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SHEI Magazine is a University of Michigan student-run fashion, art, and pop culture publication. Everything from the photography, writing, modeling, editing, and publicity of our bi-yearly print publications and monthly digital mini is created by students who attend the University of Michigan. Founded in 1999, SHEI Magazine continues to produce issues of professional quality, as well as provide real-world experience to students interested in journalism, publishing, and the fashion industries.

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Power Team: UK Brand River Island and Blogger Hagelstam

Erika Bell

Who doesn't love a good heel? More importantly, who doesn't love someone who knows everything about a good heel? That may be the reason why London-based fashion brand, River Island, decided to collaborate with the fashion-wise 5 Inch and Up blogger Sandra Hagelstam. Sounds like a dream team to us. River Island originated in London of 1948 and has expanded into many fashion markets around the globe. The brand made a name for itself in the high street fashion scene with its strength in designing stylish and affordable collections for the fashion-savvy girl and guy.

Hagelstam, a Finnish, London-based blogger with a tenacity for high heels and chic clothes, started her blog 5 Inch and Up in 2010. Her passion for teaching her readers to not be afraid of a little height on a heel, set her apart from the crowd - not to mention her artistic photography, glamorous styling choices, and of course her passionate personality.

This set the stage for a great match. River Island and Hagelstam teamed up to design and release the six-piece footwear collection in early November. Hagelstam had a heavy hand in the design process in order to incorporate her personal flare into the collaboration.

"I started off designing very much with a River Island girl in mind. I went into the store a couple of times and whilst I was looking at the customers, I realized the River Island girl is very - in a good way - loud and proud of who she is, she’s very sexy and she’s very glam," said Hagelstam.

Shop The Collection Here! 

The collection is mostly dominated by a black color scheme that emanates a classic, chic, and minimalist style. You can pair this footwear with any outfit and easily go from day-to-night with the same shoe.

In her everyday styling, the 5 Inch and Up blogger finds inspiration from any and everywhere.

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(Photo Credit: 5inchandup.blogspot.com)

"I do a lot of browsing online; obviously I’m a big blog reader myself. Pinterest is a great platform to be able to pin stuff together, have your own little mood-board. But I still read a lot of print magazines. I think the stylists in print magazines do a really good job, so it’s a mix. I’m very influenced by street style, I think it’s a very nice opposite to the runway trends that we see. I really like mixing different contrasts, and having almost a nightie as a dress that can be worn out; if you feel too naked, throw on a blazer. It’s all about contrasts and creating an interesting silhouette."

Blogging has introduced a bevy of smart, stylish women and men into the retail world. By collaborating with these cutting-edge bloggers, brands have an opportunity to immerse themselves into the minds of their customers, as well as learn a thing or two from the blogger's personal experience.

Hagelstam reminisces on starting her own blog, having never expected to be where she is today.

"I used to read a lot of blogs," she says. "I used to love Fashion Toast, Sea of Shoes, Carla’s Closest, mostly US blogs and I’ve always been obsessed with heels; I’m always in heels. So I was looking at my shoe closet one day and I was like, I have all of those ‘it’ shoes that these girls are wearing, I need to give these shoes some attention! I just loved the idea of having a visual diary, it was very much what I wanted to do. I’ve never been much of a writer, but working with pictures felt very natural to me."

And for the budding fashion bloggers out there, Hagelstam offers some solid advice:

"Find what your edge is," she says. "Are you good at writing; are you good at styling, maybe photography? To be honest, doing your own photos is a massive plus because you’re potentially going to be able to create content for magazines which opens up a lot of doors. However, if you’re a good writer, that could land you an amazing job as a journalist. So I would say find what the edge is, then put all of your time into that. Also don’t be shy, my collaboration with River Island started with me going up to a girl and saying 'I want your boots.' So feel free to tweet brands, e-mail brands, and be visible to them. I know River Island is always looking for new, exciting faces and bloggers to work with. It can start out with something very small and you can end up having a collection, so be focused."

(Photo Credit: riverisland.com)