Amsterdam-based blogger, model and influencer Linda Tol lives life in fashion’s fast lane. Her own-brand eyewear collection is the embodiment of her fresh, elegant, unpretentious personal style. Eyestylist spoke to her in an exclusive interview during lockdown.
What is your earliest memory of fashion? I grew up in a village nearby Amsterdam. Together with my younger sister. I grew up with fashion. My mum has a deep interest in it and I guess it rubbed off on me. Growing up, she loved to dress us kids for school. It looked like it was our birthday every day.
When did you begin your journey / career in the fashion industry? Before I started blogging I worked in Fashion PR. Many stylists and journalists supported me to do something with my style. A blog was the perfect way to share my love, passion and inspiration for beauty and fashion. After 3 years working for the PR firm, I decided to start my own company and LindaTol was born.
What are your thoughts on the “influencer” industry and social media platforms as we know them today? Social networks are the biggest source of inspiration. Billions of us are using social media platforms every day. We use it for every part of our lives. In our personal relationships, for entertainment, at work and in our studies. Social media changed the way we communicate. It’s changing the way we do business, the way we are governed, and the way we live in society. Social media is real. Influencers share their personal life, experiences and stories. And people relate to influencers.
When you’re looking for a particular item; clothing, bags, accessories – what, for you, are the 3 most important attributes to the item / the brand it is produced by? 1/I invest in timeless pieces: wardrobe investments 2/Quality over quantity 3/I ask if it is environmentally friendly production?
Does quality / lasting wear for you have an influence on purchasing a product? Yes. For me it’s really important to invest in a piece. I only buy products that are timeless and the quality is really important to me. Quality means it lasts longer. It has a different value for me.
What is your stance on environmentalism and sustainability in the fashion industry and in day to day life? Shop less, Collect better – be mindful of your consumer habits – shop Brands That Prioritize Sustainability.
Do you think there’s a similar need for accessories to become sustainable? Not really a need. But the idea behind TOL Eyewear is to invest in a timeless pair of sunglasses. A pair of sunglasses you buy and wear for many years. It’s a luxury product.
How would you describe your own style / and how has it developed over time? Style is all about personality; it’s an expression of your individuality, so if you don’t feel comfortable in what you’re wearing, then it won’t feel authentic. My style is quite diverse, but it’s always really recognizably me. When I was younger, I used to try a little bit too hard – I’d wear too many crazy prints or statement pieces all at once – but in recent years my look has become more sophisticated. Now, a typical outfit for me is a pair of boyfriend jeans and a T-shirt, but I’ll finish it off with some super-girly slingbacks. Comfort is the most important factor for me when I’m piecing together a look, so I live in denim.
If you could choose one only one category of accessory to wear, what would the category be and why? Hard to choose between bags and sunglasses. I love bags. In the same way that different types of bags define your personality, the way you carry them defines it too. It’s practical. I love sunglasses because they are the finishing touch of the look. They make me feel strong and powerful. I also wear sunglasses in winter. It’s an attitude. They make people feel confident.
When did TOL Eyewear present itself as a potential business prospect? From the moment we proposed the project to the Italian factory who produces TOL Eyewear. They believed in the project from the very beginning.
What are your plans for this collection? We have so many ideas in mind. Our dream is to become a successful global brand.
If any, what is the mission statement / brand motto for TOL and it’s future customers? TOL is an Amsterdam based design studio with an international approach to eyewear and fashion that is overseen and embodied by myself and Marieke Meulendijks. All our work derives from a deep interest in fashion, contemporary art, interiors, architecture and people. Above all, every story and every project begins with the creation of a new emotion.
The brand’s mission is to reach a fusion between creativity, technical innovation and traditional craftsmanship. This allows them to offer eyewear characterised by high quality materials and the typical excellence of Italian manufacturing. This combination of innovation and tradition is the principle that inspires us to create and design for TOL.
On a personal level, what is your feeling towards this current period we’re living through – a pandemic, self isolation…how do you keep busy and mindful? It was not easy in the beginning. Staying positive is very important. I try to create a routine for myself. I wake up around the same time every day. I get dressed and get my make-up done every day. I plan meetings (via Zoom) and try to create as much content as I can for my personal account and TOL Eyewear.
What would be your advice to young fashion creatives looking to work in the fashion industry? Stay true to yourself and ignore the critics.
Find out more at www.lindatol.com.and @lindatol_ on Instagram. To purchase the sunglasses visit @toleyewear (available from July). Interview by Victoria G. L. Brunton for Eyestylist.com. All rights reserved.