We’re major fans of Anina Hee‘s line of elevated essentials, Refine. Given her design aesthetic, it’s no surprise that her personal style is just as elegant, sensual, and… refined. We caught up with Anina to hear more about her inspiration for the line, her love of timeless design, and a few of her other favorite things…
Describe your style in three words or phrases.
I only need one: Timeless.
What is your ideal outfit or uniform?
I generally like to combine opposites. For example, I love wearing a denim jacket over a silk slip dress. Or, wearing a heel with cycling shorts. My look is pretty classic. Since I launched REFINE, I usually either wear the Lydia skirt with a t-shirt or the Kate camisole with high waisted jeans and a blazer.
What inspired you to launch Refine? Who or what are you influenced by as a designer?
I have always been trained to buy into quality. My parents run a textile business focused on luxury fabrics that are made in Switzerland and Italy, which meant they educated us on how important it is, as a consumer, to be aware of where things are made.
Working as a fashion editor at Net-a-Porter, I had access to luxury clothes and accessories – meaning I would get a discount when buying the high-quality pieces I wanted to invest in. I realized how hard it was to find good quality at an affordable price – I asked myself how I would be able to afford these pieces without working in the industry. So that’s how I decided to start Refine. The idea was to make beautiful, long-lasting garments accessible using the highest quality materials and limiting production to Italy.
In terms of design, the same idea applies. Our styles are meant to last for years to come, they are investment pieces, wardrobe classics. It’s not about inventing something new, but about refining existing shapes that have stood the test of time.
What is most important to you: comfort, beauty, or innovation?
Comfort. I feel my best in clothes that fit me, that are worn in – this gives me confidence, which in my opinion, makes a person beautiful! That’s key to the pieces we are creating at REFINE. It is all about the woman. I want to create pieces that accent a woman’s beauty, not outshine her. It’s all about giving her confidence.
In terms of innovation, for me, it’s more important to apply this to production than design. I have set a goal to make the production cycle for each collection more sustainable than the one before. Trying to be as sustainable as possible is complex, especially for a small brand with limited resources. But, I am confident that we will get there step by step.
What are you excited about in fashion right now?
It’s an incredibly exciting time in fashion right now. A huge shift is happening in a very positive way. There are two things I feel most excited about.
One is the industry becoming mindful of sustainability. I honestly think I wouldn’t have been able to start a direct-to-consumer business with quality and a transparent supply chain at its core five years ago. Now, the customer is asking and caring about where and how the product is made, and willing to pay that extra bit for something that will endure.
Re-defining beauty standards is the other important movement. I am thinking about the next generation of girls, who will hopefully be growing up with a new definition of beauty. I am the oldest of four girls and wished we had been able to go through our teenage years with more inclusive beauty norms.
There is still a long way to go, but the exciting thing is that things are shifting.
Now, rapid fire!
Vogue Paris, Porter and Unconditional
Most recent thing that has influenced your style?
Launching REFINE, I hardly ever leave the house not wearing at least one piece now
Best thing you’ve read recently?
I am not a big reader. I prefer listening to podcasts. The last one that I loved was the Goop Podcast with Gwyneth Paltrow interviewing Brené Brown
Fantasy life in three words?
To be fulfilled
First memory of fashion?
Black patent leather shoes, my mum would say, “you can wear your patent shoes tonight,” which meant that it was a special occasion!
Best investment piece?
My Two for One Tote by The Row
Do you feel most yourself dressed up or dressed down?
Somewhere in between
Your go-to thing to gift?
Signature perfume or scent?
Byredo’s Gypsy Water