Interview With Sandra Espinet

With each new year brings new colors, trends, and styles.  I turned to Sandra Espinet to help navigate the year’s changes and get some style inspiration.  Here’s that conversation:

Wandering In Heels: We all know the Pantone Color of the year for 2014 is Radiant Orchid but are there any other colors we should look out for?

Sandra Espinet: I’m not much for following “colors of the year.” Being a slave to trends is a great way to have your designs look dated. The world of fashion moves at a much faster rate [than interior design]. So if you buy a purple dress you can easily change it next year. But in interiors we tend to change out our furniture slowly. No one wants to have an 8 year old purple dated sofa. Right?

WIH: Absolutely not!  Unless that’s your thing, of course!  Your book, The Well-Traveled Home, shows that you pull colors from exotic locales into your home designs and talks about a “Fearless use of color.” What does that mean and do you use that same approach to fashion? How would you suggest other fashionistas be more fearless with color?

SEYes, I love colour and yes I think it’s a great way to be interesting. But style is very personal. There is no “one” style for everyone. You need to find your own style and work your own colors into your world. A great example would be to look at Jennifer Lopez and to look at Angelina Jolie. Very different colour palettes yet they both are successful in making themselves look great. They have each found their own colors.

WIH: You’ve had the opportunity to live all over the world. How has that influenced your fashion sense? How do you put together a well-traveled look?

SE: Yes, I do think travel affects everyone. It opens your eyes to how other people live and it makes you more aware of lifestyles. I do think that having lived abroad makes me a bit more adventurous with my choices and my colors. But deep down inside I am a pretty neutral person. I love clean lines and neutral colors also.

WIH: How do the latest fashion trends influence your home designs?

SE: It does not. I love to go to a few shows each year at NY Fashion Week because I do like to see what’s moving in the Fashion World. But I consider my design team and I to be design trend setters. So we look at other trends, but we also create our own.

WIH: Just like our home, we want to keep our wardrobes classic but fresh. Any tips for keeping your wardrobe classic but fresh?

SE: I think being organised is one of the most important things for a closet. That way you know what you have and what you need to get rid of. Editing and getting rid of old clothes (and yes sadly shoes) helps you not wear anything that is no longer in vogue or that no longer fits you well. It takes time to be organised. I love my closet and I spend a few hours a month on a given Sunday, cleaning out, and organising it.

WIH: You always look so polished and fabulous while traveling all over! Do you have any secrets?

SE: Non-wrinkle clothes. Really! I can pack a bag in 30 minutes and I have learned to pack light and add lots of non-wrinkle items in my carry one. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to go straight from a long flight into a meeting. It makes all the difference. Linen does not travel well. Don’t wear linen pants on a flight.  Also, plan ahead and check the weather. I was just in London and Paris. I only took one pair of boots that matched all outfits so I could save space. I walked all around London and Paris in saddle brown Chanel fur lined boots.Sandra Sandra 2

For more information on Sandra Espinet, please visit her website at www.SandraEspinet.com.

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