Sara Catarina Carney’s creativity has no END.

Sara and a colleague from END. Newcastle

Effortlessly cool and sophisticated mixed with imperfection, are two of many phrases you could use to describe 20-year-old END. fashion advisor and stylist Sara Catarina Carney. Being exceptionally modest however she describes herself as impulsive, romantic and “I’d like to think funny.” She’s all of those things, along with being incredibly driven and knowledgeable about her field of study – Fashion Design and Marketing, of which she is in her second year at Northumbria University, Newcastle.

Her uniform of T-shirt, suit and trainers is Victoria Beckham in feeling. She looks comfortable but also incredibly stylish. “It’s my go to,” she says. She’s half Portuguese, fully Mancunian but has an air of Parisienne flare around her.

“My style evolution is all down to my brand awareness,” she tells me. “I’ve learned over the last couple of years which brand I actually think are cool and not which brands social media influencers and celebrities are trying to make me think are.” She’s not here for ‘logomania’ at all – but looking at her you’d get that vibe. Everything is understated. Her style is determined in how she is wearing her clothes, not in what label she is wearing. Quality, ethicality and where the garments are made is what Sara really cares about.

 

 

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Moving from one place to another can often influence your style. Sara believes that it has been not so much Newcastle that has helped shape her taste but rather working in END., the designer menswear store which sits in its prominent position on Grainger Street, alongside different colleagues with their own various styles has rubbed off on her. “It’s allowed me to discover new niche brands,” she says. “But also working has given me the money to actually be able to afford the brands I wanted, which before I never could.”

One thing arguably noticeable about the North East is the regional style. Sara mentions the real desire for luxury goods by North East males in particular. “I spend quite a lot of my time commuting as my friends, family and boyfriend (Ben Greenwood, another stylish END. fashion advisor) all live in different cities and countries so I absolutely see regional fashion choices.” Speaking of home (Manchester that is) she finds the style for men especially in their late twenties and upwards is very oasis influenced. “Everyone has a Fred Perry and a bowl cut,” she remarks. Whether that’s a good thing or bad thing it is very much to your own personal taste.

Sara says her role as a fashion advisor at END. is not like any other sales job she’s had elsewhere. “People value your opinion and trust your brand knowledge. It’s cool though because it’s brands that I care a lot about so I know a lot about in turn.” The customer, stylist relationships are unlike anything she’s ever come across. “My favourite customer isn’t necessarily the best dressed or the one with the most knowledge,” she tells me, “but rather the one that’s polite and friendly, whatever their style. It makes the job much more enjoyable when someone’s just genuinely nice.”

 

 

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We talk about her thoughts on where the market is going, how fashion is changing and what she thinks we will be wearing this time next year. “I think we are being more and more influenced by Japanese fashion,” she offers, “so although they’re not overly obscure, next year I think so many western people will have ‘discovered’ Japanese designers like Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo and will be dressing this way.”

Yohji Yamamoto is the brain behind the Y-3 brand – a collaboration between Yamamoto and Adidas, as well as his own eponymous brand, whereas Rei Kawakubo is the mastermind behind the infamous Comme des Garçon brand as well as retail space and concept store Dover Street Market.

When asked about her garment design at university this year Sara sighs relief as she says, “I’ve actually finished it, thank god.” She remarks however that she feels that END. doesn’t influence her overly in her creative work, although she can’t really say. “Maybe subconsciously END. does influence me as I’m being surrounded by all these amazing designer clothes 24/7, but a lot of my influences come from art and architecture. There’s a subtle hint a this on her Instagram (@saracatarinac). It’s extremely pleasing to look at. Clean, minimal and yet visually stimulating – almost as if Raf Simmons or Jil Sander had curated it.

 

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When I mention it she cringes. Her modesty is really endearing and a welcome change to see. “I try to find a balance, as cringe as it sound, between clothes I like and people I love. Also dogs and wine. I try not to take myself too seriously, don’t want people to think I’m an a***.” I can’t tell you for certain that she certainly isn’t. She’s constantly in creative mode. “I’m obsessed with Openhouse’s Instagram. I’m constantly designing my dream house in the back of my head,” she says.

The longer we chat the more her resemblance to Dua Lipa strikes me. Questioning her on whether or not she’d been told it before she laughed it off. “I actually have quite a few times, although I don’t see it at all. Obviously, it’s a massive compliment as she’s completely gorgeous, but I don’t see it at all.” Well, I do, I really do.

It’s not only in her facial features and build she resembles Lipa, but also her style. When asked about her style icons she pauses briefly and thinks. “On the spot I can’t think of any,” she says before continuing, “but I have a friend called Jerry Chan who’s Chinese so wears all these cool Asian brands that I’ve never even heard of. I just think he’s the coolest guy.”

 

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When asked about what she hopes for the future and where she hopes to be she responded, “hopefully happy, and in a financially stable place, designing or doing some kind of creative direction.”

You can follow Sara on Instagram here.

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