UBS Unique – Economy of Fashion

During the vibrant atmosphere of London Fashion Week, I had the pleasure to participate in a very interesting new project combining the world of finance and fashion: UBS Unique – Economy of Fashion.

Just as the world around us is changing, the face of wealth is evolving. The global income of women will grow from USD 13 trillion to USD 18 trillion by 2021* – more than China and India’s combined GDP growth and since 2015, women have held 30%** of global private wealth.

As women are looking for a response to their needs, UBS Unique has been created. The aim? To catalyze a long-term change in the financial industry to better serve women and to enable them to make the most of their wealth.

My lovely host, Kathrin Genovese Head Vice Chairmen Office, Global Ultra High Net Worth

Therefore a lovely group of female ultra high net worth individuals from all over the world was invited by UBS to London for two inspiring days. The event had it all: shows, talks and insights on how fashion can change the world for the better.

As I thought you might be interested in what I have taken home from UBS Unique, here’s a quick roundup of insights from the event’s speakers.

«The future of fashion will see creativity re-emerge as a key driver to take us from our current crisis state and into a new model for fashion. If we don’t push creativity at every step of the fashion supply chain to find new ways to design, produce, sell, wear and dispose of clothes, then we face a bleak future for fashion.”»Christina Dean

From left to right: Christina Dean, my humble self, Giorgia Caovilla and Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis.

The look of love – how will the fashion industry change?

Women should “fall in love with the fact that fashion is a force for good,” says Christina Dean, founder of Redressan organisation working to reduce waste in the fashion industry. Christina believes fashion’s ethical future is in the hands of young designers and consumers. Or as Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis describes it vividly, “it’s down to designers to rebel. There’s a lot of pressure on designers to become commercial so it stops creativity. I am anyway bored of all the fashion shows. There are too many.”

Online shopping is definitely an opportunity as emerging designers cannot always afford a retail space. They have a different pricing model. But in terms of sustainability it can cause also problems as people end up buying multiple sizes knowing they’re going to return it.

Dress with Sense – the practical guide to a conscious closet by Redress

How can you play your part in making fashion more ethical?

As I am always promoting, you can easily play your part in making fashion more ethical by buying the things you love and wear them for longer. When shopping, think about the value, not the price. And consider ways you can make sure your investments match your ethics.

You can also donate your quality, branded items with high value to charity Redress for resale.

Designer Mary Katrantzou and me framed by UBS key speakers, James Gifford, Senior Impact Investing Strategist, Chief Investment Office, UBS Wealth Management, to the left and Helen Brand, Head of Equity Research, European Luxury Goods, UBS Investment Bank

A short industry outlook

The top 3 words executives used to describe the fashion industry in 2016*** were: «Uncertain, Changing, Challenging.» But despite the wider economic slowdown last year, fashion has been a key value-creating industry for the world economy. In 2017, a slight recovery is expected to a point where the industry may see some growth next year.

Let’s take China for example. Chinese growth hit a soft patch: a stock market dip and real estate concerns have decelerated chinese growth, and shifted attention to India, Turkey, and other high-growth markets. China’s fundamentals, including growth of the middle and upper classes, remain strong and the government’s new fiscal policies are expected to improve conditions in 2017, but uncertainty remains.

A woman shops in a Louis Vuitton store in Shanghai. © SCMP Photos

London-based Helen BrandHead of Equity Research, European Luxury Goods, UBS Investment Bank, trusts in the mid market and expects “growth going forward to come from the Chines middle class consumer and therefore more at the entry level price points, with more chances for the handbag category compared to watches as many brands still have to strengthen the CHF 2000-5000 offer.

 When you think about China, factors such as pollution, a deteriorating environment, inhumane work conditions in factories, mass production come immediately to your mind. China and sustainability, connecting the dots between economy and ecology seems to be a complex problem. Therefore a valid question was raised during one of the panel discussions: how can we as consumers/potential investors contribute to overcome these issues?

Tailor-made investments – how can you invest ethically in fashion?

What’s impact investing? Put simply, it’s investing in ways that help make the world a better place. And it can make a big difference to the fashion industry, “especially when dealing with problems in supply chains,” says James Gifford, Senior Impact Investing Strategist at UBS. It’s good news for investors, too.

Impact investing is one of the tools that we can use to improve terrible situations such as exposure to slavery and trafficking – lots of brands don’t have full transparency throughout their entire supply chain.  Shareholders can take part in helping brands address that. Most critical is the intent – the willingness to change for the good. This impact must be measured with defined performance indexes to make it tangible to all stakeholders of the corporation.

