Friday, 20 May 2011

Ten Minutes With...

Alexandra Finlay
Creative genius and founder of Fins shoes

What inspired you to set up Fins?
The need to not work for anyone else, to run my own business, and to better the feet of my boy friends.

What's next?
I like to think that the brand philosophy of Fin's has resonated with people. I have a really engaged and loyal following, and I would love to provide my customer with more than just shoes. There's a lot to think about, lots of possibilities, watch this space!

How would you like to be remembered?
I would like to be remembered as someone who seized the day, lived to regret doing rather than not doing, and had great hair always.

Current Obsessions?
So many at all times. Work-wise, one of my obsessions is with late 60s and early 70s fonts and graphics; I'm working on a retro Fin's trainer to launch in time for the Olympics, so have been referencing the posters from the Mexico Olympics in 1968.

Describe yourself in three words
I asked my assistant, Sal, who said: "Hilarious, Nurturing, Impatient"

Who would you like to play in a role of your life?
A young Barbra Streisand (let's face it, it would be a musical).

Ideal Holiday destination?
Jura, up in the Scottish Highlands, in a bothy in the middle of nowhere, with food, wine, books and walks.

Last fashion disaster?
I know this is probably not the kind of fashion disaster you have in mind, but I did have a traumatic incident in my Helmut Lang leather trousers involving Beyonce scissor-leg moves on the dancefloor. The rip could be heard above the night club beats.

Latest fashion triumph?
I wore the same Stella dress that Kate Hudson wore to the Met Gala last year to a party and felt pretty special, if I do say so myself (attached), although, being a little taller than her, I had to lower the heel scenario slightly.

Shoes or hats?
Shoes - mostly flats, always Lanvin.

What really annoys you?
People who complain about how busy they are. It's no wonder they get nothing done if all they do is tell people how much they have to do.

What do you like for breakfast?
I mostly skip (I know I shouldn't) but if I'm in London on a weekend, I pull out my Finvalid tray - you know, the ones with fold out legs - that I fill to the brim with goodies and read the papers. Ingredients vary, but rarely does a breakfast not include Nutella.

Big break?
My life has been defined by big break after big break. Probably bagging such a great team of shareholders for Fin's; I wouldn't have got past the starting post without them.

If you weren't a shoe designer, what would you be?
Definitely something involving fonts. I bloody love fonts.

Flats or high heels?
Depends on how tall my boyfriend of the time is. For single moments, probably flats so as not to intimidate a newcomer - I am 5ft10 after all...

What are you best at?

Biggest plus of your job?
Being able to take full credit for everything when something great happens

Biggest minus?
Having to take full responsibility when something shit happens

Who do you admire?
Annabel Astor. Her amazing vision, determination and ability to inspire has resulted in not one, but two, household names: Annabel Jones and Oka. When I grow up, I want to be just like her.

And here is the Queen of Fins herself.
Photo of Alex taken by Sam Pelly

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