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Caroline Issa: On the trail of a modern street-style star
Caroline Issa talks street-style, her exclusive Label/Mix collection, and Gogglebox.
Caroline Issa has been grabbing the attention of photographers for years with her individual and polished personal style. Director of indie Tank Magazine and editor of becauselondon.com, the street style favourite is now lending her magic to Label/Mix with an exclusive collection.
Eleven years ago, Issa was rushing around during Paris Fashion Week when photographer Tommy Ton captured a picture of her outfit, marking the beginnings of street style as we know it and propelling Issa on her unexpected journey from fashion editor to street-style sensation. “I remember Tommy Ton’s website, there were just pictures of us editors. I remember wearing a Meadham Kirchhoff denim jacket,” says Issa, “It’s been incredible to see how street style has brought so many of us who were behind the scenes to the forefront.”
Of course, Issa’s own beginnings in street style were long before the invention of Instagram propelled street style to the masses. “I have no idea how it’s going to evolve. Social media has been great at bringing communities together, but a lot of influencers are starting to look very similar – the Kim Kardashian effect on a whole legion of women who emulate and love her style, but then you get one very specific look,” says Issa, “I do think that micro-influencers and individuality will still be shared, but there’ll be a rebelliousness to it.”
In the past, Issa has fronted campaigns for various brands, collaborated with L.K.Bennett on a shoe collection, created a clothing range for a high-end US retailer, and partnered with a luxury organic beauty company on a range of lipsticks. Her day job – and true love – will always be Tank though. “I don’t have a typical day, which is why I think I’ve been able to do it for 17 years,” she says, “I go from meeting my accountant, to looking at design sketches, to interviewing a designer that I love, to attending an event– all in one day. I am still involved very much in the day to day – I have a small team who are amazing.”
During rare moments of calm, Issa is partial to a good TV binge, “I read, I go see films, and I watch a lot of TV,” says Issa, “I’m obsessed with Gogglebox, I think it’s the best show on TV right now! It’s something on a Friday night that I know, without fail, will let me laugh and release the stresses of the week.”
Issa’s chic ways with colour and print are perennially lauded, and so it is no surprise that the limited edition Label/Mix capsule highlights this by combining them with the ultimate summer dresses. “I wanted to achieve dresses that every woman would be able to keep in their wardrobe for their lifetime. I love vintage shopping and actually pulled a few archived pieces from my own wardrobe from the 50s and 60s that felt timeless and beautiful,” explains Issa, “I went through thousands of incredible archive prints from Print One. I was drawn to florals because it’s this perennial print that works across seasons – you’re always going to want a great flower print to wear”
The seven-piece collection, which includes one kimono, is a riot of pattern. We love the standout silk marigold and cornflower floral maxi for summer weddings, while the white cotton sundress is one for the holiday packing list, with its sunny lemon blooms.
“It’s difficult to choose my favourite piece; it’s like choosing your favourite baby! If I had to say, the first one I’m going to wear is the white cotton dress with bright yellow florals, just because it’s so easy and summery,” says Issa.
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