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Bloggers change the fashion world

WE all know the Internet has brought about great changes and innovation everywhere. One of its biggest influences and effects is evident in the fashion industry. With the rise of the blogosphere comes the rise of fashion bloggers - normal people that dress up and take a snapshot of themselves before posting the pictures on their blogs. Fashion blogging, in some ways, has changed the world of fashion, which often seemed so far from the average audience. It has made it friendlier and more approachable, something people can relate to with normal women posing as models and wearing affordable clothes. Shanghai Daily talks to four up-and-coming fashion bloggers that have made a name for themselves with their unique, personal styles.

Inspired by American fashion blogs, Chiara Ferraqni started her blog "The Blonde Salad" so as to keep a travel diary. It soon blossomed out to become a fashion blog tossed with lifestyle musings - a "salad" of Ferraqni's life. Since then this popular blogger with a model physique has collaborated with brands such as Dior, Guerlain, Tommy Hilfiger, Kenzo, Louis Vuitton and Nikon, and is one of the most followed and view fashion bloggers on the Internet.

Q: Can you give us a short introduction to your fashion blog?

A: In October 2009, I decided to start my personal fashion blog, http://the, which became very popular in a short period of time. My blog now gets around 90,000 hits each day and, thanks to my sweet followers, I started a lot of collaborations with different brands. I'm so thankful and happy for everything that has happened to me.

Q: You're a full-time student as well, yes?

A: I'm now in my fifth year of law school and hopefully I'll be graduating soon.

Q: You started your own shoe collection recently. Is being a designer a dream of yours?

A: Yes. My shoe line, called Chiara Ferragni like me, was launched in October 2010 and it was such a big dream coming true. Now the third collection is ready and it will be available from September 2011. It will also have biker boots and sneakers.

Q: Any advice for young women out there that are struggling to find their own style?

A: Just be yourself all the time and never shy from being daring with your style; this way you'll be unique. And never be afraid of what you're wearing, just feel comfortable with your own body and shape.

A full-time blogger and web-store owner (, Jules Sarinana has managed to make a name for herself in the Blogosphere with her inspiring looks and personal style. Born in Durango, Mexico, she was raised in Los Angeles where she attended the Fashion Institute of Design & Manufacturing with a major in Visual Communications. She has interned with WGSN, Yaya Aflalo showroom, Kanye West's Pastelle line and was also an assistant for several celebrity stylists. Sarinana also contributes to Glamour's Young and Posh column.

Q: What inspired you to start your blog ?

A: I've always been surrounded by fashion, art and being creative. My family is extremely creative/talented and that was always instilled in me.

It was really a no brainer when I graduated from high school and it was time for me to go to college. I knew that I wanted to be in the fashion industry.

I started Sincerely Jules my first year at FIDM because I was feeling creatively drained. I wanted something else that was going to help me stay inspired and my blog was born. It's a diary filled with my personal style, photography, my whereabouts, collages and anything that fancies me.

Q: Your style is described to be a combo of vintage, glam rock and California colors. How did your style evolve to become one that is uniquely and sincerely Jules?

A: I think living in California for so long has definitely helped mold my style into what it is often described as "the epitome of California cool." I like things that look effortless and the lifestyle in California is very much that way - laid-back, beachy, vintage, glam rock. It's a little bit of all that as well as other things that inspire have helped defined my look/style. I think my style has evolved into a particular look because it is very much "California" and because of my bangs and ombre hair.

Q: Has your fashion blog opened up a lot of opportunities for you in an industry that used to be very much closed?

A: I think it's amazing that blogs have opened up so many opportunities within the industry that weren't there before. It's a new generation of influencers that the industry gained and it's changing the face of fashion. My blog definitely has opened up so many doors for me that otherwise would not be there.

I think that as long as you're putting in work, being creative, posting original content, but most importantly, you stay true to who you are along this whole blogging experience, then companies, brands, designers will want to work with you.

Q: How do you decide what to wear each day and that you've never worn the same combination before?

A: It's hard sometimes trying to decide what to wear, but most of the time it just depends on what I have going on for the day that determines what I wear.

If I have a day full of meetings, then I'll dress for that occasion; with a nice button up silk blouse, skinny jeans and heels. If my day consists of just running errands and being involved in different projects then I dress with a fun print blouse, dressy shorts and sandals to be more comfortable. It's all about just mixing and matching and having fun with what you wear.

Q: Last but not least, what does fashion mean to you?

A: Fashion to me doesn't mean having the prettiest or most expensive clothes. Fashion to me means being able to express yourself freely, having confidence, being an artist, having a vision, and being passionate about the things you believe in. Fashion is a world full of changes, opportunities, creativity, inspiration and it's best not to take it too seriously. Fashion is and should be fun.

