HOW TO CELEBRATE AND SHOP SMALL WITH MAGDA KACZMARSKA
We’ve been a fan of Magda and her work for a while now, thanks to her eye for styling and art direction, her IG-Feed of dreams, and just all round great vibes. It seemed only fitting (pun intended) that she should curate a dedicated shopping guide for us – as someone with her finger firmly on the pulse of shopping small, shopping sustainably, and shopping with style.
Focusing on celebrating small designers through her work, Magda has been killing the game for a good couple of years now, so we were keen to get her opinion on what’s hot, and what’s going to be hot in the very near future. We caught up with her to get her top picks at the moment – scroll to find out a bit more about her, and cop her selects before they blow up and sell out. In moderation, ofc.
Hey Magda! For those who don’t already know, can you introduce yourself and what you do?
Heya! So my name is Magda (obviously!) and I’m a fashion content creator, art director and occasional stylist, with a particular focus on celebrating small designers. Instagram is my go-to platform for showcasing my work at the moment!
How did you get into styling, direction and content creation?
Two weeks before the pandemic hit, I started working at Net-A-Porter as a production assistant, but was furloughed for a few months so I started creating interesting fashion content to keep myself creative and entertained. Since we weren’t really allowed to go out, I was forced to use my everyday indoor space, and street-style shots just weren’t an option. That’s why I created my own visual style for showcasing my outfits.
Once I was out of furlough, I started producing these really exciting photoshoots for NAP and got exposed to the professional world of art directing and styling, and realised I had an appetite for that side of the industry too. The Net-A-Porter style is very different to my own, but it helped me refine my own content and what I want to see more of from other brands.
You focus on sustainability and supporting small businesses – how did you arrive at this niche, and why is it so important?
I think the pandemic pushed a lot of people to start using social media to promote their businesses or even, like me, themselves, so just as I started pushing my instagram, I saw a huge rise in small designers producing new and exciting work too, for example Rua Carlotta and Lauren Perrin. Fast fashion was never an option for me when creating content, and I couldn’t afford to be buying high-end designer pieces either, so naturally I gravitated towards the small designers, and this went hand in hand with being somewhat sustainable. The reason why so much of my early content was focused around tights (I was known as the tights girl for a hot minute haha) was also based around affordability, and small designers were just doing it best!
Pretty simply too, the pieces I was seeing being created were way more interesting to wear and take photos in, and it has been far more satisfying investing in someone who you can watch grow and have a much more personal relationship with, rather than copping some designer piece off Farfetch or NAP.
What’s your favourite outfit you’ve worn in the last 2 weeks?
Hmm…probably the Origami skirt and boots by SLX WORLD with my OGBFF ‘Flop Era’ top. It was just such a fun outfit to shoot and they’re two designers I’m really excited about at the moment. But when it comes to my day-to-day non-Instagram fits, I’ve been living in my new MM6 Margiela black jean print jeans with a basic black vest from god knows where (it’s ancient).
What about ever?
Oh god that’s haaaard. I have too many…but one that’s sticking out right now is from my collaboration with Up Next Designer, which is the green fluff outfit by Stephanie Uhart + my green D’Accori platforms – they are my babies. It was another great outfit to photograph and if I was an extrovert I would have danced around Soho in it too!
Give us your top 3 styling tips.
1. Think about the colours you’re pairing. Some people just love to mix any colours together, but I’m very particular with how I colour-block and outfit. For example, if I’m wearing a dark blue two piece (usually double denim), I’d rarely style it with any brown or black pieces, because I want a stronger contrast. Maybe a bright pink bag with pink shoes. I also love matching my shoe colour to my bag! I just think it creates a strong, symmetrical, satisfying visual.
2. If you buy half a two piece, invest in the other half too. You’ll probably find that you end up wearing the full set more than just the half of it on its own, and it gives you many more outfit options to play with. I’m telling you to buy that one extra piece, because in the long run it’ll make you buy less.
3. Accessories are everything, and it’s a really affordable way of elevating a basic outfit and making your everyday wear that bit more interesting. At the moment I’m seeing the trend of double belts and I love it. A simple white tee with some baggy jeans is suddenly the coolest fit I’ve seen that day because someone’s added two vintage denim belts to it. It’s the same when you add jewellery or bags – why not double up on it all?! And do it vintage – even more affordable and much more unique.
What’s something that you wish you knew when starting out?
Probably the mental health strains that come with building a large following on social media. I used to put so much pressure on myself to churn out excessive amounts of content and I just wasn’t prepared for the reception and, in turn, the want for more. I’ve burnt myself out countless of times and only recently I’ve stepped back and checked myself a bit, because for the past two years it’s been full steam ahead with rare mental breaks. If I knew now how much it can have an affect, I feel like I would have been a bit kinder to myself as I started out.
SLX WORLD KIKI CATSUIT – £460 / US $532
I love SLX WORLD and this catsuit is such a unique piece, plus one of my favourite colours is green. I can imagine wearing this for fashion week with a teeny tiny mini skirt on top.
OGBFF MINI SKIRT – £60 / US $70
Speaking of mini skirts, OGBFF have some of the best. I’m a sucker for a slogan these days, so these kind of pieces always have a safe home in my wardrobe.
LAUREN PERRIN SKETCH FLOWER DRESS – £195 / US $225
A brand I’ve been loving and supporting from my very early content-creating days, Lauren Perrin just keeps getting better in my opinion. And I’m so excited she’s starting to make RTW clothes! Her matching gloves and tights are also iconic and unmatched.
ALEJANDRE STUDIO PINK BUTTERFLY DRESS – £430 / US $497
This dress gives me vintage Blumarine vibes and I love the butterfly detail. Alejandro Studio is a great brand to watch right now and they’re new collection is *chefs kiss*.
MELISAMINCA GUSSET TOP – £200 / US $231
One of my favourite upcycling brands!! This piece is made out of gussets and I just think the fit is so flattering. I can see myself wearing this as more of a casual, day-to-day piece.
FIDAN NOVRUZOVA FONDA BOOTS – £680 / US $775
I adore this shoe brand. They’ve developed such a unique style and I’ve been told they’re really comfortable too! They’re signature heels look like they can do some serious damage and this black and white boot is mouthwatering.
CALYX CLOTHING MESH TOP – £205 / US $177
Another brand that I’ve been a fan of since my early IG days – I love her little tie tops and she’s now making them in pink mesh which is my other favourite colour, so it had to get a mention.
LEEANN HUANG STRAWBERRY JEANS – £216 / US $250
These strawb trousers are adorable. And it’s more pink I have A LOT of time for Leeann Huang! I also love her blinking eye mini skirt but it’s out of stock. Let’s hope it comes back soon!
D’ACCORI BELLE SANDALS – £795 / US $919
Ohhhh D’Accori D’Accori D’Accori forever and ever. Especially his platforms. I love this man and his wonderful designs, plus silver heels are having a real moment for me right now.
EMEERREE CAMO SKIRT – £330 / US $381
I just have this little feeling that camo is going to come back big soon, and the shapes and fits Emeerree creates are just so gooood. This brand has always kept me excited!