Many investors assume that impact investment is a form of charity. In reality, quiet the opposite is the case. Gifford delivers the facts: two thirds of impact investment funds deliver comparable results to more traditional funds. Generating a financial return is indispensable and sustainable in itself; generated profits are more likely to be re-invested in impact projects and new investors may follow.

How to invest

  • Invest in best in class – some great companies that are trying really hard to improve.
  • Underweight / overweight the good guys and the bad guys.
  • You can engage your fund managers and advisors on this topic as most of them might not have thought about these issues. So having that dialogue can have an impact already.
  • Shareholder engagement is where shareholders use their voice to encourage companies to improve their behaviour. This can be done through fund managers or family offices.
  • Shareholder engagement can be very effective and you don’t even have to own that many shares to have a voice.

Great show: Mary Katrantzou’s F/W 2017 presentation took place at Tate Modern.

During those two amazing days, we had also the chance to talk to two outstanding designers who both have build up their brand in a breakneck pace. Cherry on the cake was the possibility to experience the excitement of fashion week as guests of Mary Katrantzou and Erdem at their shows.

With Erdem in his Mayfair store for a private shopping event during the «Economy of Fashion».

I don’t believe in fast fashion – I get a kick out of seeing real women wear my clothes on the street,” says Erdem Moralioglu, founder of the designer label ERDEM.

Shaping up – how Erdem Moralioglu built his brand

Since launching in 2005, the brand has become synonymous with versatile and powerful femininity. After studying at London’s Royal College of Art, Erdem started his own company and fashion line at the age of 27. The business took off when Barneys bought his first collection. In 2014, he put his collection online and opened his flagship store in Mayfair in 2015.

Today, ERDEM is sold in over 170 of the world’s most exclusive retailers, including Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Joyce, Colette, Dover Street Market, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.
In the beginning of November 2017 his collection for H&M will hit the stores as he is the next designer to collaborate with the Swedish clothing giant (for more info, click here please).

With Mary Katrantzou in the private shopping suite at the at the Connaught Hotel in Mayfair, wearing an amazing coat from her F/W 2017 collection.

Print can be as definitive as a cut or a drape and allows a woman to filter beauty found in design, in a subversive way. All my prints are constructed through digital technology. Digital print allows me to experiment with print in a way that fine art and other methods could not. It opens up a huge spectrum for possibility; I can create possibility out of impossibility, surrealism out of realism and both vice versa,” says Mary Katrantzou.

Pioneering digital prints – how Mary Katrantzou became the fashion world’s darling

Greek-born Mary Katrantzou had an appreciation of applied design from an early age. Having begun training as an architect at Rhode Island’s School of Design, she transferred to Central Saint Martin’s in London to study textiles and finished also with a fashion MA in 2005. Katrantzou shifted her direction from textile design to womenswear with a focus on print as she loved the way printed textiles can change the shape of a woman’s body.

Success from the first moment: Mary Katrantzou’s graduate collection in 2008.

Her graduate collection in 2008 of digital trompe l’oeil prints of oversized jewellery on simple shift dresses served as a counterpoint to the minimalist movement that was dominating the runways at the time. From there, Katrantzou picked up 15 prestigious stockists including Browns, Joyce and Colette. Today she boasts over 250 stockists worldwide. Among the many prestigious awards, she received in her career, she also won the Swiss Textiles Award in 201, which helped her grow her business further. And would she rule out ever taking on an investor? “In the future, who knows,” says Katrantzou. “But true global scale is our ambition.”

Best of both worlds… fashion and finance.

I hope that you enjoyed this little insight into the new interactive event Economy of Fashion under the roof of the UBS Unique platform that was a great success. For two days, we received an exclusive insight into the business of fashion of emerging and established designers, disruptive technologies and brands that are making their mark on the industry.

I met amazing ladies from all over the world and it was a pleasure exchanging knowledge while enjoying some fun shopping and great food.

I would love to conclude with a quote from shoe designer Giorgia Caovilla: “The future of fashion will shorten the distance to be able to convey more clearly its message: LET’S HAVE SOME FUN!’”