Age: 25

Profession: Blogger and blogshop owner

Based in: Hong Kong


Shoots with: Nikon D80 and 18-135mm lenses or Sony NEX-5 with the help of a tripod and wireless remote shutter

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Twee moved to Melbourne, Australia, to study in 2005 and now holds a bachelor's degree in creative arts. Owner of the label and online store Ezzentric Topz, Twee's personal style is rather boyish and she loves wearing simple yet striking outfits. Her philosophy in life is to "work hard, play wild, dress brave, eat best, sleep well." She won the street style competition 'Minimalism' by Hypeed and Paris Vogue in October 2010 and was featured on American Apparel's site in early March this year.

Q: What is the main concept of your store and is it a projection of your own style?

A: My partner Kenze and I believe that fashion should be fun, brave and affordable. We wanted to spread this concept and thus the birth of the label Ezzentric Topz online. There are 2 lines in total - Vintage and Surprise. Vintage specializes in quirky and one-off vintage pieces whereas Surprise brings our customers a collection of basic yet stylish and playful apparel. Since Kenze is in charge of the back office, I can concentrate on choosing stock and styling for the store, which is undoubtedly a projection of my own style. The clothes you see in the store - high-waisted skirts, oversized shirts, micro minidresses - are all items that I love wearing in everyday life.

Q: What are your favorite brands and the few items in your wardrobe that you cannot live without?

A: I have a pretty lengthy favorite brand list but Alexander Wang, Christopher Kane, American Apparel, Jeffrey Campbell and Celine are definitely at the top of my list at the moment. Items I cannot live without are my oversized boyfriend tees and knitted jumper, minidress with swing skirt, envelope clutch bag and my leather loafers. Without them Twee would not be Twee.

Q: Any upcoming projects we should look out from you?

A: I am planning to do a proper lookbook for Ezzentric Topz but I'm still at the stage of seeking a great photographer and collecting the best pieces for the photo shoots. I am sure I can have it done by the end of the year so stay tuned with me on my blog.

Age: 22

Profession: Blogger and online vintage shop owner

Based in: Australia


Shoots with: Canon 1000D with a 24-70 mm f/2.8L lens (for product photos); Canon 1D and 7D with the same lens (for her blog)

Nicole Warne started her online boutique and fashion blog called Gary Pepper Vintage in late 2009. Specializing in women's vintage clothing and accessories, it first started as a hobby while she juggled her full time job, studies and two internships. After two short months she decided to quit her job ("Best decision I ever made!") and took her business full time. The risk paid off, and her site was published in its first national magazine and was established as a company with three staff members. Today she is well known for her vintage looks as well as her clothing lines.

Q: You're a designer as well as a fashion blogger. How did you enter into fashion?

A: My passion started when I was very young although I never thought I could create a long term career out of it. My parents moved to the States when I had just turned 18 so my top priority was to start building my savings and trying to find a stable income to pay the bills too.

After two years of working as a retail manager of a small boutique, I started off slow and spent the money I had saved on a fashion business course at a private college in Sydney. During this time I interned at Grazia and Harpers Bazaar and was still working full time, so I would attend night classes after work. It took me a very long time to realize I wasn't happy with what I was doing and that the magazine world wasn't for me, so I decided to just take a chance and follow my dreams of owning my own boutique, which is where I am today. I definitely don't look at myself as a designer though.

Q: Why did you start your own fashion blog?

A: I started my blog the very same day as my store, with hopes that they would both compliment and evolve with each other. My blog was purely going to document this new chapter in my life but it quickly turned into a personal style and photo diary. My blog is easily as important as my store as it provides insight into my personal and business life, allowing my readers to get to know me and everything I do.

Q: Your vintage looks are so inspiring. How do you come up with the right outfit every day?

A: Funnily enough I don't try to over-think my outfits otherwise I end up confused, which always reflects in my outfit. I usually decide on one key piece I want to wear and then build the rest of my outfit around that. I like to mix textures, colors, prints and lengths to create a look that's not too mainstream. Vintage always helps with that.

Q: Do you think you can ever quit the fashion industry? If you weren't a fashion designer and blogger what would you be?

A: I think if you're passionate and love what you do it's always going to be hard to leave that behind, no matter what industry you may be in. If I wasn't doing Gary Pepper I would probably be building a career as a photographer. I've always loved photography but never had enough time to take any courses. Fashion always came first but luckily with my blog I can combine the two.

Q: Any advice for other aspiring fashion bloggers?

A: I always say treat your blog as a business. It helps to have a plan. Think about branding, what your goals are and what you want to achieve, what your point of difference will be, who your target market is and more importantly how you can gain exposure for your blog.

The most important factor for me is to make sure your blog is aesthetically pleasing. There's nothing better than a visually pleasing blog to look at. They say when we meet strangers we judge and make our own assumptions within the first 30 seconds, so think about this as what people will see when they first "meet" your blog. Try to consistently update your blog every single day, but above everything just be yourself and have fun.


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