Iris & Wool’s Emily Riggs on how fashion helped her through tough times

What are the three must-have items in your wardrobe? Wool sweaters, winter coats and summer linen maxi dresses.

Do you have jewelry you can rely on? Besides my own wedding and engagement rings, I wear my mother’s sapphire and diamond engagement ring and Paspaley pearl and sandalwood bracelet.

Can you remember your favorite clothes from your childhood? A blue smock dress when I was 5 years old. It was made by my grandmother and I can’t wait to put it on her daughter.

And what’s your worst fashion mistake? I shudder when I think of the Adidas snap pants I wore when I was 12.

What was your first fashion moment? Everyone has their sliding door moments. I had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma just before my tenth birthday, and I knew what this meant because her mother was battling breast cancer. Her mother and I battled cancer together, but her mother died a year later. She was only 43 years old. I lost her mother and could barely get out of bed because of her illness. Her hair fell out and she was often mistaken for a boy and lost her confidence. That’s when I turned to fashion as a creative outlet and a way for people to get over my illness.

What’s on your fashion wishlist? Hermès dressage saddle.

Emily has a keen eye for the mix-and-match style of American socialite and influencer Olivia Palermo.

Emily has a keen eye for the mix-and-match style of American socialite and influencer Olivia Images

Is there anything you never wear? Doc Martens boots.

What shoes do you wear most often? Nike sneakers. I run in the morning They stay for the rest of the day so I can follow the kids.

Do you have a favorite current fashion trend? I see people wanting to buy from brands with stories, more and more realizing the benefits of wearing natural fibers, and traceability becoming a factor in consumer decision-making. I like

Who is your favorite fashion icon? Olivia Palermo is always on point. She loves her prints and bold color combinations. And I love Kate Middleton’s classic, sophisticated style.

What do you wear on a typical work day? My wardrobe consists of easy, everyday things that all go together, maybe one full-length skirt by Camilla and Marc and a sweater with horse-print slides by Chloé.

And what’s your favorite off-duty casual Sunday look? Zara high-waisted jeans, pullovers and coats.

Emily Riggs is the Founder and Creative Director of Iris & Wool.

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