LoL, Sandra

*Harnessing the power of women investors in wealth management, Ernst & Young LLP, 2016
** Global Wealth 2016: Navigating the client landscape, Boston Consulting Group, 2016
*** Source BoF-McKinsey Global Fashion Survey, September 2016

Photos: © Sam Bowen for UBS, © Sandra Bauknecht, © Redress, © Mary Katrantzou

Perfect Dinner

PerfectDinner_SISTYLE-SandraBauknechtWith the fall season right around the corner, it is the perfect time of the year for entertaining. I love throwing a theme soiree in an intimate gathering. I am not the most dedicated chef, but I absolutely adore table settings and decorations. For this photo shoot (for SI Style Magazine), I went for an Asian inspired theme (most pieces available at Jelmoli).

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How to get started? First, of course, with your invites. Having an accurate guest count is essential for a dinner party, especially if you are planning on having some special surprises like personalized napkins for your friends to take home (available for order at Kids and the City). I like to tie ribbons around them to match the color theme of the night.

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Personally speaking, a beautiful table setting is like the canvas for a perfect meal. On the morning before the event, I love going to the flower market and getting fresh blooms. I usually place them in the center as well as in small pots and vases everywhere in the room. My rule is to keep all flowers and candle low enough that guests can have great conversations over them. Very important is that you stay with non-scented candles since you don’t want to interfere with the tastes and smells of your food.

Once your guests have arrived, relax and enjoy the good company, delightful ambiance, and delicious food you put so much work into. It’s time for the hostess to enjoy, too!

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: Agi Simoes for SI Style Magazine

Met Gala 2015

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The Met Gala is an annual fundraising event for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s Costume Institute in New York City and marks the grand opening of its annual fashion exhibit. Celebrating this year’s theme “China, Through The Looking Glass”, it seems to be one of the most challenging yet. See below who honored China’s heritage and its present culture on the red carpet best.

This year’s award to best dressed of the night goes to:

Rihanna Makeup RihannaRihanna_Met new-met-gala-red-carpet-banner

Rihanna wearing Chinese designer Guo Pei

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The butt girls:

Jay Z and Beyoncé
Jay Z and Beyoncé in Givenchy

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Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West in Roberto Cavalli

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Donatella Versace and Jennifer Lopez, both in Atelier Versace.

Best Chinese inspirations:

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Zendaya Coleman in Fausto Puglisi

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Karolina Kurkova in Tommy Hilfiger

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I am always looking forward to seeing Sarah Jessica Parker‘s outfit because she has never let us down in pulling off the best looks. And let’s just say the headpiece combined with her H&M dress is divine.

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Georgia May Jagger in Gucci and Alessandro Michele

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Chloë Sevigny in J.W. Anderson

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Very sophisticated: Tom Ford and Rita Ora in his design.

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Alexa Chung in Erdem

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George Clooney and Amal Clooney in Maison Margiela

Not so inspired by the Chinese theme… but great to watch:

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Jeremy Scott kissing Kate Perry‘s hand who is wearing Moschino.

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Also Madonna wore Moschino.

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Stella McCartney framed by Cara Delevingne, Sofia Richie, and Zhu Zhu, all dressed in her designs.

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Alexander Wang kissed by Lady Gaga in Balenciaga

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Miley Cyrus and Zoë Kravitz dressed in Alexander Wang.

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Kendall Jenner in Calvin Klein Collection

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Robert Pattinson and FKA twigs in Christopher Kane (definitely not my favorite gown of the night).

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Supermodel Joan Smalls arrived at the Met Gala in a black tulle and purple silk one-sleeved Roberto Cavalli gown with cutouts and sheer paneling. Her date was the newly appointed designer of the Italian fashion house Peter Dundas. Isn’t this gown to die for?!

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Anna Wintour in Chanel

LoL, Sandra

Photos via: Alessandro Garofalo / Indigitalimages.com, Moschino, Vogue and Style.com

My New Column: Shanghai Noon

Column Sept 2013

Something for my Swiss and German based readers: 
The September issue of SI Style magazine featuring my monthly column is available now. This time, I am telling you all about my trip through China. If you like my outfit, have a look at this previous post. If you haven’t followed my adventure, you could do so now by clicking on the tiny photos below to be transferred directly to each post, have fun!

