Friday 10 October 2014

Being a Fashion Blogger: Misconceptions, Misunderstandings & Misinterpretations

Over the last few months, my life has completely changed.

I really underestimated how much the fashion blogging sphere could change everything for me and I am loving every minute of it. I enjoy networking, going to events, collaborating with brands, attending fashion shows and learning from industry professionals. Every day is a day for development and a way to improve myself and the way I work. I'm not there yet but it's an ongoing process and I am quite honestly proud of the journey I've taken thus far...

Whilst I don't intend for this blog post to become negative in any way, I wanted this to be as real as possible. Everything I'm saying is the truth.

KCL Diwali Boat Party outfit 
I want to share with you a rare personal post which will entail a few of the things that have really irritated me recently, including the preconceived notions people have of those working within this industry.

Disclaimer: I am not targeting anyone here but if you take it to heart, oh well, I probably am addressing you xoxo

University vs. The Rest

First things first, I would consider myself as a hard worker. I attend the 16th best university in the world and I study English with Film as a degree.

Throughout my educational life, I have pushed myself to the highest point in order to attain the best grades possible. It has not been easy at all and for the people who believe that I am naturally intelligent or have a special gift, you are chatting utter bullshit. Academic success can be achieved if you work hard and actually make the effort to meet the criteria being set. Sure, there will be individual challenges for everyone, but that's not to say that I have not had any along the way and have had a smooth sailing life by any means.

I feel like I'm going off topic... the point I'm making is that I am academically focused and my intention is to balance my degree with my fashion internships and my blogging. My life does not primarily focus on fashion. It is a huge part of my life, but not the epicentre. So for people who judge me for possibly being shallow, one-dimensional or materialistic, perhaps you should get to know the real me as I do not love fashion for the branding, I love it for what it can do to a person's mood and confidence. Experimentation with fashion can change somebody's whole demeanour, and therefore their life. Whether we choose to admit it or not, first impressions mean a lot in this world. A woman who walks with confidence because she likes the fit of her clothing will undoubtedly look more appealing than one who has thrown on an average outfit. It is all in the mind too. You have to feel confident to look confident. This is coming from someone who used to feel so entirely afraid to share opinions or even speak to those not close to me, FYI!

'How's The Fashion Stuff Going?'

Next, when people hear what I do, they sometimes use the words 'fashion things' or 'fashion stuff'. For instance, I am often asked 'how is the fashion stuff going?' Now, I'm not going to make a huge deal about this because I'm sure the intention is good, yet by using the word 'stuff', I personally take that as a reduction of my work. Maybe it's because I study English so I am naturally analytic of word choices, but I do sometimes get the sense that people reduce all the things I have going on. To be clear, I am interning for two fashion companies and I run my blog. It takes a hell of a lot of work and I do not have a team running anything for me. I am my own PR representative, writer, financial advisor, marketing executive etc. etc. etc.

Bloggers Love Fashion Week Day 2
I am also frequently asked how it is that I have actually gotten to this point in life, which is completely fine. I am in fact happy to answer questions! However, it is very hard for me to reply to that question with a brief answer. All of this has taken years of work and continual internship placements for me to acquire the knowledge and contacts I can use today. Admittedly, I have had to sacrifice certain elements of life including having less of a social life but I'm content with this as I have always been very career-focused.

'How Did You Even Get Up Here?'

My next point is definitely the worst one of the lot. I absolutely loved getting involved with London Fashion Week this year and I will never forget all the amazing opportunities. Unfortunately, one element spoiled it a bit for me. I will try to be as discreet as possible here but I was at a very swanky event on a rooftop reserved for press and I met another fashion professional/university student. 'Great', I thought! I definitely expected us to get along and to support each other, considering we are both studying. 

Well, that was until she dropped the line, 'So how did you even get up here?'. 

I was in shock for a few moments. I couldn't believe the utter arrogance and ignorance of this individual. 

Being a member of the press is flexible and can vary from bloggers to high-end editors of magazines. For her to ask me that enraged me to the fullest extent and I am so glad I haven't run into her since as I would most definitely lose my temper. Being in such a competitive industry, you would think that students would support each other but there are a few people who are undoubtedly going to be ridiculously rude and lack in basic manners. 

'Is Blogging Even A Job?'

Another thing that bothers me is when people think this is an easy route to take in life. I would like anyone to explain to me how exactly it is easy to undertake so many things in life at the age of 19. I do not follow the traditional path in life, I am creating my own day by day. All my content is created by my mind and my own creativity. There is no textbook or guide telling me what to do, everything I do comes from within.

Social Media Post by designer, Delna Poonawalla

'Wow, You Must Get Lots Of Free Shit!' 

Lastly, blogging is not about getting free stuff whatsoever. I am not bombarded with samples and free items, as people may imagine. Yes, it is always lovely to receive things from brands you love as I am always willing to try things out and imagine how I would style them but my blog is not all about promotion. I will never ever promote something or include a brand's product if I don't personally like it. Money or influence will never dictate this and I believe this is a very big issue to touch upon as many bloggers have been caught up in this cycle of forced collaborations which just appear fake and staged. I often watch YouTube videos from big name bloggers who clearly only feature certain beauty products because of paid endorsement deals. This will never be me and I will state this clearly now. Anything I feature is because I love it- paid or unpaid.

So I will end my rant here. I hope this was a nice change from my usual posts and I've been meaning to address some issues for quite a while now. As always, feel free to contact me for any questions or enquiries xo

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