SHOE DESIGNER ALEXANDRA FINLAY
Alexandra Finlay has worked in the fashion industry since she was 18. She then decided to set up on her own but needed a good idea. She was sitting in Scotland with a great friend, and noticed that he had been wearing a pair of completely worn-out moccasins that he had bought in the market at St. Tropez for about 50 Euros. They were folded down at the back, and scuffed and ruined. He complained about how limited the choice was for boys and their summer shoes – if one wasn’t prepared to search high and low, it came down to a shortlist of 3:
An expensive pair of Bond Street loafers that were fabulous, yet bound to get ruined by a splash of sea water on the beach,
rummaging through the limited sizes in St. Tropez market,
or a pair of espadrilles – perfect on holidays, but impractical for summer in the city. And Fin’s was born…
How you started Fins ?
The idea of creating classic, basic, stylish essentials that fell in an affordable price range, but had that air of luxury; things that go with the “uniforms” that boys tend to stick to, but without the guilty and impractical price tag.
Challenges of starting your company?
If I had known before I started, Fin’s would never have got off the ground! Sourcing the materials, the packaging, schmoozing the tanneries for minimums, flirting with the factories for delivery times… And that is the least of it! Bank accounts, solicitors, trademark registration, VAT – it is endless! The fun, creative side of this business takes up about 10% of my time, but it is all worth it when it succeeds. And I have learnt more than any university degree could ever have taught me!
Most stylish male icons ?
My brother – he puts a stylish twist on all the classic looks – my target customer!
Hud Morgan at Men’s Vogue has a great look – sexy preppy, hard to carry off.
And Hamish Bowles epitomizes that Great British eccentricity.
All are Fin’s Fans, which is fantastic!
Most women choose to get into fashion to cater to a female audience why did you choose male?
To meet lots of handsome men!
Seriously, once they find something they like, they get annoyed if it changes – I’m far too picky and flippant with my style, it evolves constantly – if I can’t please myself, then how can I please the rest of the female of the species? Maybe that’s why so many of the iconic womenswear designers in the history of fashion have been men…
The Shop at Bluebird in Chelsea in London has the most fantastic range of quirky classics, staple items like Mayle and APC that merge from season to season. And Marni – their fabulous accessories lift jeans and a white t-shirt from bland to fashion-fabulous.
Blue & Cream in New York and the Hamptons is a really fun place to stop by and hang out. I recently picked up a sensational Herve Leger smoky blue/grey dress there – they always have great party pieces.
How do you define a stylish man?
Comfortable, effortless. I always think that not noticing a man’s style is what makes them chic.
Most stylish male brands ?
Orlebar Brown swimming trunks are seriously cool.
And Felix in Buenos Aires always has cool bits.
Sting, Valentino, Piers Morgan, Westlife - they are shoes for everyman!!!
Differences between fashion in London and Ny for men?
I would like to think that American men aspire to the classic English look, and then take it up a notch…
Fin´s is uber chic and comfy for any city, check out the beautiful array of colors available and order online.