I really love the court shoes, that’s my favourite shoe to wear. They really elongate your legs, they go with everything from jeans to dresses and can be dressed up or down. Not to mention mine are very classic, with detailed lacing at the front, so there is versatility.”
About the collection
The collection comes in five different styles; all black with the exception of the court heel which is sold in black and beige. For the textures of the shoe think suede, mock-croc and pony-skin. Refining her colour scheme to a minimum of two, Sandra has kept her collection classy, seasonal and practical.
“The reason why they’re neutral is because we’re going into winter, so I didn’t want to bring in too many colours. Also, you’ll find me in monochrome most of the time, so my collection represents me as a person.”
“It’s been a fantastic experience working with the great team of buyers and designers at River Island in creating this collection and I hope it will be as fun to wear as it has been to design the shoes.”
In terms of working after the collection Sandra said: “the blog has pretty much launched my career, so I’ll be continuing with that full time, but I would like to do more design and hopefully soon I’ll have my own shoe line.”
Photography by Mariah Miranda