#oldiebutgoodie: my interview with LA-based designer Laina Rauma

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Okay, first up, you should probably know that I've long had a girl crush on Laina Rauma. She's one of those women that can motivate everything from my fashion and beauty choices to getting my ass to the gym. As with all things Instagram - there's a lot more beneath those pictures, so last year (this is an older interview I first uploaded to sohairobsessed.com but it's still worth a read if you love this girl) I decided to track Laina down in Los Angeles, to find out more about her and her increasingly popular fashion label.
Love this old pic of Laina, and kinda jealous of that cigarette right now...

Love this old pic of Laina, and kinda jealous of that cigarette right now...

why fashion?
Well, I started trying to sew Barbie clothes and a few janky pieces for myself around 7 or 8 years old. My grandma taught me. She and my mum were always making our Christmas dresses etc, and I was just always around sewing. Making my own clothes was such a natural thing for me, because I saw it being done my whole life. When it comes to the actual technical side of things, I have no real training or schooling at all. I taught myself and still don't use real patterns. But I'm learning, and as of six months ago I have been working with a great team of seamstresses who help in the construction of the pieces. I still cut everything out myself but I used to sew everything myself which was a lot of work.

tell me about your signature look
I think I have a few different looks, to be honest. But mostly, I like to contradict feminine and masculine and then add in something a little outta nowhere when it comes to my hair, shoes or accessories. I don't get my nails done anymore, because I couldn't stand acrylics - I just picked at them like crazy and I'm working with my hands way too much to be too fussy about them. But I do like a nice, clean manicure. I always go with red, pink or nude.
I hardly ever wear makeup during the week because I'm running around so much - usually straight from the gym but I do LOVE getting all primped up. Getting ready is my favorite thing to do. I could have five hours to get ready and I'd ask for six if I could. Getting ready is the best part.
I love a good eyebrow, a bronze-y face, mascara and a good, nude gloss. Sometimes a red lip to switch it up. Favorite brands: Nars, Essie, Dior and I absolutely love everything from Benefit Cosmetics. For hair, my products are very simple, Pantene, L'Orรฉal hairspray, a good styling wand - that's about it. I spend most of my 'beauty' money on skincare and perfume.

who/what are you inspired by?
I don't really look too outside of myself for inspiration. I don't read fashion magazines; I buy them because I love the idea of them - glossy pages, beautiful things - I just don't ever read them, so I stopped buying them. When it comes to Instagram, I mostly look for workout routines from women with killer bodies.

what's your can't-live-without hair/beauty product?
I couldn't live without my Benefit Cosmetics eyebrow pencil, Carmex balm or a body oil of some sort. I love Goe oil, Johnson's Baby Oil and The Body Shop's body butter in Coconut or Moringa.

what's a super fast way anyone can update their wardrobe for spring?
Take your old jeans and cut them into cut-offs, throw them in the wash and dryer for that perfect frayed look. Or, slice holes in the knees of your denim and do the same. And new sunnies always do the trick really quick.

if you could only wear the same three pieces of clothing over and over (with an unlimited drycleaning bill, obviously) what would you choose and why?
A white T-shirt, good butt skinny jeans and Converse sneakers: classic and chic. You could literally wear that anywhere and people wouldn't think you were over or under-dressed, just cool.

A brand new look from Laina, the Monica dress. HOT.

A brand new look from Laina, the Monica dress. HOT.

how different do you think your career might be if it wasn't for social media?
Oh, drastically. I know my brand is growing because of social media. I get to show people who I am. That I live, speak and breathe what I do. It's a huge tool to see what people like, what they hate, and what they care enough about to share with others. Word of mouth on social media is gold.

how do you combat the negativity that often comes hand in hand with social media platforms?Ignore it. I am a positive person who does everything out of love. If you can't get down with that, you have your own demons that have nothing to do with me.

All images courtesy of Laina's Instagram: @lainarauma. To buy, check out http://www.lainarauma.com/