This post originally featured on KQ Magazine, which I co-ran
Fashion blogging looks like so much fun! But is it hard work? Do you get free stuff? How much time do you need to devote to it? We’ve grilled our lovely friend Laura who blogs under the name of A Forte For Fashion to get some answers and advice to the questions we’re all wondering.
What’s a fashion blogger?!
I don’t think there is a definition, as everyone goes about it in a different way. There are those that focus solely on their personal style, others who write about designers and those who give style advice etc. Ultimately though it is someone who documents fashion on their own little space of the internet.
How did you get started?
I’ve wanted to write for as long as I can remember, well — I used to just want to do something that would make me rich! But then realised, ‘oh you can do something that makes you happy?’. I studied Journalism at University and although it was a great experience it didn’t really feed my love of lifestyle writing. I had been posting things online since the Livejournal days and I was reading a select group of fashion blogs. I decide to set one up and in October 2008, A Forte For Fashion was born.
What made you decide to write about fashion?
I’ve always had an interest in fashion, I’ve been collecting Vogue since the end of high school. I just loved how your choice of outfit can make you feel more confident and how you can create a whole different persona with clothes.
What challenges did you face (if any)?
It can be hard to keep motivated, especially after I’ve been doing it for 6 years. Working full time is the biggest challenge, in the winter months I come home and it’s already dark. It makes it hard for planning posts, I have to take all my pictures on a weekend when I have natural light.
Is there anything you’d do differently if you started again?
I would have taken it all more seriously when I first started, I think I could be doing it for a living now if I’d have kept up the quality and quantity. I feel like I’ve missed the boat a little sometimes but I’m happy with where my blog is now.
What’s the best event you’ve been to?
For me the ultimate is being invited to a fashion show. I’d always dreamed of attending London Fashion Week. It’ll be my 7th season in February, this is at the heart of what I do. I love seeing what the designers have created and seeing their vision unfold on the catwalk.
Is it true fashion bloggers get sent free stuff?
It’s true that fashion bloggers (and other types of bloggers) get sent free products from brands. What many people don’t know is that there is a lot of work that goes into blogging. So you aren’t simply ‘getting free stuff’. You have to use/wear the product, think of an interesting way to write about it, take the pictures, edit them and write the post. I’ve worked with some great brands but it’s a two way street, you’re giving the brand promotion, not just getting a product.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to write about fashion?
Write as much as you can! Find out if there are any local publications that need help. Look for local events, designers and like minded people.
Do you need to have a certain personality?
There isn’t a certain type of personality that works for blogging, it can be a great outlet for those of us who are shy. Equally it’s great for outgoing people as you have to rock up to a lot of events on your own. This is the perfect chance for shy people to step outside their comfort zone, though!
What is the best and worst thing about it?
The best thing about blogging are the opportunities and the friends you meet. I’ve met some amazing people, all like-minded and creative! As for the opportunities, I never thought I’d have been able to do half of the things I’ve been involved in, whether it be a photo shoot or sipping champagne in a 5 star hotel. I’m always extremely grateful though! The worst is maybe the constant comparisons you can’t help but force on yourself. This is just human nature though, so you simply have to get over it.
What/who inspires you?
Other bloggers really inspire me, those who push boundaries and create amazing content. Designers who dare to be different. I find decades and cities inspiring lately — Paris and the 70s are my bag, both giving me endless inspiration.
What’s your prediction for the next big thing in blogging?
I’m maybe not the right person to ask but I think the next big thing is more magazine worthy blog posts. Bloggers like Shini from Park & Cube are already creating this type of content and working with the biggest names in fashion. If you want to push the boundaries of blogging that’s what you should be doing this year.
What’s your 2015/16 fashion prediction?
I’m not sure about prediction but I know the 60s & 70s will continue to have a massive influence in what we wear this year. Also denim is having a real revival — I’m talking double denim here, you have to do it right of course! I’ll be able to give you more predictions after I’ve visited London Fashion Week in February!
What’s your favourite fashion trend, what’s the worst?
At the moment — I’m really digging the 70s trend. I think it’s because I have such a love for 70s music, I just have an affinity to it. For me the traditional UGG boot will always be the worst, it’s just so ugly in my opinion.
Do you find it hard to think of things to write about? is it just fashion?
As I’ve got older I’ve expanded the content I write about. This really helps me when thinking of new posts as I’ve got a larger area to write about. I now cover fashion, beauty and lifestyle — last year I bought my own house and I wrote about the experience. These are some of my most read posts!
Do you need any equipment? Camera etc? Does it cost you money?
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to blog if you don’t want to. Personally I’ve spent money on my blog design, a personal URL / domain name and email, a camera (and accessories) and travel! Really you can spend as much or as little as you like! I think if you want to spend any money I’d go for a nice blog template, your own domain name and personal email. It just makes your blog seem more professional.