News | 13 February 2023
We spoke with former student Sania Claus Demina about her best memories from her school days at Internationella Engelska Gymnasiet Södermalm (IEGS) and what she is doing today.
Former student Sania Claus Demina graduated from IEGS in 2009. Today she is 33 years old and a successful shoe designer with her own shoe brand. We spoke with her about her best memories from school and what she has been doing since graduation.
What have you been doing since you finished IEGS?
“Studied (but didn't finish) the Marketing & Management program at Stockholm University while working as a hip hop dance teacher. Then launched a fashion blog, shortly after I got an award for my style at CHIC magazine's awards to where I moved my blog and then worked for. This led to a position as a fashion editor for Scandinavia's largest fashion magazine Damernas Värld which at that time was led by Martina Bonnier (now Vogue Scandinavia's editor in chief) who took me under her wing and presented opportunities that brought a lot of hard work and new exciting experiences. I then went on freelancing, still worked for Martina and DV but also had my own projects and consulted fashion brands on all kinds of creative projects such as developing their websites, press-systems, design, writing and photography. Basically any problem I could find solutions to excited me. The title "influencer" came around and I made a living on consulting and doing digital campaigns on my own channels while in 2018 launching my own award winning shoe brand sania d'mina (Accessory Designer of the Year at the Swedish ELLE-gala 2022) which now is my main focus as the business is growing. I think sania d'mina is what I will be doing for the rest of my life, I am extremely grateful for the amazing journey this has been and will continue being.”
What are you doing right now?
“Fully focusing on growing my shoe brand sania d'mina which is a footwear brand founded on the principles of high-quality standards, handmade production and trend aware design. Each pair of shoes is crafted in Italy with a timeless touch to fit the personal style of different types of women across the world. Created with function in mind, each model within the collection is highly wearable and made to be your go-to pair of shoes. A lot of hard work and time has gone into the production of the toe box and topline (front part of the shoes) to ensure it fits as many feet as possible. With the most important feature being the fact that they lay flat on the ground, which allows the toes to relax. Furthermore, all angles have been analyzed to find the perfect shape that’ll fit all feet like a pair of gloves. When a shoe really holds your feet, no unnecessary muscle activity is needed, resulting in a comfortable experience.”
Looking back, what do you value most from your time at IEGS?
“The diversity, choosing to study in English has been extremely helpful, the high level of engagement from the teachers and students and most of all learning how to work very hard. I studied natural science and although I don't really need to understand chemistry or physics for what I do, I truly feel like I drilled my skill of solving problems and never giving up which is something I am forever grateful for.”
What is your best memory from IEGS?
“Oh so many. All happy moments with my dear friends, so many of them are still around and it is such a joy. And the teachers, forever in my heart. I remember how me and my friends did a commercial a a project for a subject I can't remember for a made up shoe brand called "Chici Shoes" which is a bit funny as the magazine who gave me a start in the fashion industry was named CHIC and that I now run my own shoe brand.”
Do you have any dreams for the future?
“When I graduated IEGS I had absolutely no clue what I wanted to do. In history class we needed to show a timeline of our lives, and all the other students showed the toys they used when they were a small child pretending to be a doctor - that had been their dream. However, my... favorite things to play with when I was little were plastic groceries and a cashier’s till, as I dreamed of working at Ica Maxi and thought I needed great mathematical skills to calculate what everybody was buying. That's why I decided to study business as the only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to have my own business and that I wanted a really nice office, but not sit there every day.”
“My vision for sania d'mina came about when my mother, quite early on, taught me how you can see if a shoe is comfortable or not without even trying them on. A centered heel (to optimize balance) and having the front part connected to the ground it stands on (so that the toes get to relax) you basically have the recipe for a comfortable heeled shoe. Our shoes should support us, not the other way around. My goal is a shoe revolution where women in the future will look back and think we were crazy to ever accept unnecessary pain in our feet.”