We are so excited to present “The Blogger’s Network” to you. This e-book is the culmination of our year-long efforts and we hope that it finds you well. Whether you are looking for inspiration or tips as an aspiring blogger or photographer, we’ve got them here for you in this book. The content that you will see in the next few pages will contain interviews with some very lovely fashion bloggers and photographers. These individuals are all based in Hong Kong and they are part of a larger creative and eclectic community. Every single one of our interviewees have provided us with valuable insights of their experience of having an online presence and how that has influenced them. It never seizes to amaze us the extent to which the booming online community has developed in the past several years. It’s even more fascinating to see how our brother (Bryant Lee from Bryantlives) has built himself into a part of this community. He really found his passion in doing what he does with his blog. When we’re traveling or just out and about, he will always ask us or our parents to take his outfit posts! But it’s all a part of him being able to share his own style to the world and he loves it. More than ever now, the technology and resources available to us have become so accessible that almost anyone can jump on and start their own blog as well. It is now not only limited to adults or industry experts, because the youth can take part in this too. It is very interesting to be able to see the voice that shines through each unique blog. Enjoy! Chloe Lee & Megan Lee
Table of Contents
Brian HK Chan
Brian HK Chan
Brian HK Chan has really made a name for himself in Hong Kong’s blogging community. His warm and bright personality radiates from everything he does and is clearly shown in his photography. Some of his work has been featured in PhotoVogue Vogue Italia, and Glacier Magazine. What’s even more amazing about him is his new, Confidence Is Key Campaign, where he uses his talent as a photographer to help instill confidence in teenagers. In addition to all of his amazingness, he is also a full time medical student at one of the most prestigious universities in Hong Kong.
That is what I always wanted to do.
You are a very unique photographer in that sense. There are a lot of commercial photographers right now. They value quantity over quality. I mean - that is the commercial world and there is nothing wrong with that. But I do think that some photographers do it because of the fame and what comes after. They don’t really think about the consequences of whom they photograph or what they photograph.
Describe yourself in three words. Confident, enthusiastic, and passionate. I always use those three words for applications. Why did you start photography? Okay, so I started at around 2 years ago when I was in New Mexico, and I have always wanted to start before that but I didn’t have time or the freedom to when I was in Hong Kong. Once abroad, I had the independence and the time to do whatever I wanted. The aim and initial mission was to make photography, especially for high school students, more of a normal activity instead of just for the typical pretty girl. At that time, there were only three or four photography pages that were all focused on the pretty girls and I wanted to break that stereotype because I like breaking stereotypes. So I just came from a point of view that goes against tradition and doing something
How do you choose who you photograph? If you have noticed, I don’t shoot any professional models. This is because some of the photographers shoot people who are already in agencies. I aim to shoot people so that they can get into the agency. What I look for in people is their personalities and if they are fun to be around with. I don’t want to waste too much time on a shoot especially with people I don’t like in a way or I can’t click with. So I always tend to talk with them on Facebook first to see whether or not our personalities are a match. If we do then, I just shoot them. I don’t really look through their profiles to see their photos or whatever. I see if they are good people. For shoots where people approach me, it’s quite different because they want something out of it and I always feel like when somebody else wants something out of it, I have to live up to their expectations. It won’t be a fun shoot anymore, its ends up being more like for work.
What is the “Confidence is Key Campaign” (Images on right)? It is a new thing I am doing. I always never have the time to do this campaign, but I have always wanted to do it. Then something happened and I thought I should do it. My motto in life is to not have regrets and to actually do something meaningful. So I finally launched the campaign.
I thought a lot about deleting the whole thing. Sometimes it’s hard to keep the expectations up and to keep posting. Posting good stuff. So, sometimes, I just want to delete the whole page and pretend its not there. But then I go back and think about how I have already changed my perspective a little bit. So, I keep on going.
What do you think about the expectaEspecially nowadays I feel like we re- tion that comes with your work now? ally need it. You were doing something for fun and A little boost will help spice up our lives. now it seems like there is an obligation for you to keep doing it. Each photographer has his or her In a way it’s good. It means there are own style. You mentioned your vision people that look up to you. So it’s good. I and your purpose for doing photogra- guess a lot of the hateful comments are phy. How do you think your style has because of the people they shoot, which developed as the years went by? is so stupid. It’s so high school. Cause Well, a lot of other photographers tend like, sometimes I would list out people I to desaturate their photos and lighten it - have in line to shoot and people would like the Tumblr feel. But then, I tend to go go anonymous and say, “ You shouldn’t the bright side. Clarity, brightness, light. shoot that person. They are ugly.” I’ll just I like a lot of colors. There was a phase be like, “hey you never know. They might where I kept doing green backgrounds turn out really nice in photos.” because I thought green backgrounds looked really good. But then I’m trying to So do you think showcasing your move away from that. But I try to focus work is ultimately better than keeping on the person and to make them look your work to yourself? good. Definitely showcasing. Because keeping (your work) to yourself doesn’t help anyWhat do you think you use the Interone. Life is pretty boring for high schoolnet for mostly? ers. So why not make it different? Probably social media use. I just guess There is a small community of young that at this age, people don’t really do fashion bloggers and also photograface to face with each other much. One phers right now. There are so many thing actually is that I don’t like FaceFacebook pages of photographers. book. But Facebook is the best way to What do you think about this little reach people at this point. The reason community? I don’t’ like Facebook is because of the likes for each photos and for each page. There are a lot pages and every week there is a new page that pops up. It’s like People start to compare. the thing to have. What I would say is It’s tough to showcase all your work that it’s a good thing. If its what you want just out in the open, right? to do then practice does make perfect 8
and doing work does help. However, a lot of them aren’t practicing for photography, which is a problem. So, I think that people need to get their priorities right. What do they want? To be very honest, popularity does not help you in life that much. If you are good and if you are actually capable of practicing photography and taking good photos, then people will admire you. The popularity that comes with that is more important than popularity you get from just quantity. So essentially it is not a bad thing. But its just distracting in a way for them, I feel, because they need to concentrate in school. They are really young. They need to concentrate on school. I just don’t want social media to suck up their lives.
for it. This is because I didn’t wait till I applied for schools. The thing about medicine is that its not very science. When you get to an older year, it gets very human base. It is essentially talking to people and making them feel better. So you never thought about doing an art related career? I have never thought that an artsy career was useful as a first degree. As an artist, if you have the talent, you have the talent. You don’t really learn from other people. If you see people that graduate from art schools, not all of them are successful. But, people who are successful didn’t graduate from art schools. Art schools were never on the top of my list.
“Try to be positive. Always.”
We see a lot of fashion bloggers. Especially younger bloggers. Why is that? The thing about fashion is that it’s very glamorous. That is the ultimate goal for a lot of fashion bloggers. To me, I don’t think that is correct in a way because they are not good enough. To be very frank. The people in the industry and hosting those events have been in the industry for a very long time, and you are just a student.
You are not just a photographer. You are also a future physician. Why medical school? Helping people. I guess I could have done other courses as well. I was a very well rounded person. I did sports. I didn’t really have a thing I would definitely go into when I was young. I didn’t know. So when the opportunity came, I just went
What is one of your biggest life goals? What do you hope to achieve? Well, career wise, I want to work for WHO (World Health Organization) or the U.N. (United Nations) because I am really interested in humanitarian stuff, like helping people. Like my encouragement song is “I Was Here” by Beyonce. So basically leaving a mark and being worthwhile in this life and not making people’s lives miserable are my goals. Try to be positive. Always.
You travel a lot. Why do you like traveling? I really like going to places. I especially like traveling alone actually, because when you are alone you don’t have to worry about other people or worry about how you feel. You just do whatever you
of my head. I just deal with it by ignoring it.
Every trip I go to, even if it’s the same place, I learn something new. Learning about new things really encourages me to do better and be a better me, which is why I like traveling a lot.
Any advice or any message you want to bring across? Be yourself.
Where is your favorite place? Hong Kong. Home is the best. Then I would rank London probably and then New Mexico. You are such an inspiration because you are just so positive. It’s very tough to be positive. Have you always been this way? I always try to be positive. But sometimes you do fall into the upset kind of phase. What I always remind myself is that we are going to die anyway. I mean it sounds very negative, but yeah. It’s like, if you put in your effort, then whatever. I actually especially get affected when people talk about me or when there are any negative comments. It’s good to have criticism. But I can’t really get it out
Find Brian HK Chan At: Instagram: @brianhkchan Twitter: @brianhkchan Facebook: www.facebook.com/BCHK. Photography Website: www.bchkphotography.com Blog: www.thefifthaura.blogspot.com Tumblr: www.bchk.tumblr.com
Brianâ€™s Top Picks Favorite Song: I Was Here by Beyonce
(PS. Brian uses a Canon 5D Mark II 50mm f1.2)
Natalie Chyi Why did you start doing photography? Initially, I started it seriously because i thought it was fun and easy, because its quick and easy, like its just a click of a button. I thought it would be fun, taking pictures of pretty things around me I guess. That’s just how I started because I had a camera available to me and everything else was just there. How would you describe your style? You could say, fashion and candid. thats’ not really a genre, but i don’t know what else to call it.
How did you develop your own style? I don’t feel like I have developed my own style yet. People have told me that they can tell which photos are mine, which I guess is cool, but I don’t know how they can tell. I guess if I do have a style, it is developed through trial and error. When I think about style of photography, I think of the way you edit, the subject matter and angles and depth of field. For mine, I guess a lot of subject matter inspiration came from Flickr, cause that is where I started at the very beginning. Editing was a lot of trial and error. Subject matter and everything else is just what is very
accessible to me. It’s just like whatever is in front of me is just whatever is there. I don’t really think about it sometimes, most of the times I’m just lazy, so I just stick to what’s most natural and what is there.
other shoots that I do, gear will need to be more important. Why blogging? Why did you start your website? I made a website before I made a Facebook page, because it felt weird and conceited if you made your own fanpage. So back then I only had Flickr and then I made my own website because I saw a lot of other people have websites. It was easy to customize.
What is your source of inspiration? Just like everything. I guess light, sunlight, city lights, colors - light is very inspiring - shapes, and people. Most people say its books and movies that inspire them but I think I am maybe only subconsciously influenced by it, but in the moment it’s just what I see.
What do you think about the booming youth fashion community in Hong Kong? Has it benefitted you? Do you have a specific goal? What are I think it has benefited me because if there weren’t so many other people tryyou trying to do with photography? ing it out and making their own fan pages I think it would be really cool to shoot even if they weren’t that good, I would SHINee and EXO. I’m not kidding. I’ve never have made my own, and people been a hard-core fan for a while, so it would be really cool. When I see people around me would have never known that I did photography. So I guess in that way I admire, or I like how they look, I mean it has helped but then I don’t know. that sounds superficial, but when I look at them, I just want to shoot them! Yeah, Do you think it has inspired you to I think it would be really fun to do that, just as an unrealistic photography goal. It continue doing it more or has it taken combines everything I like: SHINee, EXO away from what you think about phoand photography. I think it would be cool tography? It hasn’t changed what I think of photo do a book cover as well, like novels tography. I do think that it has become that have photos as their cover. I don’t mainstream and I don’t like it because know. I don’t think I have any other goal people that do photography like when I that I think of on top of my head. did, it was because I genuinely had an interest and I wasn’t really trying to copy What is the most important part of anything. I was just doing it because, like planning and actually doing a photoI said earlier, to capture the stuff that is shoot? around me. But now people are doing Oh gosh. It’s different for fashion and other stuff. For fashion, I guess the most more fashion shoots important part of fashion is the model and styling. Which I get help with from Bryant. Location scouting, reference poses, and styles of the photos. I don’t have to think about my gear because I use the same things all the time. I just have to make sure everything is charged. For
Are people focusing too much on the likes on Facebook? There’s this girl in Hong Kong that I really admire that I met called, Aimee Han who does film and stuff and she’s like a professional and she doesn’t have a
sister along with me because she’s right there. But if you want to be like an actual photographer, like a professional photographer, it’s super important that you network cause you find clients. I’m lucky that I networked through you guys to find Bryant, and Bryant had a whole other network. It gave me a lot of opportunities and also more for Bryant since we collaborate. It’s always good to have people who can help you.
Facebook page. I do consider her to be an actual photographer. I can tell she really likes photography and I guess it is kind of bad to say, “their work is good so they’re a photographer.” But I think how good they are does play a part. The overall quality seems to have been lower just in general because you have so many amateurs. There’s an overload of imagery. It’s everywhere because it’s so accessible. It’s just like everyone can do it. There are just so many photos. But, I guess there are more opportunity to find talents and have people have their passion grow.
Do you find it difficult to carve out your own niche? Do you feel like you are competing with other photographers? I don’t think it’s too hard actually. I mean there are probably four or five photography pages in my school itself. So then people are always going to compare. I’m sure you yourself would compare yourself to other photographers if you were one as well. But mostly other people at school would.
But you use Facebook to find people, right? Models? Yeah. I mean I know a lot of other student photographers that do. Like I found Christine Ra and Jordan Jeynes online. Two other models that I shot with, they message me first. So I guess they found me online? But I tend to like shooting people that I see - that I’ve seen with my own eyes. I guess that’s more for me than for others.
What is a question you wish someone would ask you? I have a lot of questions that I wish people wouldn’t ask me.
Do you ever meet up with other photographers? I haven’t really met up with like young photographers. I think its cool to be friends with other bloggers - we learn from others. Talking to Aimee (Han) really helps a lot cause I really admire her and she uses film and I use digital. So it’s cool to discuss how she does her thing. She shot me for my senior project so it was fun watching her. Do you think, as a photographer, its necessary to network? It depends. I’m sure it’s important. For me a lot of things I did when I first started was all by myself and I dragged my
Like what? Like math stuff. Stop asking me how to integrate. People ask me too many photography related questions. I wish people would ask me what kind of books I like reading. Not really that, but sometimes when I’m in the library at school, people will be like, “Natalie, you read? Are you actually borrowing a book from the library?” I’m like, “I like reading for fun.” Do you have any advice you have for new photographers? Experiment and have fun with it. 18
s k c i P p o T s â€™ e i l a t Na 20
Find Natalie At: Instagram: @nchyi Facebook: www.facebook.com/nataliechyiphotography Website: www.nataliechyi.com Tumblr: www.nchyi.tumblr.com
On a Wednesday afternoon, at the cutest little café in Sheung Wan, we had a chance to meet with one of the pioneers of the Hong Kong fashion blogging community, Jasmine Smith. Jasmine is an incredibly talented fashion blogger, stylist and image consultant. She is also a personal shopper and is also the founder of the #HKFashionBloggers group, a community of Hong Kong based fashion bloggers. She has truly set herself apart in Hong Kong and also around the world, having been selected as “Marie Claire Fashion Blogger of the Year” in 2012, among other achievements. She has worked with brands such as J. Crew, Club Monaco and Marks & Spencer. Why did you start blogging? I basically needed to advertise myself as a stylist when I came to Hong Kong, and at that stage there weren’t very many people that were online and creating fashion personalities. So at that time I thought that would be just a really easy and free way to be able to get myself out there. So for me initially, blogging was a form of advertising and since then it has kind of expanded and gone off in a completely different direction than I ever intended it to, which is fantastic.
or sending out emails and keeping them up to date, I can send them to my blog and they know that is the place that they can go on daily and kind of figure out what is happening in Hong Kong and what is appropriate to the Asian market. So my blog looks at trends that are just appropriate for Hong Kong because not all global trends are. The blog focuses on brands that are in Hong Kong, so I don’t really look at brands that are bought abroad. I keep it quite localized. So that’s the focus. I mean, I do insert myself in there every now and again. Because it’s easier to get your message across or get the authenticity of your kind of belief in a brand if you put yourself into the blog, but it’s not a style blog, or it’s not just about me.
