Fashion Influencers

Fashion blogging as a profession has only really been around for a few years. Most of the bloggers that you are familiar with today got their start taking outfit shots in the mirror without any hope of fame or promotion. Today, the scene is much different. Top bloggers are appearing on magazine covers and designer ads. They fill the front rows at fashion shows in New York, Paris, Milan and London. Many of them are on a first name basis with some of the most coveted designers in the industry.

In just a few short years, the field has become inundated with hopefuls looking to score the goods and the readers necessary to achieve superstardom. RSS feeds are filled with lifestyle, fashion, beauty and design bloggers from every imaginable angle.

In all this noise, how is one to stand out?

This is a question that a few innovative individuals have managed to answer. In their own unique way, they are carving out a path for themselves just far enough away from the norm to get noticed. Their angle? They are not just posting pretty pictures of themselves day in and day out, they are out to make a change. They want to say something and they are willing to put in the time and effort it takes to share their point of view with the world and perhaps, change the way we think about fashion ourselves.

Serena Goh

 1. fur-coat2

Do you blog full-time?

My site is definitely a full-time thing, but I also like working on multiple creative projects on the side.

What were you doing before you began?

I worked as a business development manager in the tech and finance domain, basically on a daytoday I would manage relationships with many of the investment banks.

What inspired you to start your blog?

To be honest, when I moved to New York I had no clue what I wanted to do. All I knew was that I work tirelessly at whatever

I set my mind to. So, when I fell into my day job I did just that. Then one day while I was sitting down with a client who was going on about how much he hated his job, I realized I didn’t love what I was doing… No amount of money at that point could keep me at the job, but I wasn’t quite ready to make that pivot into a new career. The blog stemmed from that creative ceiling at my day job and now, years later, I find myself waking up and creating the best version of my life and sharing it with a community.

If you could tell your pre-blog self one thing, what would it be?

Maintaining a blog is going to be harder than you think.

If your audience could take only one thing from your blog, what do you hope it would be?

I want to inspire my audience to explore. Whether you’re part of the usual 95 grind or a creative type, never forget to explore all facets of your life.

Has your style changed since developing your blog?

Definitely. It’s so funny to look back at those pictures of myself.

What can’t you live without?

A strong support system.

What are some of the challenges you have faced?

There are so many roadblocks, but if you have a clear focus, you’ll overcome the challenges.

What do you hope to accomplish in the future?

My blog has always been [a] mix of food and fashion, and I have a few big plans in mind. One would be to showcase more of what I enjoy most: directing and photography.

Photograph by Justin Livingston 

Claire Geist

1. unnamed

Do you blog full-time?

I’m currently part-time with the blog. Since I graduated from The New School last May, I started working at Dusty Rose Vintage, a vintage wholesale warehouse in Brooklyn where I assist in everything from organizing our categorized bins to photographing and describing product for our Etsy store. It continues to be a fabulous learning experience. I don’t think I could ever be a full-time blogger, I gotta learn some other skills!

What else do you do?

When I’m not at Dusty Rose, I work as a freelance content creator. I was on Nanette Lepore’s content creation team for her Fall ’15 show. I love that stuff, but I definitely still have a lot to learn

before I pick my path.

What inspired you to start your blog in the first place?

My parents are both artists. My dad’s a photographer and sculptor and my mom is an illustrator and graphic designer. Fashion and design were always a big part of my life thanks to the two of them and I guess the blog just seemed like the perfect platform for developing my tastes and discussing what interests me about fashion. I started the blog back in 2009, so it was also a much, much different culture.

If you could tell your pre-blog self one thing, what would it be?

Get into more discussions with your peers and never stop reading. Nothing makes me more excited than a good, heated debate or discussion, and the politics of fashion and design are so specific and varied!

Who are your biggest influencers?

Definitely my parents (I’m an only child so it’s a little inevitable) and a whole rainbow of musicians and fine artists; the Beatles, Saul Leiter, Christian Dior, Lewis Carroll, Jan Svankmajer… and I Spy books. Oh man, if I could live in an I Spy book, I’d be content.

If your audience could take only one thing from your blog, what do you hope it would be?

That taking yourself too seriously is exhausting and being your

own product is incredibly rewarding. I take all of my photos myself—blog and Instagram alike, and I love that I only have myself to lean on when it comes to trying to convey a message (or outfit). Fashion is fun, but when your image becomes your job, you start going down a slippery slope.

How has your style changed since developing your blog?

I’ve had so many jobs in vintage and re-purposing since high school, and I’ve definitely noticed a more eclectic, yet defined change in my taste in vintage.

What can’t you live without?

A working camera and tea.

What are some of the challenges you have faced?

It’s been so exciting to see blogs and bloggers reach such an incredible level of notoriety and nuance, but it’s been weird encountering folks who expect me to want to be a personal style blogger first. I see my blog more as a doorway than a diving board—and I’d rather keep it as a way to make opportunities rather than it being the opportunity.

What do you hope to accomplish in the future?

Still working on it, but I’d love to be in a place where I can have discussions and creative projects for a living, whether it’s through journalism or something else.

What is your favorite blogging memory?

I get a new one every year, but I’ve gotten to meet Steve Buscemi a couple times working with Nanette Lepore, and that’s been pretty cool! He’s a fanatic conversationalist and I highly suggest his chat series, “Park Bench”, online.

Getting shot for the Fall ’10 Holiday campaign the minute I started college was really special too. I was shot by Reed Krakoff and got to wear a giant ostrich feather.

