By Tomboy KC | Images courtesy of Little Liffner
Saying that we are somewhat obsessed with Little Liffner – the brand and the woman behind it – would be the ultimate in understatements. The brand: Scandinavian simplicity with fine Italian craftsmanship, the collection of handbags is luxurious, modern and simplistic chic. The woman: A new mom to baby Mary who has not slowed her from traveling around the world with infant in tow, Paulina von Sydow is the perfect example of everything we want out of life.
TKC: How did you get your start in the fashion industry?
PS: I was a fashion assistant and later working with fashion PR and brand building.
TKC: Why handbags?
PS: During the years I spent styling, writing and doing PR I always yearned to create a more lasting physical product myself. I like the idea that a bag is something you choose to carry along and fill with your life. Also, I felt a need to prove to the world that it’s possible to make a beautiful Italian made handbag with a sane balance between design, price, and quality. There are some great bags out there but they often come with a price tag of a two-week vacation. I want my girl to be able to get the bag AND that trip to Marrakech.
TKC: How did you arrive at the name Little Liffner?
PS: Liffner is my maiden name and the Little is only there to take the edge of it. Fashion should be fun and add a little something to your day, that’s it for me, I don’t take it too seriously.
TKC: Tell us a little bit about the inspiration for Little Liffner Spring 2017?
PS: Lately I felt an intense craving for strong color and the new collection is a celebration of the fearless primary palette with China blue, Marlboro Red, Lemon yellow and bright acid green leading the way. Italian architect Ettore Sottsass and his bold anti-design movement are another inspiration and I have tried to balancing refined, street smart and playful elements into each design.
TKC: We know this is a bit like asking you to pick a favorite child, but do you have a favorite piece this season?
PS: For once I do have a standout favorite; The Mega Slouch Pouch. It fits… well, everything.
TKC: You were born in Sweden and now travel all over. What are the differences in the approach to fashion in Sweden versus the US?
PS: I feel like Americans are more playful with fashion and not afraid to try new things, which are mostly good and sometimes just too much. You very seldom see a Swede looking awkward in an over-the-top outfit. We like to play it safe, pick a good look and stick with our guns. Personally, I like a bit of everything and spending a lot of time in New York has definitely directed my wardrobe down a more colorful path. Sometimes I feel like I dress like everyone else when I’m in Stockholm and like myself when I’m in New York.
TKC: All of this while being a mom – arguably the hardest job in the world. Any advice for moms out there doing the balancing act?
PS: I think we women do each other a huge disfavor in pretending it is easy or even possible to have a balanced lifestyle while having a small child while working passionately and excelling at your job. It’s hard work, a constant hustle with many ups and downs, and that is ok.
TKC: In your non-work life, is there a particular designer or look that you tend to favor?
PS: Like every woman in Scandinavia, I’m a long time Phoebe Philo fan and find her silhouettes and palettes genius. I’m also very excited to see what Raf Simons will do at Calvin Klein.
TKC: On the flipside, are there any trends that you absolutely loathe?
PS: Every time I have answered this question I have ended up wearing that loathed trend the week after. So I’m going to say no, haha!
TKC: If you could only buy one item this Spring, what would it be?
PS: A pair of very funky white Balenciaga boots.
TKC: Name one beauty product you couldn’t live without.
PS: Hydra Beauty Mist from Chanel.
TKC: What is the lost song you had playing on your iPod/iPhone?
PS: My utmost guilty pleasure song is La Dolce Vita by Ryan Paris. If I ever feel exceptionally grumpy I put it on and burst out laughing every time. Try it the next time you have a very bad day!
TKC: Favorite emoji?
PS: The thumbs up. I use it about 100 times a day.
TKC: Coffee or tea?
PS: Matcha latte!
TKC: Mascara or Lipstick?
PS: Always mascara.
TKC: Instagram or Snapchat?
TKC: Little Liffner has a pretty amazing collaboration with Opening Ceremony on the horizon – an exclusive capsule collection launching next season. If you could collaborate with one artist or designer on your next collection, who would it be?
PS: In dream world: Tracy Emin or Jenny Holzer.
TKC: Is there one moment that stands out where you felt like you finally “made it”?
PS: I don’t feel like I have ‘made it’ yet, by far. I feel like I just got started! But of course there have been milestones and signs that I’m on the right way, like getting the Accessories Designer of the Year Award from Elle Sweden, and launching with Net-a-Porter this fall was a big deal for me. But what makes me most happy is seeing some unknown stylish woman on the street wearing a Little Liffner. Nothing beats that!
TKC: What advice would you give to 22-year-old Paulina?
PS: Just do it.