But you do also post some of your own outfits as well? Oh, absolutely! I think I do it mostly on my Instagram. I do kind of outfit posts every now and again. If I’m sponsored by a brand or if I’m working with a brand I’ll hire a photographer and you know put the looks together. Well actually when I first started - because of my fashion styling background - I used to put together editorials and pull together models. But it didn’t work for the readership - there’s Have you changed the way you used a lot of effort involved in putting together your blog? a photo-shoot and readers don’t know! Yeah, well I do a lot of personal shopping I could have just gotten the photo from so the blog is actually set up for my clianywhere. So to kind of cut down my ents. Instead of sending out a newsletter time, cut down the background work that went into a blog I started using myself. 23
It is a lot easier and it makes it a lot more personable and that’s the kind of thing readers want anyways. They want to kind of see how you relate to the clothes and how it works on you. You know being the stereotypical real woman kind of thing. I mean it works! How do you plan the content you put out on your blog? Do you have a schedule of sorts? I do actually. I just have a lot of content so I have a schedule that I work out so every month I write ten style posts at the beginning of the month and there I use like street style photos and they are all about just the trends and what’s happen-
-ing this season. So ten of those I post during the month and then also about events and new collaborations and everything. Honestly I’ve got like a backlist of blogs that I still need to post! They kind of go up daily and I write a lot. I mean, I like writing and I get paid to write. At the end of the day, this is my job. So blogging is definitely something you enjoy rather than just a job? Yeah I totally enjoy it. I mean it kind of came out of a place that is just pure enjoyment you know? I mean I love it! It’s just so organic and it moves so rapidly. Social media is just...it’s incredible.
Where it’s going and how it’s moving and who’s getting involved in it. It’s really neat to be someone who’s at the forefront of that and to be just involved in it professionally. I mean there are no real rules. I know in primary schools they’re teaching social media and you can take courses in universities. But when I went through university, there was nothing that was even close to this. It’s neat to be taking it all on board and figuring it out and working with it. We know you use a bunch of different platforms! Which is your favorite? I actually really enjoy Facebook. I just find it a little bit more engaging. I use it
professionally pretty much all the time. It’s very rare that I put personal pictures up. But when I use it for dressmeblogme, I kind of like the engagement with the audience. People are very quick to respond. It’s easy for them to like. It’s cool to start conversations. I find that it’s a platform where people respond to it a little bit more. I love Twitter too, but I use that to reach other professionals - to reach fashion authors or any icons that I follow. I find that I can work with my contemporaries and it’s like a thought leadership based kind of platform. Instagram is totally about the look and your photography skills and it’s your daily visual diary of your professional life kind of thing. Whereas Facebook is a neat mix of those two. That’s why I like it. Twitter and Instagram, you have to know the platform to get involved. Not everyone is on Twitter. Not everyone gets it. Same with Instagram, you know? Whereas Facebook is this really nice combination of texts and easy photos - it’s not intimidating. I think I find a lot of my readers can go on and give me advice. Like if I ask a question they can come back to me with something. They can like it. They can start conversations, which is good for me because that’s how I get all of my clients for my personal shopping. How did you market the HKFashionBloggers group? Did people just start joining? Well it has been going for a few years now. I guess the reason why I wanted to establish it is because, like I said, when I came to Hong Kong, I didn’t know anyone and I wanted to. I wanted to know my contemporaries and I wanted to get along with them. I remember going to events and I could see someone just Foursquare and someone posting on Twitter and I’m like, “I don’t even know
who that is.” I didn’t really enjoy that separation. And especially as a blogger when you’re talking on the computer about yourself by yourself all the time it’s kind of nice to have some real life interaction, so I decided that was what I wanted. As a stylist, when I used to work as a stylist (I don’t style anymore), but when I did, you hire a photographer, your models, your make up artists, your assistants and its a really big team and you create something really great with that and that’s how I was used to working and so I wanted to try and bring that to the blogging community. Like I said, there were no rules. It was the very beginning of it kind of being a real profession and there weren’t a lot of people doing it. There was no structure, and with all of that, there was no power either. So when brands approached me, it took so much to get them to pay basically. It was hard work to try to prove yourself and go through the steps and they weren’t quite sure and you weren’t quite sure what to give to them. So I figured to get this all kind of working - to get it together as a profession - I needed my contemporaries to be on the same board and I just particularly wanted to know them. It was kind of a combined thing. It’s been an interesting journey to try to figure it all out. But I think it’s in a really awesome place, where you know the bloggers that are all on board are so supportive of each other. It’s just fantastic to see people collaborating and working together and creating space rather than taking from each other. Is there a lot of competition with other fashion bloggers? I think in Hong Kong, it’s neat because we are not in a position where we are competitive with each other, which is important because Hong Kong is small. We all go to the same events and we all
write about the same stuff, but as you’re finding out, we all have different point of views. So for me, my blog is for my personal shoppers. Other people have completely different reasons as to why they blog. Maybe it’s about their whole point of view of being eco chic. Other people are all about expanding your awareness on what’s socially acceptable in fashion. So everyone kind of got their niche and it’s really nice that people understand what each other’s blogs are about and accept everyone. That’s’ a huge thing. I mea, there are no cat fights at events or anything too drama-filled. It’s pretty good! How do you think the whole blogging community has changed? Do you think it has evolved dramatically? I’m going to say no. I think it has gotten bigger, but I think the standards that were set at the very beginning are still being played through. I think it’s a lot more obvious now because there’s a lot more people. At the beginning when one or two people would collaborate, someone would take a photo and someone would pose. Now it has gone into like
group sessions where there’s a whole big group of bloggers doing it. I think who they were and how they shared and the ethos of the whole community has stayed the same. Perhaps it’s become a bit more flexible and accepting, forgiving, all those kinds of things. I think that it all just comes back down to the laws or the things that were established right at the beginning. There is a lot of different styles of bloggers and people are approaching blogging at completely different angles now. One thing that I think has been the biggest change for me is when HKFashionBloggers was set up. We really just blogged. That was it. Yeah, we were on Facebook a little bit, but basically blogging was our thing. However now it is quite accepted that - well its expected I should say - that a blogger has a Facebook profile, a Linked In profile, an Instagram, a Twitter, a Tumblr. Like yike! Lookbook as well! So blogging has expanded in a way that you are now expected to use all the social media. That would be the dramatic change I think. With the increase in bloggers, do you think everyone is really blogging for the right reasons? I mean blogging is amazing for extroverts isn’t it? It’s a fantastic microphone to get yourself out there and to get your points across - be in the limelight. It’s a really good way to satisfy your ego. There are lots of reasons why people blog and some are not for the right reasons. You’ll see in our private group we have 90 active bloggers and I would say maybe 10% of those have true purpose and will kind of see this through as a profession to use it to aid their career or whatever. The rest of them, they’ll be bloggers which is not a bad thing. It’s fine. It’s more than fine to experiment online,
but you’re right I think there’s definitely a percentage that kind of just use it for more of a selfish way I think. Also age-wise, do you think the younger and older generations are becoming more attracted to blogging? Oh, absolutely. I mean there’s a heap of a younger generation coming through and I think that is for various reasons. Social media is mainstream now and it has become part of our curriculum. It’s part of the way we grow up. It’s been established as a form of communication now. There is still very much an older generation that get into it, like new bloggers who are in their twenties or thirties that are really capitalizing on it and doing really well. It’s different for them because they come from a business point of view, I gather, as opposed to a voice point of view. I mean, for the younger generation sometimes, it seems like this is their voice. This is what they’re used to. This is the way they express (themselves). The older generation never had that voice. They were brought up doing something completely different. But I think the end result is the same. Everyone’s got a blog but I think where people are coming from, it changes and moves. It takes a lot of courage to do something so different. But do you think you gained a lot more confidence? Totally. You do gain more confidence. I’ve always been a writer and I’ve always loved writing so that was never an issue. However, being in front of the camera was definitely an issue. I was always behind the camera so that was kind of a bizarre transition, but you absolutely gain more confidence. But I wonder if that’s just about getting older as well you know? When you embrace new things, you meet new challenges and you can
decide these challenges for yourself. I think when you are young, throughout schooling and through university, you are very directed. As much freedom as you’ve got, it still comes back into a certain square but as soon as you leave that, you can start making these really huge decisions for yourself and yeah its sometimes intimidating and you don’t always know if they will work out, but it builds huge amounts of character and strength.
