If it’s one thing I love, it would have to be supporting independent + edgy designers + the site ‘The Many Sides‘ (TMS), does just that but with their own special twist. Besides it’s founder Rita Sheath’s previous occupation in corporate, with a stint in PR, she has an impeccably well-edited eye for design, from apparel to accessories.
I had a chance to pick Rita’s brain on what makes ‘The Many Sides’ unique + necessary + here’s what she had to say.
CY: With so many fashion blogs out there, what would you count as your checklist to make it unique + stand out?
RS: I think while its obviously important to think about what your readers would find interesting, I do think that what makes a blog unique is the voice of the writer so ultimately you have to find your voice + try + make that carry through the content + style of the blog.
CY: How do you decide on which indie designers to carry? Do they approach you or vice versa?
RS: I always look for clothing + design that makes me think. it sounds strange but I like the designer to be inspiring in some way, thoughtful in their construction, that have a message they tell through their clothes + to see a common thread that ties the collections together in a cohesive way. I also pay a lot of attention to quality manufacturing + attention to detail. I have been approached by designers but I also seek designers out if I like their work.
CY: Would you say picking clothing is a lot easier than accessories? Why?
RS: No they are both difficult. Actually accessories can sometimes be harder – its hard to make truly unique accessories but still pay attention to durability + wearability.
CY: Other than an eye for fashion, do you have any other talents, like as a photographer, stylist et al?
RS: I do dabble in a bit of photography + I like styling – the blog has styling tips + I think thats important. I used to spend a lot of my youth working for both high street shops + designers brands from Dior to Prada + so I learned on the shop floor about merchandising, styling, customer service + other retail tasks which have come in very useful.
CY: Name three of your favorite designers + why?
RS: I would have to say that the designers I feature are some of my favorite. I only feature clothes I would like to wear + own myself. But if you are talking about established labels I like Mary Katrantzou, JW Anderson + of course Prada – but there are so many talented designers its hard to choose just three! ( I feel her pain!)
CY: Did these fave designers play a role in picking your merch?
RS: To an extent yes – i think what they have in common is that they are all exceptionally creative, edgy + appeal to style risk takers. They experiment with color + pattern, textures + cut in really interesting ways which is something I find really exciting.
CY: How old is TMS?
RS: We just launched it this year.
CY: What are your short term + long term goals for TMS?
RS: I would like to carry on adding exciting, unique fashion pieces for women that like to express themselves through their style. Maybe in the future we may do a capsule collection of our own – who knows!
CY: What three items do you consider timeless + why? Feel free to add more if you so decide.
RS: Definitely the white shirt – which is an absolute classic but doesn’t need to be boring – we have two styles right now that have a little edge to them. Leather Jacket – again if you have a good one it never goes out of style + goes with everything! The last one I would say is your favorite piece of jewelry – something that says something about you + reflects your personality. That’s why women love jewelry – its so personal! I like pendants but a ring also can be that special piece.
CY: Your ‘match + clash’ style sensibility, is this a personal style mantra of yours?
RS: Haha, no not exactly a mantra. What I mean by that is that too often people buy things to match something else + then they are wedded to wearing it in exactly that same combination. But I think what is fun about fashion is that you can combine items in new ways to create a totally different look + i want to encourage people to take some risks + have some fun!
CY: That said, what do you love to match + clash?
RS: I love combining textures like leather trousers + a cashmere top. I also love mixing hard + soft like a pretty dress with masculine boots. When combining prints you have to be a little careful – you need to find a common thread to unite the look. I have done a post on this using Solange as an example (above). Styling is a lot about balance – you need to make sure the look is balanced even though it might not ‘match’ in the technical sense.
CY: Do you think celebrities have ruined fashion + why?
RS: No! I love celebs! I think they have brought more attention to fashion + what we wear and I think celebrating design + workmanship (like celebs recently wearing more Balmain) is a good thing. I think that is great as long as people realize they don’t need to copy them but to use it more as an inspiration to wear what they want in a way that expresses themselves + not be like everyone else.
CY: TMS is still fairly small – ever planning on including shoes?
RS: Yes totally! If there are shoe designers out there that would like to work with me send me a message!
For more on ’The Many Sides’, click here + buy yourself a holiday gift – you deserve it!