Modern Woman: Areta Szpura, co-founder of Local Heroes

The 21st century girl doesn’t pertain to any stereotype. She’s a chick of many talents, one moment she’s in Europe, the next she’s in Asia. She’s working on several artistic projects at once and killing at every single one. She’s a mix of races – picking up different cultures as she travels. She’s the mysterious girl at the party who want to get to know.

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Photography by Lauren Engel

 

It was time to bring some fashion designers to the #cheadsmodernwoman table.  This time we have Areta Szupura, founder of Local Heroes.   Right after meeting her, I felt as though we clicked instantaneously.  She has the personality that makes you feel that you have been friends since birth.  Her contagious upbeat personality and coolness makes everyone want to be her friend.  While I was hanging out with her and shooting she was getting excited about her shoe collab with Reebok.  We ran around the streets of Times Square, getting ice cream and pretzels from the street vendors, 

 

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Tell us about your upbringing and how did it influence you to get into fashion?

My upbringing had nothing do to with fashion at all. Maybe besides those crazy outfits my mom allowed me to choose smile emoticon None of my parents or close relatives worked in fashion, and that’s probably why they were kind of scared when I told them that that’s what I want to pursue. But what I got from my parents that helped me a lot and made me who I am today is that they always encouraged me to try as many things as possible, work hard, travel a lot, dream big and always have fun doing all that.

The ‘Doing real life sucks’ used to be your blog before you used the phrase on the viral shirt. What inspired you about the phrase?
There was this one awesome guy on Youtube called Iianardo that my friends and I couldnt stop watching in high school. In one of those videos, after going to a golf course at 5am to watch the sunrise, he said back in the car : „ it’s time to go back and do real stuff, which sucks”. I don’t remember exactly how this happened but what he said back then became my life motto. And my blog title. And probably will be the only one thing I will ever tattoo on myself ( if I ever will ). So after a couple of years when myself and my friend Karolina started the LOCAL HEROES brand, it was obvious that one of the first designs should be DRSS as people liked and it summed up our lifes more than anything! You only live once, so stop whatever you’re doing and go follow your dreams!

 

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“We want to teach the industry to relax and not take everything so seriously.”

 

Other than tumblr, what are your main inspirations?
I’d say people around me but the streets of Warsaw are pretty sad and grey, so I can’t really relate to that. Of course instagram and the people I stalk there. And my favourite thing ever are my childhood pics. I wish everybody still dressed like in the 90s!

How did you know Rihanna will be in her little private beach in Poland and were able to meet up with her?
That’s a long and funny story. After Justin ( Bieber ) she was our goal for 2013. So first days of January Karolina found her addres on Google Maps and same story as with JB, we just sent her a package. The possibility of her getting the package was one in the million but it happened and 2 weeks later she posted our ‚Buy you own fucking lighter’on her instagram so we knew she got it.  She followed us on instagram. Then we met up with her in London like a month later and as it was only a random meet and greet in store we freaked out when she said: I know who you are! I’m following u on instagram! What are u doing here guys ?’ Instead of giving our speech we became speechless and starstroked. Then in the summer she came to Poland for a festival so we knew we had to meet up with her again. But it was super hard as she wasn’t really checking her instagram or twitter and nobody knew where she was. We waited near the hotel hoping she would  come out. She didn’t. But then somebody from the crowed said shes on the beach. And so we went, but it was still impossible to get to her because of all the security and distance. Luckily, I saw that she ordered something from the bar and ran to the waitress and begged her to put the lighter on the trace with a little card saying: Hi Riri, Local Heroes are here!. The moment she got the drinks it was all easy. She asked her security guard to find and invite us to join her little party. It might seem normal for us now but back then we couldn’t believe what just happened and she knew all our clothes and was curious how managed to have such a cool brand.  She also said she wears our Bad Hair Day beanie 4 days a week and her hairdresser was like: yeah, she needs it.

 

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How did you get your ‘Bad Hair Day’ beanie to Cara Delevigne?
Another crazy story. We couldn’t afford to go to NY for fashion week so instead we bought a cheap flight to Paris for FW and hoped to find Cara there. We knew she would be at the H&M fashion show but didn’t have invites. Luckily we got in and she took me backstage and then it was all easy. She loved the clothes so much she wore it almost every day of  fashion week and our Last Clean T-shirt even landed on the Vogue Best Dressed list.

You said in a previous interview that you and the people you worked with in local factories figured out together how to make a difficult item of clothing. What else are you trying to influence in the fashion industry in Poland?
It was all about opening their minds and showing them that they can do way more that they think they can do. Most of the factories are focused on doing what they know best and there are very few people that wanted to take some time and try new things and techniques with us. But we did it and we’re supper excited to have not only t-shirts but denim and socks all made locally in Poland. Despite the fact that our target group doesn’t think that much about where their clothes come from we want them to be proud of supporting local manufacturers. What else ? We did that in the beginning and we’re still trying to show people around us, that they can do whatever they dream of even if they are from asmall country like Poland. You can still have Miley Cyrus text you the stuff that she likes from the new collection and then wear it on The Voice.

Your idea of having no seasons for clothing is very interesting-do you have plans yet how to change this in the fashion industry?
We believe if you do clothes that you like and believe in, it doesn’t matter what season they are made for. You can still wear a sweatshirt from ‚spring summer 2013 collection’ and not feel bad about it because it’s still super awesome. Of course it’s easier if you live in a single season country like California because then you don’t need puff jackets but even then, if we make a cute puff jacket you will get it anyway just because you like it, right? We want to teach the industry to relax and not take everything so seriously.

Explain your motto ‘reality sucks
DOING REAL STUFF SUCKS!
That’s my life motto. Something that I got from my parents. We always did things that weren’t normal. Like going on a camping trip for 4 months, my dad kidnapping me from school and taking spontaneously trips to NY just because our visa was ending and the most important fact that my mom and dad never had real work so the 9-to-5 schedule was as abstract for me as boredom. We only live once so each day should be lived as it’s our last, we have to follow our dreams and do whatever makes us happy!

 

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