I would always design clothes always drawing in Barbie coloring books. I’ve always had a focus on fashion and it hasn’t changed and it’s the same with my brother. He’s an arborist like he works with trees like he gives me calls and he tells me “Jas, I just went to this lecture on dirt!” I’m like, “Thanks brother. That’s awesome.” But as a kid he’s always out in the garden playing with worms or whatever boys do out there but you know like we all kind of had these basic desires as kids and our attention was towards dirt or fashion or with my sister it was science. We’ve all kind of built our careers on these. Whatever you’re looking for you’ve got it already. It’s just about accepting it and expanding it. But it’s there. That’s the nice thing, I guess. People go on these massive life searches, like they go to different countries and take up yoga or whatever. At the end of the day, we’ve all got a skill and just continue embracing that and making that work for you. Don’t push it too hard!
What do you think people don’t pay enough attention to? You know what people don’t do enough of? Listening. I think that we have kind of built this society that is very much about expressing and talking and I don’t think a lot of people take the time to just stop and actually listen to what you’re saying. You know they might listen and come up with a story of their own. Sometimes it’s nice if people just hear what you’re saying. That would be great. Advice for new bloggers? Collaborate as much as you can for sure! I reckon, not only collaborate, but collaborate with people who are better than you. You never want to be working with anyone that’s below you really, unless you’re helping them out. But if you’re starting off in your career and you’re trying to push, you want to form a team that is much better than you, and can do what you can’t. Then you’re learning from them and they’re filling in your mistakes. They’re pulling you up. Do you have any advice for young people in general - people searching for what they want to do in their lives? I would say that basic talents will go a long way, and what I mean by that is, for example with me when I was young
Find Jasmine Smith At: Instagram: @dressmeblogme Facebook: www.facebook.com/ dressmeblogme Twitter: @dressmeblogme Website: www.dressmeblog.me Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/dressmeblogme
Tommy Ton (Photographer)
Jasmineâ€™s Top Picks
Leandra Medine (Man Repeller)
E T A N O I S S A P , C I T E H T A P CREATIVE, EM Why did you start blogging? I was exposed to a lot of fashion blogs, like Tavi’s blog (Style Rookie) and Rumi Neely’s blog, and I thought it was really cool how they were just starting at the time. They were starting to emerge and I thought it was really raw and fresh how people could just - there really isn’t anything stopping you from putting a blog out on the web - make one and then like delete it the next day. I thought that was really cool and interesting and something that doesn’t really have any limitations with how you could play with your own online platform, so I decided to go for it. At the time I was still doing it with one of my friends because we got really bored in class and we played with the idea of making a blog together. So we decided to go for it, even though I feel like at the beginning we soon realized that I was a lot more interested in doing it. We’re still really good friends of course. I guess when I work on things, I like to work on them alone if it’s something that I’m super passionate about. Well at least for something that is so personal. After that I just did it by myself and like almost three years later I’m still blogging.
and be really creative, which is why I think I’m a creative person more so than good at things like math and science. I guess that is why I have this artistic influence and so fashion has always come really naturally to me growing up. How do you think your style has developed throughout the years, especially since you have started your blog? Well, along with how blogging has affected my personality in that it helped me become more confident and comfortable in my own skin, it also goes in parallel with my style. So I became more comfortable with wearing what I like to wear and wearing more daring things that don’t necessarily go along with trend. Of course, sometimes my style does go on par with trends, so for example, recently I’ve been wearing a lot more minimalistic pieces with the whole sport look trend thing going on and the whole Scandinavian trend. I feel like before I was a lot more invested in what other bloggers and what other people were wearing and trying to work that my own way, but now I am just more dependent in my own sense of style. I still look at what other people wear, but I feel like my own input takes a bigger percentage of what actually goes into what I wear now.
Have you always been interested in fashion? I guess my parents are really inspirational to me in terms of their aesthetics because my mom is quite edgy but minimalistic, and my dad is really relaxed and casual. So I think my style is kind of an amount of both of their styles plus a bit of quirkiness that I guess that even they don’t understand sometimes. From a really young age my dad, who works in design, influenced me to do a lot of art
Where do you get your inspiration from? I’ve always loved I-D magazine. That is one of my favorite magazines partially because it has less ads than any other magazines I’ve been reading. They just do the best editorials and the most interesting interviews not just fashion wise. 32
But the people they interview are genuinely really interesting and really cool to read about. Another magazine is Nylon Japan - obviously I can’t read Japanese - but the aesthetic inspiration is really great because they do such good street styles. Like everything they do is essentially street style, and the way they pull everything off is so unique. Once you cannot read the words of a magazine, you are a better judge of how they actually put everything together aesthetically. I think that is why it is better than the US version of Nylon just in my opinion. In Japan, they’re not afraid of what people think of their style. They process trends from other places and create their own and just mix it all together really interestingly. Just crazy in the best way possible! I also go on Tumblr a lot. But sometimes I feel like for Tumblr, it depends on what you are exposed to and what you can explore. With Tumblr, sometimes it’s hard not to have the same thing recycled over and over again, so I like to follow
as many blogs as possible. Art blogs are really, really great. I find Tumblr is best for music and art inspiration rather than fashion because fashion is just recycling editorial pictures, but that can also be fun if you haven’t found seen it yet. Do you use a lot of social media on a daily basis? What is your go-to app? Instagram. Instagram is just so addictive! Just knowing what people are doing 24/7 - it’s really creepy but its also so entertaining. At the same time, I always have to remind myself that on Instagram what you are looking at is like a highlight reel of people’s lives. It’s not how people actually live. Unless you actually do live like that, then you’re probably Rumi Neely or someone like that. It’s just unrealistic to compare your life with those on Instagram. In terms of bloggers on Instagram, I think its good to keep in mind that its not really what their life looks like most of the time, a lot of it is really just orchestrated, but that in itself is pretty
interesting. Do you think social media is good for bloggers trying to promote themselves? Yeah! I think social media for bloggers in a way, in their own sphere of influence, kind of create their own definition of social media. So because of things like Instagram, it’s not so much a personal journal but more what you want people to think is your personal journal. Even Twitter - I don’t even use Twitter that often because a lot of people I know who use Twitter just use it to rant - but everything is so close knitted now it’s really easy to know everything and be able to make new friends or talk to other people and be like, “Oh, I like your style” and develop friendships, which is really nice. Now, you can make friends so easily and go to a new place and have people you met in another country show you around. Just small things like these make for really gratifying experiences that stem from the use of social media.
how is it growing? In terms of the Hong Kong blogging community, it’s part of the reason why it’s so great to see so many, well it’s weird of me to be saying this since I’m young, but it’s so great to see new blogs pop up every now and then just because I know that the community in Hong Kong fashion wise isn’t very blogger friendly. Even though we do have events and we do have collaborations, it’s pretty set around the same group of organizations and the same bloggers that participate in them. So I think its nice that new bloggers are emerging to shake it up a little and branch out compared to places like in the US and Australia, places that are a lot more blogger friendly. I feel like Hong Kong could do with a little more creativity in terms of how they interact with their bloggers instead of just being like, “Oh, here’s a showroom event, feature this and here’s a set of photos for a brand, feature this.” It has to be more interactive instead of one-way interaction.
