Style is an incredible way that our Creators express themselves. It's undoubtedly the way of this week's Style Muse, Sue Randhawa of Vancouver's pinnacle retailer of unique eyewear, The Optical Boutique.
Born in India and raised in Vancouver, Sue joined The Optical Boutique as a Licensed Optician in 1997 and took over the business in 2007. When she isn't helping others discover their style through eyewear, Sue is supporting emerging designers and collaborating on look books, editorials and video shoots.
Sue and I met through the fashion event scene many years ago. I've always admired Sue's style freedom and found it as a breath of fresh air among a sea of retail trends.
As an expert in unique design and someone who purchases with purpose, I knew Sue would be the perfect person to chat with about keeping true to you while staying sustainable.
Q: How does someone showcase their personality through fashion while staying sustainable?
"Once the basics have been collected, the rest is easy. How an outfit is styled is dependent upon the wearer and having good accessories is key. With myself, over the years, I've collected some nice colourful collared men's dress shirts which I can rotate between outfits. Each item that is bought should be good to mix with other items. Fashion can be bought but the harder part is styling it, and that is what you bring with your personality. Don't be shy. Own the look!"
Q: Why do you choose secondhand?
"Before the insurgence of fast fashion, garments were better made with better materials. These garments lasted longer, and when I buy a secondhand, I am helping extend the life cycle of the piece. Added to that is this fact - the colourways and methods of pleating and sewing cannot be duplicated in the era that we live in now. I sometimes save myself a load of money by picking up a couture piece at a fraction of the original price!"
Q: What is your most coveted secondhand piece?
"My most prized piece(s) would need to be some of my jackets and coats. No big names here but the quality and feel of each one are amazing. Everything from the cut to the lining and sometimes the name of the original owner adds to the charm and nostalgia that comes with buying each piece."
Q: Where do you see the fashion industry heading?
"I'm pleased to see the changes that are taking place within the fashion industry, but unfortunately, the results won't be immediate. As a society, we are finally starting to think about why we buy what we buy. For myself, that means that I've had to slow myself down and think about the consequences of my decisions."
Q: What fashion lessons do you want to leave for future generations?
"I'm very hopeful about the future generation - they know more than my generation did, and that puts them further ahead. Every choice has a consequence, and sometimes, we need to remind ourselves of this. I'm buying less, and what I'm buying may cost more, in some cases, but it will last longer. I look forward to leaving some of the pieces to my children."