Five Minutes With Sara Tetro

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You may know Sara Tetro as the glamorous host of New Zealand’s Next Top Model or perhaps as the owner of 62 Models & Talent. But I’ve been lucky enough to know her as a friend. I first met Sara about 12 years ago when I was editing Fashion Quarterly magazine and we both kind of clicked. Since then Sara has been part of some of the most important times in my life. She did a heartfelt reading at my wedding, was at the birth of my first child and I can’t count how many times she has opened her wardrobe to lend me an amazing designer creation when I had a special event to attend and “nothing to wear.” Sara has incredible style and I’m thrilled to share with you some of her best-kept style secrets.

How would you describe your personal style?
I shudder when I’m asked that question. I know what I like but I wouldn’t really be able to label it.

How much time do you spend putting together outfits and “playing in your wardrobe”?
Very little – I get up in the morning, get out of the shower and think I feel like wearing . . .

Would you / have you ever copied a great outfit that you saw someone wearing?
Of course I have – who hasn’t? I wouldn’t copy an entire look though. Emmanuelle Alt the editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris tends to have a formulaic look to her dressing and I like the way she dresses. I see something she’s wearing and she might be wearing a shirt under a particular kind of jacket and I draw inspiration from that. I draw inspiration from lots of places though. I saw a lady in a café the other day and she looked great.  I really appreciate how good some people look – it’s inspiring but it’s important not to compare yourself to anyone. I see beautiful girls all the time but I don’t ever compare myself. I read a great quote the other day that I absolutely love. It was “Comparison is the thief of joy” – how true.

How important are accessories to you and do you change them often?
I change my accessories a lot especially my handbags. I’ll often put a handbag inside a bigger bag so I can use the larger bag during the day and if I’m going out that night I’ll just take the smaller bag which is usually a clutch of some description. I do really like scarves too and I never travel without one.

How do you prepare for a new season?
I don’t really plan my wardrobe. I’m not particularly methodical about it but because of my job I’m seeing amazing imagery all day every day and you can’t help but notice what’s happening in fashion. I don’t consciously plan it though – it’s really just a byproduct of my work. I staunchly believe that fashion should be comfortable. I actually incorporate a lot of sporting gear into what I wear to work because I’m forever running between appointments.  I wear a lot of adidas , Stella McCartney and Y-3 (the label Yohji Yamamoto designed for adidas). In fact the pants I’m wearing today are adidas Y-3 unfortunately, you can’t buy them in New Zealand I got these on sale in Hong Kong. Although I do love high heels they’re not always practical when you’re busy. But I do love wearing them. I’ve learned to love brogues and flats.

What’s your best piece of fashion advice?
I don’t keep many clothes “for good” so to speak. So it means I get really good wear out of my clothes and if you are smart about what you buy they won’t go out of fashion right away. I have a pair of leather pants that I can’t live without. I wear them a couple of times a week and they go with everything. They won’t go out of fashion either because they can easily be updated with a different shoe or boot. So I believe it’s really important to buy key pieces that you can keep wearing for years.


What’s on your fashion shopping list now?
There’s always something new that I’ve got my eye on. Is there anything that my heart yearns for at this very second? I’m on the look out for some great grey jeans. I’m happy to spend money on jeans because I wear them almost every day. There’s a pair of adidas jelly shoes (a fashion collaboration between adidas and Opening Ceremony) I’d like too – they are like brogues made out of jelly – they are really cool.

What are you loving wearing right now?
My Huffer puffer jacket. I’m an ambassador for Audi and they gifted me a Huffer puffer last year and I’d sleep in it if I could.

What beauty products would you be lost without?
Sunscreen. I use Elta MD sunscreen every day – it’s great. It doesn’t clog your pores and it doesn’t give you that whitish look that you get from a lot of sunscreens. I use it on my girls’ skin every day too – it’s great. I love Sodashi’s Rose Facial spray too.

Do you have a signature fragrance?
Yes I have four favourites that I layer. I start with Jo Malone Red Rose Body Crème and over that I layer Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir or Jo Malone Blue Agava & Cacao and a lighter layer of Jo Malone Grapefruit over the top. If I’m travelling I take Frederic Malle’s Une Rose. I like to smell nice. A bonus of my job is I get to try lots of amazing products and I don’t say what I like because I have to – it’s truly what I do love.

Favourite foundation?
It’s either my Lancome foundation or Smashbox BB cream.

Favourite everyday lipstick/lipgloss shade?
Stefan Knight (celebrity make-up artist) gave me an amazing By Terry lip gloss for my birthday when we were shooting Top Model and I absolutely love it. I also wear a MAC lipstick (Casual Colour) in a pot and I have it in a few different shades. I regularly wear lip balm. My two favourites are Eve Lom’s Kiss Mix Lip Balm and once upon a time a friend of mine gave me a La Mer Lip Balm and I’ve just been given another one and I love it. I don’t like dipping my finger into pots of lip balm so I actually put my lips straight into my lip balm (this might sound weird but it’s way more hygeniec). The La Mer is great for this because you can fit your whole lips in that one without a problem. I’m always using a lip balm. As a treat I love LA Mer hand cream.

Favourite red lipstick?
MAC’s Lady danger –  it’s very out there but I really like it. I also wear L’Oreal’s Colour Riche 905. Sadly, it’s discontinued now but it’s a favourite too.

Favourite nail polish colour?
I get my nails done at Magic Tan & Beauty and I’m notorious for my option paralaysis when I’m there. I spend more time choosing a colour than getting it applied. I have a favourite bright yellow that I keep going back for but I’m wearing navy on my nails at the moment.

Who cuts your hair?
I go to Servilles Ponsonby for my colour and blow waves and Louise Pilkington cuts my hair.

Favourite online shopping sites?
Net-a-porter and Shopbop are my favourites but to be honest I don’t have much time to cruise websites. I have a sister-in-law who has a passion for shopping and if she says I should go and get something I usually do. I don’t really need an online shopping site when I’ve got her.


Last laugh – did I mention that Sara doesn’t take herself too seriously? This is what we got up to when I went to have a “serious” meeting at Sara’s office recently. You’ve gotta love crazy photo apps!



Main photos: Photographer Craig Owen, Hair & Makeup Stefan Knight.

Sara can be contacted at or you can follow her on Twitter @sara_mail.