Do you think it’s difficult to stand out Do you have a specific goal with blog- nowadays since there are increasingging? Do you have something you’re ly more bloggers? trying to accomplish specifically? Yeah. I feel like in terms of a spectrum, Not really actually. Right now, it’s tough there is the extreme of someone, who to keep up with school and a blog, esbecause they want to stand out, they pecially since people expect you to post have to perhaps wear really outrageous consistently. I don’t think I can do that, things like you see some people do at but it’s getting better especially when I fashion week. I forgot who I am quoting, do more shoots with Bryant (bryantlives) but someone said that fashion week is and Natalie (Chyi). With school, it does like a circus now and it’s true because make it hard because you can’t keep up some people will go in with green hair with all of your advertising and sponsor- and a trash bag just because they want ships commitments daily, so it gets hard- to be photographed. I get that bloggers er to have something like a goal. Maybe do encourage this, but I do like where it I’ll be able to develop it later when I go to is at the moment with the street style. I university and go to the UK. think of course presenting yourself versus viewing the fashion has a sort of Fashion blogging community in Hong conflict. There are so many people who Kong - what do you think about it and want to be bloggers for free things and 35
for attention, but really it’s just a method and medium of expression. So the more blogs that pop up, the more support there is for popular trends and this is really great because this can encourage people to try new pieces of clothing. It can also help out online shops. I know so many online shops that grow specifically because they have a really great blogger program. At the same time, I hope that bloggers still manage to find their own - myself included - style. For example, when there is a new brand, they will contact like hundreds of bloggers, and in turn you will see the same item worn again by different people. This encourages everything to blend together, but there are so many bloggers who do a really good job in keeping their own style whilst incorporating elements of trends, which is a whole system of filtering and making sure you know what suits you and like experimenting and choosing what is good. Personally have you found difficulty in terms of getting your name out there and creating an image of yourself? Well, I never really intentionally thought about presenting myself in any sort of way. But I try to be as me as possible in terms of social media. This isn’t hard because I kind of suck at drama and acting and all that, so the only thing I can do is me. For myself it was very easy to just evoke my individuality through my writing and through how I try to interact with my readers seen in how I do my photography or how others photograph me and how I perform in my photo shoots or, if I do videos, how I look in my videos. It’s all been not really something I focused on, but it has happened along the way. What have you learned from being a
fashion blogger and being in the public eye? I’ve learnt that fashion can - I can understand why people think this way - be perceived as materialistic because it’s always seen as really glamorous. But essentially it’s an industry I don’t even know that much about yet. I wouldn’t say that I’m in the fashion industry. I’m just on the outside, but from my perspective and how people view it is very different from how it operates. There is so much work put into organizing these shows and reaching out to bloggers, but at the same time people need to be aware of how much work is put in by bloggers as well. Bloggers have to put a lot of effort into not only putting out material but also making sure they are not only becoming adverts for brands and for companies, which is really hard because now companies are becoming aware of this blogger phenomenon and are basically pushing it onto bloggers. It is a really great thing to be able to work with companies but you have to make sure you manage to keep your originality. Another thing blogging has taught me is that there will always be people out there who interpret anything you do as something that is negative. I personally don’t get hate messages or anything, but I see it all the time, even on Instagram, which is stupid because you have a profile and people can see who you are, and I don’t get how people can leave messages without attributing responsibility to themselves. But people will always find something bad to say and it happens the more followers you gain because the more people you reach out to, the more people will see your post and the more people who will find things that are wrong with you and the things you do, even though there’s nothing wrong with them. It really
teaches you to be comfortable with yourself and to know that even if someone says something about you it really doesn’t affect you. I know people who are being told they’re too fat or too skinny or things about their style. But you can see that it really doesn’t have any impact on their life whatsoever if they don’t let it. I think this is a good lesson overall not just for blogging, but for people who face rejection or face these kind of comments in daily life to look at it and see that even people who are bloggers can get nasty comments like this. It really isn’t mutually exclusive for anyone out there who has gotten like critique for what they do. It’s important to just have your own confidence and trust yourself and trust your instinct to be able to put stuff out there that you are comfortable with.
and have their own style because if you do want to be a fashion blogger, then I think the most important thing is to be original so that you don’t just like blend into the background of what everyone else on LOOKBOOK is doing. I can see why people would be intimidated by what other people think, but essentially along the way if you do end up making a fashion blog, you’ll see like yourself evolve and become more - I wouldn’t say oblivious - but become less dependent on what other people think of you. Therefore, even if you are intimidated by that, then it’s a really good chance to make yourself more comfortable with your own choices.
Do you encourage people to start blogging? What kind of questions do you usually get? I do see a lot of people who like blogging, but I guess I try to encourage it only What would you say to people who if they want to do it for the right reasons. are afraid to start their own blog beI get a lot of people saying they want to cause they are afraid of that hate? do blogs but they are not sure what their Alot of the times, people will think that it’s parents will think and usually I just tell connected to how people think fashion is them to like tell their parents, because materialistic. I get a lot of messages that other than that there really isn’t anything are like, “Oh, I want to start a blog, but stopping you from making a blog. But I don’t know what people will think beI also see a lot of people who ask me cause they’ll be like ‘you’re a blogger that about, for example, my job. They ask me means that you just want to be famous,” about how much money I earn. They ask me about how many sponsors I have. I but really its really different from that. I get so many questions that ask me to list think the reason why people who send out all my sponsors, which is just really me these kinds of negative comments intrusive and kind of really the opposite attribute a certain kind of, I guess, steof what people should be blogging for. Of reotype to blogging is because of blogcourse getting free stuff is a perk, but if gers who have become successful. At the same time people shouldn’t be afraid it were the only aim of me blogging then I would get really fed up with blogging. of blogging, because if you think about it, there really isn’t anything that is keep- That just really contributes to what most ing you from doing what other people are people think blogging is, which I think isn’t true because it’s a lot more than that doing. That’s why the most famous or some really successful fashion bloggers in a way - its just like networking yourself are the ones that retain their own identity and getting to meet people. That is the 39
most gratifying and being able to do things and have opportunities that you won’t usually have and not necessarily getting like a free bag because I feel like compared to other things its really insignificant.
great because I feel like they promote a lot of - even though they’re not always politically correct - they do promote knowing where your clothes come from and being ethical about working hours, which is a really good thing to support even if I’m not doing a full time job for them. It’s good being a part of this sort of movement.
Do you think networking is really important for bloggers in general especially if they are starting out? I feel like networking is so important now even though I really wish it wasn’t that important. There are so many bloggers now who are so successful simply because they know the right people and of course good for them. I’m not saying it’s a fault but it does make it hard for other bloggers to have the same platform to start out with. Yeah, it is harder, but I guess you could make up for it by promoting yourself, which is not necessarily in the most blatant self promotion kind of way, but in a way that you could look at your statistics to work out what sort of niche you want to present and what sort of readership you want to appeal to. It’s all about looking at the details and trying to project yourself. But, it should come with posting and then projecting yourself should come along the way. It shouldn’t be something that you’re too focused on. What do you think is something that people should pay more attention to? An issue would be like - this seems like a total product placement - but I work for American Apparel and whilst I have been working for them, I have learned that you really need to know where your clothes come from. It is so startling finding out how some of your clothes are made and like who they’re made by like for all I know a lot of my items are made by five year olds in like places like Turkey or Bangladesh, which is a really big sweatshop place. So working with AA is really
Since you are a student and throughout your entire blogging career, you have been a student, do you think it’s really difficult to handle your obligations to some of your companies that you work for and also to your blog and to school? I get a lot of questions about how I am an IB student and still manage to do my blog. Usually when I get this type of questions I just say I don’t know, because honestly I have no idea how I manage to keep my grades up at this point. Blogging can be so time consuming. For example, yesterday night I was at the American Apparel event for Lab Concept and I was there for five hours because I had to monitor the whole event and just like Instagram and take photos and stay with the models to facilitate. But a lot of my favorite brands that I’ve worked with are so understanding, like if they know that you’re a student, then you’re not going to be able to put everything out at the right time and it takes a long time to edit and compose and compile a post for them and arrange all the Instagram photos and everything. So it is okay because most of the brands will understand so its just a matter of doing everything as quickly as possible. But at the same time, doing your schoolwork as efficiently as possible and trying to find a middle ground between balancing the two and like having priorities and everything like that.
