10 questions with NET-A-PORTER fashion insider Rebecca Tay on the hottest fashion, florals, restaurants and exhibits in London right now. Oh, and a few royal-spotting hotspots too.
1. You got your start working in magazines in Vancouver and now you are the Head of Marketing Content at NET-A-PORTER in London. Can you tell us how this opportunity came to be?
I moved to London in 2011. I had worked at FASHION and Aritzia, two of the best fashion companies in Canada (one magazine, one retailer) so was itching for the next big opportunity. My boyfriend is British and was living in Spain at the time, but London was suddenly a reasonable option – and a much easier one when it came to visas and sponsorship.
2. All eyes are on London these days between the new prince and the royal wedding. What is the most exciting thing about living there for you?
Just how much opportunity there is here. Even if you feel stuck, it never feels too difficult to break out of a rut; there are so many companies in every imaginable sub-sector–all you have to do is look with a bit of determination. That, and probably a bit of networking!
Photo by Alexi Lubomirski via Getty Images
3. What area of London is your Flytographer shoot in and why did you choose it?
I chose Portobello and Notting Hill. I live nearby in Kensal Rise, which is a bit more up-and-coming, smaller, and more neighbourly, whereas Notting Hill is always somewhere people are happy to travel to, which is a big deal in a city as large as London.
4. What is the name of the florist in your shoot? It looks amazing.
It’s called Wild at Heart by Nikki Tibbles. She’s fairly well-known and has a few shops in London. The one we shot at is nicknamed ‘Turquoise Island’ thanks to its location on the iconic, triangular corner of Westbourne Grove.
5. We know you shop on NET-A-PORTER, but what are your favourite lesser-known fashion stores or markets in London?
I love shopping on NET-A-PORTER, but I do sometimes miss the tactile nature of rifling through a rail. I tend to gravitate towards concept stores such as Alex Eagle, Couverture & The Garbstore, or Dover Street Market, and I absolutely love antique and vintage shopping. Alfies Antiques was a recent recommendation from Caroline Issa [fashion director of Tank magazine]; I couldn’t believe I hadn’t been there before.
6. Other than pink (obviously!) what are the top three fashion trends you are loving for summer?
I love the prairie look; I’m originally from Calgary so always gravitate towards a bit of country western styling. Similarly, I love the ‘au naturel’ trend—woven bags, creamy hues, natural linens and fibres; it feels fresh after so much maximalism.
Lastly, I’m always a sucker for colour, so besides pink, I’m really loving how much airtime saffron, marigold and yellow are getting right now.
9. For people visiting London this spring and summer, what are your “must-dos”?
There are a couple of really great exhibitions on right now: the Azzedine Alaïa exhibition that just opened at the Design Museum is amazing, and I’ve already pre-booked my tickets to the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, which opens on June 16.
10. What are three words that describe life in London right now?
Energetic, buzzy, and optimistic.
Frida Kahlo courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum