FOUNDER OF INGA-LENA
Who is Inga?
I grew up as the younger sibling of two. Which meant that I had to wear my older sister’s XXL Mickey Mouse sweaters in the late 90ies when neither XXL nor Mickey were cool anymore. I feel, deep down this trauma haunted me all my life and was the first step towards a luminous career in fashion.
Later in my teens then, I spent most of my time in a horse stable which was run by grown-up men, the German lumberjack kind. Me carrying along halters in lavender and all that pretty shearling stuff that you get for horses, while braiding and shampooing their mane twice a week found little affirmation. So, I decided to shift focus towards dressing humans in the city who may rather appreciate my efforts.
You build an intense bond with these animals. The horse becomes an extension of your body. It allows you to speed forward and jump high. You swing in the same tact while it reacts to the slightest contraction of your muscles. It really is beauty in perfection to me.
Yet there is so much more to it. It is a mental challenge - a power game. You gotta fight for respect every single time, until they accept you. Until they obey and start to dance.
You commit to each other equally though. You must have absolute trust both ways. A pending love - hate relationship, I suppose and possibly the best education for relationships later in life (well cross out the “obey” in that matter -ha).
Any Relationship Advice then?
Ha! Caught! Well, not sure I am entitled to give advice, considering my religious singledom lately. I can give advice on how to stay single? Does that count?
Well, it is a deliberate state of being for me. Building my brand took everything out of me. It was an intense period of stress, added to a deep identification process. I had to face things that I had been ignoring for years. It was necessary to figure out what and who I wanted to represent in this world.
Therefore my advice. Everyone should cut out a chunk of time to do this kind of work on themselves. I would have been a terrible date with little to give during the past two years. There was no time for anyone but me. I had no patience with people. No time for empathy. I was busy with myself and felt it was only fair to stay contained about it.
Most people are selfish to think that another person can complete them or even seek their luck in others. And maybe I have in the past. But really, you can’t fill a broken cup.
I am a strong believer in balanced solitude. I can easily spend a few days on my own. There will be relationships again, God, there better be, but space is golden. Sitting in the same room without talking for a couple of hours is my definition of love. Haha! (Laughing but not taking it back.)
Any weird Habits to confess?
Besides my addiction for Granola and yoghurt drinks you mean? Oh and apple sauce. I can not live without apple sauce. It’s actually very embarrassing how much apple sauce I consume.
Hmm. Well, other than that I guess it’s difficult to detect weird habits when you live alone and convince yourself that you are normal. Weird or not. I love my things the way things are. I am that kind of person who just clicks re-order on everything that didn’t kill me before. Maybe also because it’s just one thing less to think about.
Well, honestly I never even considered anything else since age 14. So that question never came up. I love the idea of using my creativity for something that is not only hanging on the wall but that actually interacts with people. Clothing has such a strong yet refined impact on our psychology. That side of it always intrigued me.
I am feeling powerful and humbled at the same time to dress other women and eventually contribute to their daily happiness and self-esteem.
We all make a special effort when dressing for important occasions in our life. Later on we associate a specific event with a specific dress. It gets me all emotional to think that my work somewhat allows me to become a small part of these moments.
I have been very quiet in my social life lately. But it doesn’t bother me at all because I live and breathe through my collections.
Resolutions for 2019?
I should really get my nails done more often. Ha. No. But actually not that far off. I should try to find more Me-time. And time for friends and family. I have been awfully focused the past 2years and literally never taken a full day off. Sometimes I feel guilty after spending 3-4 hours of fun. That must change. Life is too short.
I need to learn to be less tough on myself. And practice patience. A part of any success story anyhow.
And it’s not like I am saving lives. Well, hearts, maybe. I should really market myself as the first Fashion Heart Surgeon. Haha! Wait for it!
INGA-LENA is truly an honest extension of my personal taste. It is sophisticated and elegant. I consider it casual, accessible luxury with the highest standard of comfort. It makes women not only look but also feel beautiful.
And of course I don’t’ wear silk pants every day when running around between factories and meetings. Then the easy denim or shorts must do. In the winter you will never see me without a chunky knit and beanie.
I live in one of these weird New York apartments that blows cold air in your face when it’s -20degrees outside. So I sometimes end up wearing two knits layered up.
PS: If I had to choose a favorite INGA-LENA piece it would probably be the Ylva blouse. I wear her day and night.
Set yourself goals! You can achieve anything if you do not limit yourself! Having meaningful goals distracts from all the other shit that keeps you unhappy. It’s too easy to get caught up with irrelevant things.
Always see the larger picture and climb on that higher tree when you find one!