LoL, Sandra

Greetings-from-Beijing Sightseeing-Beijing-Sandra-BauknechtGreat-Wall-and-Ming-Tombs Sandra-Bauknecht-Beijing-Shanghai Sandra-Bauknecht-My-Look-Shanghai-Bund Shanghai-Nights-Sandra-BauknechtMandarin-Oriental-Pudong-Shanghai-Cover

Greetings-from-Xian-Sandra-Bauknecht terracotta-Warriors-Sandra-Bauknecht Lijiang-Travel My-Look-Pagoda-Style-Sandra-Bauknecht Sandra-Bauknecht-Boat-Tour_Guilin-Yangshou Sandra-bauknecht_Bike-Tour_China Chilling-at-the-Mandarin-Oriental-Sanya Sandra-Bauknecht-The-Shorts-Story

 

My Summer Holidays Survival Guide

Survival Guide Summer Holidays-Sandra Bauknecht

Right before I left for China, I attended several press conferences. This is something I truly love about my job, being able to try the newest products before anybody else. Of course, I took some of the items that interested me most on my trip.

Beauty Products Lijiang

After having used them for over four weeks, I can recommend those ones with a good conscience as they have convinced me of their quality and effectiveness.
(Photo taken in Lijiang which was one of my favourite places that I visited in China).

Elie Saab Le Parfum Eau de Parfum Intense

ELIE SAAB  Le Parfum – Eau de Parfum Intense

Every day, I was so much looking forward to taking a shower before going to dinner and to spray myself with this amazing new scent. Especially after all those odors you smell during the day, it feels like heaven… I am sure that you know what I mean.

I have been a fan of the Elie Saab perfume line from its first launch. The scents of orange blossom and rose honey composed by perfumer Francis Kurkdjian are what makes me adore it so much. Every version of the perfume depicts a period of daylight, the original from 2011 is dedicated to the day, the lighter EdT version to the morning and now the new sensual intense fragrance is inspired by the magic moment of dusk.

ORIENTAL FLORAL
Top notes: Orange blossom
Middle notes: Honey, rose and ylang-ylang
Base notes: Amber and patchouli

ELIE SAAB, Le Parfum Eau de Parfum Intense CHF 80.00 (30ml)  and CHF 120.00 (50ml)
Available in Switzerland in September 2013.
(In August exclusively at the Elie Saab store Geneva).

Dreamtone Lancome Campaign

DREAMTONE by Lancôme
The Ultimate Dark Spot Corrector

Dare to go bare, Lancôme has developed a breakthrough brightening product for an even skin tone. It helps you to correct the appearance of dark spots which may be related to sun exposure (perfect to use it during your summer holidays), aging or hormones and to erase irregularities that make your complexion look uneven. Your skin looks immediately improved and more radiant. To be applied before your moisturizer. During my holidays, I just used my sun cream on top.

Available in three different pigmentation profiles:
1 Fair skin tones (targeting dullness and redness) – the one I used
2 Medium skin tones (targeting dullness and pale skin complexion)
3 Dark skin tones (targeting dullness and blemish marks)

In Switzerland available from Mid August 2013 for CHF 129.00 (40ml).

Shiseido Sheer and Perfect Foundation

SHEER and PERFECT FOUNDATION by Shiseido

A sheer liquid foundation that evens your skin tone and provides a healthy, glowing finish that lasts all day, even in humid and very hot temperatures. Its refreshing texture feels like a soft veil. Another advantage is the design of the bottle, tiny (great for traveling) and eco-friendly.

In Switzerland in stores in September 2013 for CHF 37.00 (30ml).

Shiseido Super Corrective Eye Cream Bio_Performance

BIO-PERFORMANCE SUPER CORRECTIVE EYE CREAM by Shiseido

This time-fighting eye cream counteracts the tired look that appears with age around this area and while traveling due to long-distance flights and climate changes. The youthful vitality is immediately restored. The advanced technology maintains optimal levels of hyaluronic acid, which is a key element for keeping the eye contours firm.

In Switzerland available from September 2013 for CHF 110.00 (15ml).

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the brands and © Sandra Bauknecht

F/W 2013: Asian Exoticism

Asian Exoti

The influence of Asian exoticism has inspired fashion designers over decades. This season is no different from previous ones. For F/W 2013, the combination of oriental prints and modern outfits has been spotted on the runways. Below are some of my favourite pieces available now. The background photos were taken during my recent trip through China in Guilin.