Anthony Urbano

1. unnamed-1

 Do you blog full-time?

Right now I’m not a full-time blogger.

What else do you do?

During the day I work as a structural engineer in Manhattan.

What inspired you to start your blog in the first place?

I’ve always had a creative side that I didn’t always get to showcase at my very technical job as a structural engineer. Starting a blog was a way to share my creativity through my personal style, photography, and writing. It was a way to inspire others, but also fulfill my artistic passions.

If you could tell your pre-blog self one thing, what would it be?

Stop comparing yourself to others. Blogging can feel competitive at times but once you realize you’re all in it together and that everyone’s point of view is unique you’ll realize there’s a place for everyone in the blogosphere.

Who are your biggest influencers?

My biggest influencers are my friends. Surrounding myself with talented and innovative people with ambition drives me to stay inspired, be creative, have fun, and achieve my goals.

If your audience could take only one thing from your blog, what do you hope it would be?

Don’t be afraid to be yourself and express yourself whether it’s through personal style or otherwise. Stay true!

How has your style changed since developing your blog?

I’ve definitely experimented with different looks and found

myself wearing things I thought I could never pull off but now am obsessed with. My style is definitely more adventurous and continuously evolving.

What can’t you live without?

My iPhone and camera! I’m such a visual person. I love taking photographs and making memories.

What are some of the challenges you have faced?

The main challenge I faced was re-branding my blog. I first started the blog when my boyfriend at the time and I moved in together and we started sharing clothes. It became a men’s fashion blog from a couple’s point of view with the unique twist that we could share the same clothes. After a rough breakup, the blog was just me. It was challenging to reintroduce Closet Freaks as my new solo project and figure out what direction to take it in next.

What do you hope to accomplish in the future?

Success, love, happiness! I should probably know more specifically how to achieve that but to be honest, I’m just having a fun time figuring it out. I used to pressure myself all the time about it but now I’ve learned to relax and let things happen. Whatever my future holds, I know my blog will have a big role in shaping it.

What is your favorite blogging memory?

My favorite blogging memory was probably when I got my first invites to NYFW shows. There was a certain “I made it!” feeling that came over me. For someone like myself who didn’t work in fashion at all, being able to sit amongst fellow bloggers and big shot editors in a world that at one point seemed so out of reach was really a great moment for me.

Megan Collins

1. tumblr_m9xxmdr2531qz6fvao1_1280

Do you blog full-time?

Yes, full-time since April 2013

What were you doing before you began?

I was in advertising and miserably unhappy. I got into PR originally and pivoted to advertising. I love writing and wasn’t doing very much of it in that role. [I] thought that advertising was more tangible. [I] worked in digital advertising which was really helpful. It still helps me today to have that background. Most of us are raised to think that we need that career with health insurance and benefits. I knew what I wanted to do was write but didn’t know how to take the leap.

After some time, I decided to work with a career coach. I started freelance writing while still working in advertising. A good friend of mine started a custom suiting business and he wanted more content for his website. He asked me if I wanted to write for his site. ‘Write about what girls can see guys wearing.” It was a total lightbulb moment. There is a presumed knowledge for men’s fashion but not all men know what they need and want.

If you could tell your pre-blog self one thing, what would it be?

Do it all sooner. I wasted so much time. At 25 I was saying, “I guess it’s too late for me now.” If I had made the transition sooner, maybe I would be farther along by now. I just want to come up behind [my preblog self] and shove her off that cliff. It’s easy to be someone else’s cheerleader but it’s really hard to be your own.

Who are your biggest influencers?

I love reading. I love to tell a story. My biggest desire was to communicate and get involved with a community. In advertising, I wasn’t being heard. I wasn’t connecting with anyone. Having fallen into Style Girlfriend, I found my community in a really unexpected way.

When you look good, you feel good. I am changing guys’ lives in a small way and I don’t take that lightly. Many men are looking to Style Girlfriend to help them improve their own lives.

If your audience could take only one thing from your blog, what do you hope it would be?

To feel good about themselves. Girls have so many opportunities to define their style. At prom, they get the pretty dresses and shoes. When guys put on their suit from Men’s Warehouse, they feel like an asshole. They don’t know anything about style or fit. They don’t feel good. They start to feel like suits are the enemy. This is when they pigeonhole themselves into the ‘not stylish’ category and that can hang over them for their entire lives. Just put forth a little bit of effort. Find that suit and bother to have it tailored. I want to encourage guys to make those small changes. It matters.

Would you ever want to break into women’s fashion blogging?

No! The thought makes me want to break into hives. God bless those girls who have figured it out. SG isn’t a personal style blog. The space is covered better. I get more inspiration from women’s magazines than men’s. Women’s magazines break it down where men’s magazines think that there is a baseline knowledge that doesn’t exist.

What do you hope to accomplish in the future?

We are about to go through a soft launch for a consultation service! We’re about to go into BETA. Right now it will be a virtual consultation with email and tech support. I’m really excited about it because guys do need some more one-on-one attention. So many of the styling services for guys out there are great but they are expensive and also not as personalized. I am excited to be able to work with guys and get a feel for what their budget is and what brands they like.

What is your favorite blogging memory?

One of my readers told me he won best dressed at his office thanks to Style Girlfriend. His life had changed and he was getting confirmation from the outside world that he was doing better, looking better, feeling better. I have such a great readership and it makes me cry sometimes.

Photograph by James Nord

Text by Kat Smith

THE OBSESSION ISSUE

Facebook
Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest
LinkedIn
YouTube
Email