Do you have plans to work in the fashion industry in the future? Not really. I really like having fashion as a hobby because the reason why I’m doing law other than me being really interested in it and the reason why I’m continuing blogging and not becoming like a fashion designer or a media student or something like that is because I see law and fashion - my two main interests - as sort of essentially opposites. So in having them in my life, it’s a really great balance and I can remind myself to have my interests cause otherwise I feel like if I made fashion my job, sooner or later I’d make it into a chore and I’d start losing my interest in it, which is sort of a nightmare for me. I want to retain that balance and have my work and my play and not put them together, but that is just for me personally. I know so many people who make their hobbies into their jobs, which is really great for them if they enjoy it. But for me, I just find that having different sides just balances everything out and it makes me work harder. Do you have any general advice for young people? For budding bloggers? First, at the beginning I think you should write out what you think of your style - like what you want to retain in your style throughout the process and just remember it because its going to be hard to keep that up when you’re seeing all these bloggers do the same thing and you are tempted to do the same things as them. You have to be able to have your own path and do it in your own way even if there are more conventional ways. Second of all, invest in good camera equipment. I can’t stress it enough. Even though iPhone 5s give such good quality
nowadays, so many bloggers I know do like iPhone posts. But ultimately the greatest - the best blogs - will always be the ones that are the most well-rounded in terms of their aesthetics and their content. So, if you focus on both of them, then it will make it even more of a popular blog I guess. Also, even though everyone is so into social media and selfpromotion on social media, it’s the best to remember that if your content is good then the traffic to the blog will follow with it. Well obviously at the beginning, it will be hard but along the way it shouldn’t be a focus for you to put yourself out there because if you do make original content then the focus will come to you directly. So instead of putting out self-promotions maybe just try to learn - of course you can learn from what other bloggers are doing - but eventually putting out original content and things that are fresh and new will automatically garner you more attention and more traffic and you can work up from that. Don’t limit yourself to just doing posts or like a specific kind of post you can always try travel posts, you can try cooking recipes, you can try DIY, things that will make your blog multifaceted. At the same time, if you don’t want to do that, then just do what you want to do. Don’t limit yourself but also do what you want to do!
Find Zoe Suen At: Instagram: @zosuen Facebook: www.facebook.com/fashiononymous Website: www.fashiononymous.net Tumblr: www.zosuen.tumblr.com Lookbook: www.lookbook.nu/zoesuen 42
Natalie Suarez (Natalie off Duty)
Zoeâ€™s Top Picks
Alexandra Spencer (4th and Bleeker)
Rumi Neely (fashiontoast)
What inspired you to start blogging? I started blogging because an acquaintance had told me about this website called LOOKBOOK. After scrolling through the website, I realized that I could post looks myself as well, seeing as this website is for everyday people. After a few months of posting my looks on LOOKBOOK, I wanted to create a bigger platform for me to express myself and my personal style, which is why I started fashoncrave. However after two years, I now have a new blog titled “bryantlives”, as I would like to show more of my personal life and discuss a wider range of topics from lifestyle to fashion and art.
was slightly bizarre and eclectic, since I always wore print on print and loved mixing prints. I always wore things that are definitely things that people would stop to look at since they are so out of the ordinary compared to the everyday look. However, now as I am getting older, I feel as if I should dress a little bit more appropriate and tone down my look, but at the same time, have the same type of quirky touch to my looks, even if its just a bag or an accessory because at the end of the day, you dress for yourself and you shouldn’t give a crap about what other people think. I think I developed my own style for me, never really adhering to what the social norms were.
How would you describe your style? Currently my style is on the simple side. I love my coats, anything oversize, and my pointy patent leather loafers. They are my go-to wardrobe essentials! Right now, my current obsession is acne studio black denim skinnies. I think my style really evolved as my blog grew.
So what would you say is your biggest source of inspiration? Tumblr! It’s definitely one of my biggest inspiration sources. There is always new content every time I’m on the site. Also, I love Japanese street style, since I travel there so much. I always keep an eye out for the Japanese youth street culture, as they are all very well put-together, yet they are very unique with their own respective styles. Also, one of my favorite Japanese magazine is titled MEN’S NON-NO, which gives me great inspiration every month, as I am a monthly subscriber for the magazine and it gives me so much inspiration. It’s crazy.
Now that you’ve had your blog for a while, how do you think your style has developed? I’m not really sure. Right now, I am actually still looking for my style. You can never really find your style. Mine has always evolved. I’m not sure if my simple style will stay, but I do always adhere to my love of simple and timeless pieces. I think most people think my style before
Do you have a goal with blogging? I hope I can inspire at least one person 44
reading my blog and it would be awesome to collaborate with others in the industry, as it would be a great learning experience for me when I work in the fashion industry in the future, which I hope to do. I also love meeting and connecting with bloggers all over the world as I do have a lot of close friends right now in the blogging scene, and it is one of the reasons why I continue blogging because I meet so many people around the world with their own unique styles. In a sense, these people inspire me to continue my blogging journey. The blog has also served as my platform to keep all of my past looks and see for myself how my style has evolved throughout the years. Also, when I am meeting new clients or PR agencies, I often show them my blog as a sort of portfolio. Why blogging? Why not blog? I mean it is free and so accessible to everyone and it gives you space to write down your thoughts. It’s accessible to everyone in the world. You can say whatever you want and also anyone can do it! What makes the internet such a powerful tool? How do you utilize it? I am constantly involved in social media literally any time of the day, especially Instagram, which is my personal favorite. I love Instagram because it is instant. You can post any time of the day and I always like to see what other people are doing as well, not to sound stalker-ish, but it is fun to scroll through your feed and see new content. I can always see what my friends are wearing and experience fashion week from the editor’s point of view, when I cannot attend it myself. What would you say is the most important part of planning and actually
doing a photo shoot? When I am planning for a shoot for myself, I often work with a close friend and photographer, Natalie Chyi, who I work closely with for my blog. She photographs most of my looks for my blog posts and we also work together with Zoe Suen of Fashiononymous and we spend a whole day each to shoot looks for each of our blogs for the upcoming posts. The planning process is looking for a location (definitely a new one since we get bored shooting with the same locations) and planning the outfits definitely and also overall how we want the photos to look like, since Zoe and I already have an idea of how we want our photos to look like and we love working with Natalie since she really understands exactly how we want our photos to look and she also has her own artistic visions which we really value as she adds to our own visions. Also, besides planning my own photoshoots, I also plan shoots for other photographers, such as Gail Shamon, Stephanie YT Chan and of course Natalie Chyi. When planning for shoots, I normally go to a PR firm to pick out 10 to 20 pieces depending on what is needed for the shoot and the theme of the shoot. What do you think about the booming youth fashion community in Hong Kong? I think it is great. I like how everyone is trying to get themselves out there and it is a free country. Go ahead and do what you want. Who cares what others think? It’s your personality and style. I don’t know why people don’t want friends to find out about their blogs, because no one should be ashamed of their own expressions. My friends and family are really supportive!