Kenneth Jay Lane Necklace Asia FW 2013

Beaded resin and gold-plated necklace by Kenneth Jay Lane

Mary Katrantzou FW 2013 Asia

Fawi wandering river strapless dressicon by Mary Katrantzou

Balmain Top FW2013 Asia

Embellished tank top with Asian garden print iconby Balmain

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Via style.com and © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: The Shorts Story Hong Kong

Sandra Bauknecht - The Shorts Story

The last stop of my trip through China was one of my favourite cities in the world: HONG KONG. This cultural melting pot offers a little of everything, from beaches to the best restaurants and nightlife, from culture to art and entertainment. As I know the metropole very well, I refrained from sightseeing and went on a shopping spree.

My look: Printed tee and sunglasses, both by Dolce & Gabbana, iconmid-rise cut-off denim shorts iconby Saint Laurent,coral Pashli medium leather bag by 3.1 Phillip Lim, criss-cross ankle strap sandals by Miu Miu and earrings iconby Gucci.

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Mall HK1

Shorts Saint Laurent

Mandarin Oriental HK

I stayed at the iconic Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Built in 1963, as the famous chain’s first opening, this is one of the few hotels in this futuristic city with a history. Located in the heart of Central’s most fashionable shopping district, The Landmark, Harvey Nichols and many other luxury brands are just within walking distance. An absolute prime location with great service!

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Ferry Hong Kong - View on Skyline

In the afternoon, I took the ferry to Kowloon, which is also quite the place for shopping lovers. Next to the Star Ferry pier is Harbour City, a gigantic mall in Tsim Sha Tsui. In the tiny side roads, you can also experience fascinating local shops and markets, such as the Ladies’ Market.

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Gucci Earrings HK

Ritz Carlton Hong Kong

In the evening, I partied at the highest bar in the worldOzone at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong. The stunning rooftop location provides a stylish venue for a glass of bubbly complimented by a picturesque bird’s eye view of Hong Kong. My absolute favourite spot!

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My trip to China has come to an end. I arrived back in Zurich yesterday morning, filled with amazing memories. It was such a great experience but also quite exhausting. But I never stop… next week, I will be off to Iceland. Might not be the place to wear my shorts again though…

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

On a Bike Tour in Guangxi Province

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Cycling amongst the countless lotus fields and green peaks of Guangxi province in Southern China, I experienced a beauty so unique it has inspired painters and poets for centuries. Passing the minority villages, I got up close and personal with people in their everyday lives. I even went with my bike on a river raft. This cycle adventure is rural China at its absolute best!

My look: Printed tee by Happiness is a 10$ Tee, sunglasses by Katie Grand ♥ HOGAN and pants by Casall.

LoL, Sandra

Lotus Field Bike Tour

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Bike Tour Details Raft

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bike Tour Raft

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

On a Boat Tour from Guilin to Yangshou

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On Wednesday, I flew over Kunming with Lucky Air to Guilin. From there, I took yesterday morning a boat on the beautiful Lijiang River to Yangshou. The cruise was amazing with a very interesting lunch. Have you ever tried snake wine?

The river reminded me of a jade ribbon winding among thousands of grotesque peaks. The reflections of the hills in the clear and greenish water were like bright and beautiful pictures. And I couldn’t stop taking them. Here are my favourites, enjoy!

My Féline Meow T-shirt iconby Brian Lichtenberg is available here. The iconsunglasses are by Katie Grand ♥ HOGAN.

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Selfie Boat Sandra Bauknecht

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Aboard the ship!

Sandra Bauknecht Boat Guilin

Yuan-Boat

When the Lijiang river takes a big turn at Xingping, the beautiful scenery on the 20 Yuan note shows up.

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Boat

In the boat’s fancy outdoor kitchen, the lunch was prepared.

Lunch Boat

Snake Wine

The snake wine is produced by infusing whole snakes, perferably venemous ones, in rice wine or grain alcohol. The drink is considered an important curative and believed to reinvigorate a person according to traditional Chinese medicine.

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Later, I had dinner while enjoying the beautiful sunset along the river. Another day filled with amazing impressions…

LoL, Sandra

Sunset Yangshou

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: Pagoda Style

My Look-Pagoda Style-Sandra Bauknecht

While you are reading this, I am on my way to Guilin. After those amazing days of relaxation in sweats and sneakers, it was time to put my heels back on. At least for a few hours…

My look: Pedal Star skinny jeans with Asia print (also available in a cropped version), linen knit cardigan and matching top, all three by Closedultraviolet Serpenti shoulder bag by Bvlgari (also available in beige), Melt black powder pumps by Minna Parikka, sunglasses by Katie Grand ♥ HOGAN and bangles by Sal y Limon.

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht