Sandra modelling her 5 Inch And Up collection for Nelly
Back in 2010 Grazia’s Style Hunter bumped into Sandra Haglestam on a side street near Oxford Circus. We were instantly blown away by her totally individual – but impressively minimalist style – and the shot above of a plaited Finnish beauty working the sports-luxe trend before anyone else remains one of Grazia’s favourites. At the time Sandra mentioned her blog - 5 Inch And Up (as in heel height!) - and we liked it very much. Fast forward two years and she’s not only one of the most popular presences on the web planet of fashion, constantly contacted for style features online and in magazines. She’s set up her own street style blog, been snapped up to front campaigns and now the latest string to her (probably Alexander Wang) bow is to design her very own range for online Scandi superstore Nelly. We caught up with the girl of the moment…
Style Hunter's snap of Sandra from 2010
Grazia Daily: We’re knee deep in LFW - what are your fashion week survival essentials?
Sandra: High and comfortable heels, dry shampoo and my camera!
What have you designed that you’ll be wearing to fashion week?
The 'Cross' wedge boots that have a comfortable plato for running around, the 'Tasha' kimono coat for cool and effortless layering and the 'Blink' neoprene varsity jacket for a touch of sports luxe - all from my 5 inch and up x Nelly collection that we launched this week!
The 5 Inch And Up x Nelly line up!
What was it like to be able to design your own clothes?
Absolutely amazing, most of the items were my ideal wardrobe staples that are timeless. I tried to bring together my design vision with my personal style of dressing as the collection was designed to reflect the style of my blog. I have been so pleased with Nelly, who gave me free reign to design everything myself. They have been guiding and supporting me throughout, basically been an ideal partnership for someone in my position!
Have there been certain items you’ve wanted to get hold of, couldn’t find, and can now create them youself?
Definitely. I am quite a short girl so there are a lot of items that I've been trying to find for ages. Like the 'Pine' pants that are drop crotch but with a skinny leg and tailored look. The pants work with the most type of shoes. The cut-out 'Ringa' dress as well, I wanted a modern, classy dress with cut-outs… without it being too revealing.
Which piece is your favourite?
Gosh, I love the 'Tasha' kimono as it's quite a special piece, then I like the Ringa dress for it's versatility and the 'Stella' shorts for easy layering.
Two of Sandra's recent street snapped looks
What items do you think street style photographers are always drawn to?
I think they look for surprising mixes, right now maybe a comic print tee with showy jewellery or colourful print combinations. Keep the focus on the accessories and fine details. The close-up shots are the most popular during fashion week!
Who is your style icon?
Style icon currently is stylist Ada Kokosar. She nails the whole effortless smart casual look, and always plays with contrasts which makes her style something to be inspired by!
What has been your top fashion moment so far?
I would have to say launching my signature collection for Nelly. The whole process of planning and designing, to finally seeing the garments take shape and go up for sale. The next stage is to se how it will be received and how people would incorporate the pieces in to their own style. It's been exciting on so many levels.
What advice would she keep to aspiring bloggers? And how long has it taken to get to this point?
I would say stay focused. You don't have to write about everything, it can even be better if you find your own genre - it might be what will separate you from the crowd. Focus on what your good at and you might have a change to collaborate with brands and publications. So if it's writing, stay professional or if it's the photography, invest in the right equipment. And lastly think outside the box! Copying others will not get you noticed. I have been blogging for two years and find that my readers love to hear about my home county Finland and my studies, so it's all about adding a personal touch to everything you do.