Annija Bunde at Tracey Neuls

February 26, 2019

Annija Bunde at Tracey Neuls

We all know you are a fantastic storyteller: tell us, how did you start working for Tracey Neuls?

I was passing the Marylebone Lane store, purely by accident, and completely fell in love with the display (the hanging shoes). I just couldn’t resist going in and trying them on. The whole concept and the shoes completely blew me away. After that, I couldn’t stop thinking about the experience, so I decided to apply for a job here. I’ll always remember the day when Tracey gave me my first TN pair. It was GEEK NEON! Fabulous shoe! Still wear it today.

Tell us three words that can describe working for Tracey Neuls.

Fun, challenging and rewarding.

What do you find interesting and inspiring about working here?

Meeting new and interesting people in store. Tracey’s customers are never plain and boring! I could write a book on what I’ve heard and whom I’ve met.

We know you’ve become good friends with some customers over the years. What brought you together?

Common interests and my curiosity. By education, I am a social and cultural anthropologist and have always been interested in people. I think that’s what has helped me develop my relationships with customers.

The strongest connection I have is with customers who are not afraid to be honest and straightforward with me – those who say exactly what they think about the shoes, what they like and don’t. I’m the same. When I sell shoes, I think about how I would want the store assistant to be like – straightforward and honest! It’s like shopping with your friend.

Do you have any style tips for customers wearing or choosing Tracey Neuls?

My tip would be to always keep in mind that it’s you who wears the shoes and not the other way around. When Tracey designed her first collection, she wanted to create shoes that empower women and help them succeed.

How would you describe your style and influences?

My style has changed so much over these last 4 years since I started working at the company. I used to rely on my skinny black jeans, a top and a jacket so much that you could hardly see me wearing anything else. Things changed after the first few months of working here. I got inspired by all the amazing, stylish women that come into the store and unconsciously started to source the same outfits as they do. I also think that you can’t wear these shoes with anything too simple. They have to go with something a bit out of the ordinary. My main fashion influence would be Pandora Sykes and Sharon Horgan. They're both such amazing, smart and intelligent women.

If I'm not spending all my salary on Tracey Neuls shoes, I’ll make sure to buy no less than one bag a year from Ally Capellino, a necklace from Alighieri and a set of earrings from my friend Laura Nelson's jewellery brand.

I buy most of my clothing at &other stories, Warehouse, Whistles and Top Shop. They’re my favourite shops and their styles fit me very well.

What’s your current and all time favourite style from the collections?

That’s like asking my mother on whether she loves me or my brother more. Ha ha ha! But in truth, I know she loves me more (partly joking...).

During the autumn and winter months I love my JON BLACK boots. They’re one of the best things to happen in my life. If I’m not wearing JON, I’ll be wearing my GEORGE WHITE or ARLINDA BLACK boots. In the summer months, I live in my DEAN GOLD MESH shoes and TWINK BLACK sandals that Tracey made 3 years ago. When I go out, I wear my PENNY BLACK or SNUG PETROL boots. Used to think I’d never wear heels and now they’re on my favourites list!

A colourful collection of Summer and Winter shoes by designer Tracey Neuls, displayed on living room floor

Which part of London did you get most compliments on your shoes in?

Funnily enough, Peckham! Women and men in my area absolutely love my Snug Petrol boots and Geek Neon shoes.

I actually spotted a woman wearing the same Neon Geeks as me at Peckham Rye station. What’s even funnier is that we live in the same building!

What’s your favourite place in London to recommend to our customers visiting from abroad?

Barbican, one of my favourite places in London, and Frank’s Café in Peckham for the amazing Campari cocktails and great views.

How do you feel having a style named after you? How would you describe the design and why do you think Tracey made it this way?

I am extremely happy and honoured. The ANNIJA boot is absolutely stunning and I’m not saying that just because it has my name!

ANNIJA is an elegant and very flattering boot with a very slick wooden heel. It is feminine and practical at the same time.

I’ve always loved the shape of ALLY, SING and ARLINDA, and everything in white! White is the best colour to wear when you do not want to wear black and are scared to go with a more out-there colour. Tracey has always known that I like white shoes. Last season we almost held off making the white GEORGE due to a shortage of the white leather, but I kept on pushing that we have to 100% do it! We did it at the end and it was a massive hit in the store!

What can you tell us about Tracey Neuls herself?

Tracey is simply amazing! I’ve never met anyone like her. She is the ultimate woman. She has inspired so many women (including me) to be who they want to be, to be different and beautiful in their own unique way.

What’s your best party story involving the shoes?

I’m at that time in my life when all my friends are getting married, which means that in the past few years I’ve been to around 8 weddings and 2 afterparties. I’ve worn my Penny Black shoes to all of them. No exceptions, no switching to flats. Always on my TN heels. I can dance all night without taking them off or pausing in between. They are the best shoes ever.

My friends always joke that the shoes have magic dance powers and that Tracey used some spells when making them.

At my friends’ Georgie and Lucas’s wedding, my friend Liz said that since I’m going to wear custom-made Tracey Neuls shoes, someone else needs to wear my own heels so that they make it to all of our friend group’s weddings! That’s exactly what we’re going to do. My friend Mirka who’s the same size as me will wear them to my wedding this July!

Favourite music to play in the shop? Favourite music you shouldn’t really play in the shop but do when no one is listening?!

Oh dear! It has to be Kendrick Lamar, Gorillaz and Die Antwoord. I tend to listen to them when I know 100% I’m alone, when I'm unpacking / packing stock transfers or accepting factory deliveries.

When I’m cleaning the shop in the morning, I love a bit of contemporary classical music. I get super productive when I listen to any type of classical music. Beethoven does wonders to my productivity!

Are there any mottos you’ve picked up since working here?

My dear customer Tanya once told me ‘Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or can’t wear, be yourself and no matter what, always go vintage!’ So true!

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