Some of my closest friends are in the fashion community here and it is through networking events that I get to meet these lovely people. I feel that the community has really given me more confidence to do what I do. When people leave me comments that I have inspired them or anything really nice, it just makes me want to blog more because someone is taking time out of their day to post on my Instagram or even just liking the photo like, you spent time out of your day to show appreciation? Do you think networking is important especially for new fashion bloggers? Of course networking is important. I mean - how are you going to meet people? You can’t just stay behind the computer screen and expect your blog to grow that way, you have to meet people through events and have real life conversations in order to get your name out there
Do you find it difficult to carve out your own niche in this community? Not particularly. Since I am a male fashion blogger, there aren’t really too many male fashion bloggers at this time, especially at my age. My style is also not quite the norm for boys at my age, so I don’t find it difficult to let my style go out since most guys are wearing cargo pants while I’m wearing tailored acne trousers.
Find Bryant Lee At: Instagram: @bryantlives Tumblr: www.fashoncrave.tumblr. com Website: www.bryantlives.com Lookbook: www.lookbook.nu/bryy 50
Bryant’s Top Picks Garance Doré
So why did you start blogging? Originally I started blogging when I first moved over here in Hong Kong. A girlfriend of mine - actually the godmother of my youngest child Callie - had a friend whose husband worked on creating website domains and stuff like that and she - as a going away gift - gave me a domain. She had just started blogging herself more about her feelings and stuff like that and she let me in on it. I could pick my own domain name and she said I want to know what you’re up to and your adventures and what living in Hong Kong is like. How did you decide the name of your blog? I started my blog and it was called “one love one life”. For the first two years I was blogging about life in Hong Kong and raising kids in Hong Kong and exploring things in Hong Kong. In about 2008 when that was happening, I was also thinking that I would change and go on to Blogger or something like that and so I did. For a while it was kind of the same stuff, still living in Hong Kong and exploring some of the things that made me who I was...so the name of my blog was then and still is “imanorbyah,” which originally comes from this book I wrote way back in seventh grade. It was a project and we had to write one story about our names and one story about a memory and I called my book “imanorbyah” and so I decided to use that as a blog title because it kind of opens it up
a little bit more. I can write about me still and about my family but also allow me to explore other things that I want to do. So did you know about other fashion bloggers in Hong Kong while you were starting out your blog? I began to become aware of some of them. I started to Google Hong Kong fashion bloggers. It was shortly after that, that I became aware of the Hong Kong fashion bloggers group on Facebook. I’ve also kind of Google searched some of them, so like JJ Acuna you know (the Wanderlister). I like his blog because its a lot of fashion but also travel and stuff. I found Tania Reiner (aboynamedsue) and Geneva from A Pair and A Spare. So those were three I followed early on when I was aware of Hong Kong fashion bloggers when I was first starting to blog about fashion. Since you started blogging, do you think that your style haschanged or has been influenced in any way? Yeah, I mean a little bit because I had all of a sudden an outlet to show it. But it wasn’t really my personality to start with. I was thinking the adjectives to describe myself, outgoing was not something I originally would have said when I was younger, but in my thirties I became a lot more confident with who I was and kind of my style. I mean my mom would say that I always had a sort of unique sense of style. As a teenager I would go shopping in like the markets of Malaysia and
just pick things and throw a belt on or whatever and raid my dad’s closet because he had these amazing vintage type of stuff. So that has always been part of who I was. I remember in eleventh grade, people turned their heads because I went to a school where I had to wear school uniforms, but I’d come to school with knee high socks. I think being a little bit daring with my fashion choices has always been there. But like you said having a blog sort of gave that outlet to really explore more! Do you think it is difficult to find your own niche because there are so many fashion bloggers nowadays? You know, I think if you’re consciously thinking about “what is my niche,” I think it would be. I mean I kind of fell into it. I’ve always liked vintage and I started looking around Etsy a lot. I have a lot of Etsy shop owners and I like to frequent their shops. I have this ongoing cart of items that I just kind of look at every once in a while! More difficult was actually finding vintage here in Hong Kong initially. When I lived in Stanley when the Salvation Army was still opened I used to walk through that shop three or four times a week and just go in there to look around. The other thing that is very inspiring to me is this whole move towards sustainable fashion. I work with our sustainability committee at school (that I teach in) and that sort of aesthetics and that whole idea of sustainability just kind of goes into everything that I do. In terms of the niche with second hand clothing, thrifting and vintage and sustainable fashion just all came very natural. It’s funny because now sometimes I’ll meet other people and they’ll be like, “Oh yeah, you’re the vintage blogger.” It’s what I blog about!
Where do you draw most of your inspiration from? I do have a pinterest account and I used to pin a lot more than I do now. Occasionally I do. I mean I think a lot of my inspiration comes from the other blogs that I read. You tend to find people who not only who wear things that you would like to wear or that you think looks cool. What I find with blogs that will turn me off of them is if I don’t like what I’m reading. You know voice or personal voice is so important. I mean, any surprises being an English teacher, right? Voice is kind of important, so if it doesn’t feel genuine or if it feels like they’re trying to really be like other bloggers then I sort of turn away. I like reading the blogs of people who have their own character. You know what’s important to them and you can tell from their blogs what they like and who they are and what is important to them. Do you have a specific goal with blogging? You know what, it started as a hobby and I would still say it is very much a hobby. You know the other thing I mean about being confident about who you are? I started going to a lot more events and meeting a lot more of these creative people: bloggers, stylists, designers. Inevitably, they turn to me and ask me, “So what do you do?” I didn’t have an answer for that, and I was like, “Well, I’m a teacher.” So I thought, okay, I got a story. Why am I at this fashion event if I’m a teacher? From an interaction I had when I first met JJ, he asked me to tell him about myself. I found that he wanted to take my picture and I was really flattered and kind of taken aback. You know I did a lot of thinking about that and was like, “What am I? What are my goals?” I love teaching and I wouldn’t want to change it for a day. I love being around teenagers.
I get a lot of inspiration from you guys actually. But you know, I also like to explore the hobby side of things and I do love fashion. I do love going to these events and meeting really creative people. I remember saying to JJ, “Well, I guess I’m a fashion blogger on the side, it’s my hobby, its what I love. I interact with people that way.” Teaching pays the bills because fashion blogging wouldn’t. I’m not like some fashion bloggers who have sponsors and people who want them to wear their stuff. I don’t think I would ever really want to get there. But, I have been asked on a couple of occasions have started to do a few collaborations. What do you think about the fashion blogging community in Hong Kong? It’s a really big community. Actually, it’s big and it’s small. People are very aware of each other, but there are kind of like cliques within that fashion blogging community as well. I mean we’ve definitely got our like super fashion bloggers right the one who would be recognized worldwide. It’s funny because you still come across them and they’re very real people and you chitchat with them and stuff like that. There are definitely different circles of fashion bloggers. But overall I find that Hong Kong fashion blogging and just the fashion scene, design scene and everything, there are a lot of people who are really collaborative and really eager to sort of connect and say, “Hey, you know I really like what you’re doing with this. Maybe we can work together.” It’s not like a so that I can benefit or whatever, I just think it’s very creative. Can you share with us a memorable encounter that you had? A couple weeks ago, I met with Emily
Wordsworth (Cityrags) because she invited me to her event in Wan Chai and she and I have been following each other on Instagram and Facebook and reading each other’s blogs. I’ve never actually met her in person, so she invited me and I was like, “Yeah, that’d be great, I’d love to actually meet you,” and we hit it off right away. It was super fun, but then we began chitchatting about where I teach and where she went to school, and it turns out one of my closest friends, who is like the father of my daughter’s very best friend, was her teacher! So that was like whoa! Small world. Then we took a selfie and we sent it to my friend and he was like “What are you doing hanging out with those young girls?” And I went, “Hey I’m young and hip! I’m hanging out with these girls! What are you doing? You’re in bed already!” What do you think makes the Internet such a powerful tool? Because you can reach such a wide audience! It’s really unique in that sense. Last week I went to a social media workshop with Style by Asia and they had invited me to go along. This guy was giving a workshop on social media and search engine optimization and really the ability to not only reach a whole different audience, but also to bring people from all of these places around the world together. Now when you’re following someone on Instagram and then you get to meet with him or her in real life, there’s no awkwardness. So the Internet is really cool in that sense. You can really reach so many people and businesses have gotten that idea. Your audience becomes bigger and the world becomes smaller. How is it like being in the public eye? Sometimes, when I meet people, they’re like “Well you’re a teacher, do your
students read your blog?” Many of them probably do and they ask, “Well how does that feel?” But I mean I have a blog and it’s public. I have an Instagram and it’s public. Anyone can find me at any point. You know I have had to sometimes step back and think okay how do I phrase things on my blog or what do I share now on Facebook knowing that I have a much more public presence. Have you ever had a negative experience with your blog? I can’t say that I have. I mean, no I can’t say that I ever have. I’m not creating anything except sharing my opinions, so no one’s stealing anything or copying an idea. For comments, I used to be very cautious and I made sure to set privacy settings so that people had to enter all the words and then I would have to approve the comments because I was worried about what others would say. But, I never had comments like, “you look stupid” or “this is a bad look for you.”
