“The combination of living
abroad, moving back to Brooklyn, and growing older has made me truly recognize my style which helps aid in shopping,” Robin Reetz expressed in our interview with her below. “I know my body and myself and have learned what I’ll wear and what I won’t by paring down my closet again, and again, and again. Finding your style feels like finding yourself.” If that’s the case, then we’d say Robin is on a truly inspiring track. With her thoughtful eye for quality design and incredibly curated wardrobe, the seasoned writer and connoisseur of contemporary fashion have been on our radar for quite some time. Robin’s creative talents also run the gamut (and she’s made a name for herself across the globe). The well-traveled editor has bylines in esteemed publications including Refinery29, Teen Vogue along with her own celebrated blog Second Floor Flat – she also currently serves as an editor for Barneys New York.
*THIS STORY WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN JUNE 2016 AND REFLECTS UPDATED CHANGES TO THE LAYOUT AND INTRODUCTION
I’m a writer with a love for being outside, good books,
travel, animals, and a strong passion for supporting emerging design talent. I grew up in Atlanta, moved to New York after college, and have since lived in a mix of New York and London with a stopover in North Carolina.
From London to New York City, how has living in different major cities throughout the world inspired your approach to personal style?
Living in New York before later moving to London shaped me and my style completely. The moves, traveling, and day-to-day pace of city life has helped me to really understand my personal style. My experiences with moving often and living in smaller spaces led to my embrace of a more minimalist lifestyle a few years ago, and I’ve now learned that nothing will turn you into a minimalist like an international move.
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We love Second Floor Flat and your penchant for fostering awareness around emerging and contemporary designers. With that in mind, how can we use mediums like fashion to impact the world in a positive way?
Thank you! Making a positive difference with fashion is all about awareness. I try to wear independent or socially-conscious brands as much as I can, which helps to bring more attention to those brands. Every few weeks, I tag my favorite emerging designer finds in the fashion, home, and lifestyle space on Instagram to help give them a little attention. One of my favorite things is wearing a piece from a new designer, getting a compliment on it (who doesn’t love that?), then having that opportunity to introduce someone to that new label. It’s such a positive experience all the way around.
What are your thoughts on the synergy between fashion and interior style and do you feel you have a similar approach to both your style and decorative preferences?
Interior style and fashion are absolutely related – with fashion, you’re dressing yourself, and with interior design, you’re dressing your space. I see them almost as the same thing. I have a penchant for minimalist design sprinkled bold color and pattern and I think my space and way of dressing mostly reflects that. Similarly in my home, my husband is South African so we have a lot of pieces that reflect that combine black and white, more minimalist elements with natural materials and bold colors and patterns.
Talk to us about a few of your go-to independent (clothing) designers as of late – if you could choose any three to design interiors who would you want to furnish your home and why?
Great question. Australian brands Hunter The Label and St. Agni are favorites, and St. Agni already produces a few interior pieces. I also love jewelry, accessory, and home decor line Beech Hall, and absolutely adore Tactile Matter, which is of course already a home brand. Elizabeth Suzann and Hackwith Design House never fail to please, so I’d love to see some interior pieces from them as well. I also love Creatures of Comfort, Rachel Comey, Jesse Kamm, Maryam Nassir Zadeh, and No. 6 and would probably buy just about anything they’d make.
What is one question you wish people asked you more often?
Making such a big move forces you to really look at and take stock of every single thing you own. When my husband and I were moving back to the U.S. from London, we sent over the majority of our belongings in a shipping container.
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Going through that process and realizing that I’d literally have to pay to ship every single thing I owned made me realize how frivolous so much of my clothing was. Paying to ship a cheap fast fashion dress across the ocean felt pointless, so I got rid of a lot of it and learned how to really appreciate the fewer items that I owned.
As someone who has traveled often how has your home in Brooklyn reminded you to enjoy the little things and refine your style?
Since returning to Brooklyn after a few years away, I feel like my style has gotten an instant refresh. The way people dress and put things together in New York is inspiring in a way that I haven’t seen elsewhere – there’s a certain element of New York style that’s just cool. It’s unique, casual, and overall a little bit fun. The combination of living abroad, moving back to Brooklyn, and growing older has made me truly recognize my style which helps aid in shopping – I know my body and myself and have learned what I’ll wear and what I won’t by paring down my closet again, and again, and again. Finding your style feels like finding yourself – it’s liberating and gives you this moment of “oh, here I am.” In general, I do wish people asked each other questions more about personal lives rather than professional lives. I love what I do and love talking about what I do, but we place so much importance on it that it’s crazy! I’d love to talk more about my sister, who I adore, and my life growing up rather than always talking about my work life.
The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration, and transit. With this in mind, if what is your “the style line” in your wardrobe?
Is it boring to say comfort? To me, the best fashion always has an element of comfort and confidence. I’m turned off by anything that looks like it’s overly styled or trying too hard.