My City Insights: Ina Lekiewicz on London

My City Insights: Ina Lekiewicz on London

Fashion photographer and founder of Unpolished magazine, Ina Lekiewicz, takes us on a tour of London

Ina Lekiewicz explores her creative authenticity in London
Ina Lekiewicz explores her creative authenticity in London

If life as a photographer in London, the capital of cool, doesn’t already sound effortlessly edgy, Ina Lekiewicz certainly makes it so. The fashion photographer creates visual stories for magazines including Vogue Ukraine, Vogue Portugal and Puss Puss, to name just a few. Now she is bringing her unique perspective to the launch of the Authentic Beauty Concept brand and she is also a part of the #authenticbeautymovement. The creative authenticity of her work is defined by the way she captures light and texture in photography, as well as her determination to stay true to her personal vision.

Ina insists that authenticity is everything to her, both in her personal life and career, but she hasn’t always been able to express it in her professional work. As a stylist, Ina came across some unsettling aspects of the industry, like “beautiful models being highly retouched, made slimmer, having extra eyelashes added with Photoshop.” This stood in stark contrast to her vision of a more authentic beauty. “Year by year, I started feeling more uncomfortable about it.”

Instead of wishing for change, she decided to be the change she wanted to see in the fashion world. Her biannual publication, Unpolished Magazine, presents fashion photography that follows her philosophy and captures a unique and inspiring vision of beauty. She prefers to shoot on film because she finds the resulting texture in photography more interesting. “There’s a place in the industry for editorials without tons of makeup, over-styling or Photoshop – imperfections are what makes things more perfect.” There’s no better place to create such a magazine than diverse fashion hub London, where creatives can truly unleash their edgy energy.

To find out how it inspires her work, we let Ina take us on a tour of her favourite spots in London and see the city through her eyes.  

Aerial texture photography shot of London
London inspiration with Ina Lekiewicz

In London, absolutely everyone can find something interesting and exciting to do. Or, as Ina puts it, “It’s a big city with endless opportunities.” The multiculturalism of London is one of the main things that makes the city so special and inspiring, especially for a photographer. “London is so photogenic wherever you go! It’s all about the people that live here. London attracts different people from various backgrounds. I learn so much from them and get really inspired by the people I meet in everyday life.” She also admits that when she’s away from London, what she misses most are the people.

Ina captures a London pub’s texture in photography
Ina’s London Loves


London local: Ina loves Stoke Newington, the area she calls home, which she describes as “a place with amazing restaurants, cafes, parks and cool vintage shops.”

Food favourites: Recommending a place to eat is a particular challenge, as there are so many amazing restaurants opening every day, but favourites include The Good Egg for breakfast and Krapow for amazing Thai food. Wash it down with a pint at authentic neighbourhood pub The Birdcage (see picture).

Beauty best: Ina finds out about the best hotspots from beauty experts she works with. Blink Brow Bar comes highly recommended by them ¬– and many of her friends also have their brows tweaked there.

Street style: In East London, Ina finds an urban landscape that’s more authentic, diverse and inspiring. Areas like Hackney are great for capturing street style, which is an important source of ideas for fashion photography. 

Urban escapes: To get away from London’s hustle and bustle, Hackney Marshes is a beautiful open, green space that is always empty. It is one of Ina’s favourite places to shoot fashion editorials. 

Learning from London: A key skill Ina has learned from living in London is to persevere in her creative projects. “It’s a place where you need to be prepared to fail, but to also never give up on your dreams. It’s a city that makes you stronger.”

See the authentic beauty of London through the eyes of fashion photographer @inalekiewicz