I met fashion designer & blogger – Petra Zen-Ruffinen some years ago now and asked her to share a little of her story here…
When did your blog ‘Style Lounge’ start?
I started my blog in 2011, but can’t recall the exact date. It was more like a hobby back then and I mostly reposted inspirations from fashion platforms like Fashiongonerogue or Style.com.
What was your motivation behind starting the blog?
When I started out, it was a way for me to gather style inspirations. The blog helped me in finding and defining my own style (I’m still not quite there yet, by the way!). I had no idea I was ever going to post outfit pictures!
What brought you to Switzerland?
I am from Switzerland originally, but have lived in Vancouver, Canada for six years. My husband is Canadian and we wanted to expose our children to a different lifestyle for a while. We returned to Switzerland in 2013 so I could pursue a job opportunity in fashion.
If not in Switzerland, where would you live?
I love New York for its vibe, but would probably prefer to live outside the city. I’ve never been, but heard that The Hamptons are beautiful.
Who would you like to collaborate with?
When still living in Vancouver I collaborated with The Bay, a Canadian department store, and a couple of other independent local boutiques, as well as online shops located in the States. The experience with The Bay was definitely a good one, with a very professional take on things. In Switzerland, I’ve only just recently started to get contacted by some PR companies. One of my biggest dreams would be to collaborate with a department store in Zurich called Globus.
If you could style any celebrity – who would it be?
What’s your strategy for creative block – where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from visiting major fashion and shopping platforms as well as following designer runway shows that interest me. I keep on discovering new instagram and pinterest profiles that are full of inspiration! If I ever run out of ideas, I like to open my closet and find new ways of how to combine the clothing pieces.
Do you remember your first fashion purchase?
A leather jacket with lots of glitter applications that I bought in a boutique while on vacation! You can imagine what it must have looked like as I grew up in the eighties. But for me, it was the most beautiful and stunning piece of clothing I had ever seen!
Who are your favourite designers?
I love Alexander Wang heels, they are sexy, elegant AND you can walk in them! High-end labels I love include Isabel Marant, Stella McCartney and Chloé. They all manage to combine sensuality with a cool factor. Less pricey brands I like are Maje, The Kooples and a newly discovered German label, SET. But of course I can’t afford to always shop high-end, so I pay frequent visits to ZARA. I’m not a vintage-freak, though. I love vintage objects in design or home decoration, but not for wearing.
Who are your favourite bloggers?
What are some perks in having your own blog?
When I was still living in Vancouver I was blogging about three times a week which lead to a little money thanks to my affiliate programs. Since returning back to Switzerland my blog has only had promotional purposes.
Who inspires you?
My friend Regine Schoeller from Gine.ch. She’s been motivating, encouraging and has a great “let’s-do-it”-attitude.
What piece from your wardrobe is amongst your current favourites?
My Emerson Fry black denim jeans. They are a great everyday go-to casual. Their cut is different to other common jeans brands and short zippers at the ankle as well as stitched padding on the knees add interest.
Who are some of your muses?
Jane Birkin for her effortlessly laid-back chic. She has notably influenced French fashion with her bohemian elegance that of enduring popularity: simple chains, chunky knits and the the pea coat.
Marina Larroude, the marketing director for style.com for her ability to combine the most simple pieces to create perfect, harmonious looks. She always looks impeccable, but never overdone.