Sara Streule is a fashion blogger and creative director. With her brightly coloured outfits and pink hair, she certainly stands out in Zurich. ‘People often start talking to me in English,’ she says with a laugh. ‘Because of my style, they automatically assume that I don’t live here.’ Sara, 36, talks to us about fashion, self-confidence and the latest trends.
People in Zurich tend to dress quite conservatively. But not you!
Yes, most people here don’t want to stand out. Whenever someone talks to me about my outfit, I encourage them to be more daring in the way they dress. But of course it tends to polarise people – which isn’t typically Swiss.
You lived in London for a while before returning to Zurich.
Yes – coming back here was a bit of a culture shock. And I’d forgotten that people in Zurich can be very distant. But now I feel at home here again.
Was it hard for you to make friends?
Yes. Also because I’m actually quite shy. That surprises a lot of people because of the way I dress. But it’s something I have to do.
How do you mean?
For me, fashion is a way of communicating and expressing myself. Even as a child, I realised that I could either follow the herd and be unhappy, or I could be true to myself.
You’re quite self-confident?
Yes. I grew up in a small village in the east of Switzerland. There were no shops apart from a food store and a bakery. I think that helped me to listen to myself and trust my own style rather than follow the latest trends.
How did you discover fashion?
We sometimes visited the nearest town. And I did a lot of travelling with my parents. By the time I was 10 I had been to China, Singapore and Bali. I also spent a lot of time in Egypt. I always brought back clothes and accessories from these trips. At school, my classmates used to say: ‘Sara always dresses weird.’ When I was a teenager I went through a Goth phase, when I always wore black and a corset.
My style is still evolving – partly because I read a lot about fashion and regularly go to shows. My wardrobe has grown in line with my budget. I spend quite a lot on clothes compared to most people. But my wardrobe is also my journal – there’s a story behind every item.
‘My wardrobe is also my journal.’
Are you able to throw things out?
Yes. I don’t like my wardrobe to be too full and I want to find things quickly. You could say I curate my wardrobe.
And where do you find new items?
It depends. I’m also a fashion blogger, so labels sometimes send me their clothes. Of course that’s really cool, but I’m also a shopaholic and I spend a lot of time browsing online. That’s usually how I find second-hand stuff from well-known labels. Sometimes I actively hunt down a particular item.
Are brands important to you?
No. But I’m a big fan of Moschino – their old and new collections. I also like to support young designers. Over the last few years I’ve become more aware of sustainable manufacturing. That’s why I try to avoid certain stores.
Have you ever thought about launching your own collection?
All the time. But I actually prefer styling to designing. And particularly because I know so many talented young fashion designers – one of them dedicated a collection to me last year. That was a real honour.
‘For me, fashion is a kind of self-love.’
Do you think you’ll ever get bored with fashion?
No. Maybe I’ll have to give up wearing heels when I’m 80. But for me, fashion is a kind of self-love – a way of making time for myself. Every evening I put together my outfit for the next day – down to the tiniest detail. It’s fun to find the right parasol or the perfect earrings.
You never get tired of it?
No, never. People sometimes say: ‘It would look like fancy dress on me, but on you it just looks right.’ I think that’s incredibly nice feedback.
Because people feel my appearance perfectly reflects my personality.
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