Friday, 26 July 2013

Q&A with La Paire founder Amy La

It's been a little while since we had a Q&A on The Style PA but I am really keen to share and support independent boutique owners and other bloggers. This time round it's shoe-lover and La Paire founder Amy La's turn to share some style wisdom and top shoe picks - I love the emerald green Sophia sandals!

Amy La on the beach
Tell us a bit about yourself? 
I'm originally from Sydney and moved to London over 7-years ago. After graduating with a communications degree, I worked in finance for a couple of years then moved into buying and was lucky enough to work for the luxury department stores David Jones in Australia and Selfridges in London. I LOVE food (both eating & cooking it), summer holidays, photography and of course, shoes! 

Why did you start La Paire?
It all started when I couldn’t find a nice comfortable pair of summer sandals one year. Even though I struggled in previous years I always managed to find something but I couldn’t this time and that was my light-bulb moment! I realised there was a gap in the market for colourful, well-made, quality, all-leather sandals and decided to start my own shoe label. There’s so much choice when it comes to high-heel shoes but not for flat sandals.

What inspires you? 
Lots of things inspire me…it could be anything from a colour or pattern to an artwork or a place, and I love bright colours. My first collection was inspired by the latter as well as memories from summer holidays, while the designs from the current collection drew heavily from the city of Rome – its architecture, patterns and motifs. I'm always looking for ideas and inspiration for future designs so regularly buy magazines and books which is now taking up a lot of space! 

Sophia sandals from the Roman Holiday collection
Sophia sandals from the Roman Holiday collection
What is your favourite trend of the moment?
I'm loving metallics, particularly mirrored-silver shoes and bags. I also love the femininity and soft pastels of the floral trend.

If you had to wear just one fashion designer's clothes for life, who would it be? 
That's a difficult one as I don't have just one favourite designer – I love Isabel Marant's left-bank chic, Chloe's simple feminine pieces and Valentino's beautiful dresses and gowns. Combine all three designers and I would have a complete wardrobe that covers every occasion.

What has been your biggest ever bargain? 
My pink Prada wallet which I bought for about £100!

And what has been your biggest ever splurge? 
I went through a phase of buying a designer handbag once a year. That was a few years ago now and I've stopped since but I would say that that has been my biggest splurge to date.

What do you collect? 
Instead of handbags, I now collect books. I love all sorts of books - from novels to fashion, interior design and photographic books. I'm quite old-school and just love the feel of them, the act of flipping through the pages and how it fills up my bookshelf. I hope that they never stop printing books!

Which celebrity would you love to dress and why? 
I would have loved to dress Audrey Hepburn. She had impeccable taste and was so chic. Her style was quite simple but elegant and timeless, just like our sandals. I just love the fashion from the 1950's era.

Which celebrity do you think has the best style? 
I love Diane Kruger's style – whether casual or formal, she always looks very cool and understated. I think one of her best fashion moments was that gorgeous pale-mint gown she wore to Cannes in 2012. 

Florus snakeskin print sandal
Florus snakeskin print sandal
What shoes would you wear on a first date? 
That would depend on where we're going or what we'll be doing. If it's dinner at a nice restaurant then I'd probably dress up my outfit with our Florus wedge – the snakeskin print leather is so versatile and can be worn from day through to night. Otherwise if it were a casual occasion like a picnic then I'd definitely where flat sandals, most likely the Verano in turquoise as I think it's quite sexy and I love the bright hue.

What's your ultimate style tip? Find styles and types of clothes that suit your body shape, and colours that suit your skin tone. Once you've got these basics right, you'll be able to build up a fabulous wardrobe.

Check out Amy's shoe label La Paire over here
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