life and with my children and at events when I’m meeting people. I think it’s important to find a place and to do things that you enjoy because life is just too short to not. What do you think people don’t pay enough attention to? Details. I love details. There will sometimes be an article of clothing or something that I like because of the smallest detail. I think too much, for whatever reason in fashion, and just in life in general, people subscribe to an idea and it’s some big company saying this or some brand saying that this is fashion. But then they overlook the details. It doesn’t matter if it’s not this brand or if it’s not from this store. I’m aware of what’s fashionable. At the same time what’s trending comes from somewhere past, which is why I love vintage so much cause what goes around comes around. So if you like it, wear it.
Do you think most bloggers try to folDo you have a general message that low trends or do the opposite? you want the youth to know? I don’t know. I think when you think about Don’t be afraid to try! If you feel like you trends, fashion, and style, it’s interesthave something to say or if you want to ing to see how fashion and how trends start blogging or if you want to start a emerge or who decides what’s fashionclothing line, just go for it. Just go for it! able. I think the thing about fashion blogDon’t be afraid of failure because failgers is that you got all these people in ure always affords you an opportunity to the industry and they all decide what’s learn. I think in life - and I’ve lived a fair fashion, right? The stuff they put on the bit of it now - don’t play it safe. That’s my catwalks. But what’s really refreshing is motto. Look at me! I have shaved hair to see what real people’s interpretations and a streak. Don’t be afraid to be who of that is. I think style really is an interyou are and inevitably you’ll find yourself. pretation of fashion and that’s entirely Another thing that people sometimes personal. The people who I like or who say to me is, “Can you dress this way at I tend to admire and like what they’re school?” or “Do you do this at school?” wearing are those who take something I’m very lucky to work in a profession that’s fashionable - deemed fashionable that allows me to be me. Because who - but then you know there’s a personal you get in the classroom is not all that twist. You know that it is a characteristic different from who I am in my personal that is distinct to that person. 59
Find Norbyah Nolasco At: Instagram: @imanorbyah Etsy: www.etsy.com/people/ norbyah?ref=pr_profile Website: www.imanorbyah.com Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/norbyah
Lady à la Mode
Geneva (A Pair and A Spare)
Steffy’s Pros and Cons
Look Sharp, Sconnie
Norbyah’s Top Picks 61
Mayo Wo Can you describe yourself in three words? I’m weird. What else? Girly. Chatty.
style? I constantly look at other LOOKBOOKs for inspiration and there is also a number of other celebrities, whom I constantly Why did you start blogging? follow to get inspiration. I like Alexa Oh! The reason is actually very uninterChung’s style. A few years ago, I think I esting. It really is because I first started was heavily influenced by Blair. (Megan: to be on LOOKBOOK in 2009. I took out- Gossip Girl?) Gossip Girl. Yeah! I think fit pictures. But you know, you can only her style is romantic and also with a bit post one picture. There are many outof retro twist and I really like that. takes and detail shots of the outfits. Well, the natural thing is to have a blog to post Do you have a specific goal for blogthose pictures and I think it is a good ging? Do you have something you are platform to - because not everybody is trying to accomplish with blogging on LOOKBOOK, right? So it’s nice to or is it just something that you do for share other things apart from fashion. right now? The starting point was obviously for fun. How would you describe your style? It was my escape from the boring rouI would say my favorite style is probtine at work during weekdays. I take all ably a bit retro, a bit romantic. It’s really my photos during the weekend, kind of constantly changing and evolving. I think as a hobby and escape. My husband one of the most fun things of fashion is takes pictures for me. Of course, I really that you can experiment with different want to, if it’s possible, I want to have styles, really. I don’t know why but I rea chance to attend fashion week. But, I cently started to really like wearing plaid don’t know if it is a bit distant for me. shirts. I really like to match some girly items with some more boyish plaid shirts. What is the most important part of I think it’s interesting to see the balance. planning and actually writing a blog I think that if an outfit were totally girlish, post or doing a photo shoot? it would be too sweet for me. It is also Most of the time, I do the styling and not very age appropriate. So, I try to add outfit planning on Friday. I always plan. I some boyish elements and maybe some think two weeks ago, I tried to do a Vplayful elements. I really like styling with Day (Valentines Day) theme shoot and some playful shoes with interesting deI planned out an outfit for that. But then, tails to spice up the look a bit. it started to get really cold and rainy, so Who would you say influences your
I just had to wear a plaid shirt instead. But, it turned out really well. So yeah,
even things unplanned can turn out well. Yeah. Most of the time I plan ahead about four to five outfits a week. I really enjoy doing it.
dedicate all my weekend time to doing things I love doing. Yeah, I think to do a special theme shoot with a blogger will take a day. Right? So, it’s definitely something that I want to do.
Do you ever collaborate with people on your shoots or is it mostly just you and your husband? Mostly it’s just me and my husband. Because, to be honest, I don’t know. Even though I have been doing this for four to five years, I still get pretty shy if I have to pose in front of other people. I would act so unnaturally. I don’t know. The facial expressions would be really weird. So, we always go to some places that have zero people to do it and most of the time it would just be the two of us. Last month, I just suddenly had this idea that I want to do a monthly special for my blog. Like, every month, I would collaborate with some other blogger to do a theme shoot. But, that is just an idea. I haven’t really realize it yet.
Why do you think the internet is such a powerful tool? How has the internet allowed you to do what you want? I think it has already become a very important part of everyone’s lives now. I mean, even if you are queuing for an order, most of the people are looking at their phones and seeing what is happening on the Internet. Comparing to the radio, magazine, television, and other traditional types of media, the Internet is the most powerful one now. I mean, it is instant, and you can get a lot of information in just a minute. I think that people are having increasingly short attention spans. I think Instagram, and Facebook will gradually become more and more important. I think there are less people doing blogs right now. There are less bloggers, and only the best blogs can survive because of Instagram and Tumblr.
So you are thinking about doing something different with your blog for the future? Yeah. I think it would be interesting. To be honest, I think my blog is quite dull. I mean, the content is always the same. It’s always my styling pictures. It’s just the outfits that are different and I don’t really write much. I think in the long run, I have to change a bit and, you know, diversify the content. What would you do with the bloggers that you will collaborate with? I don’t really have any solid plans, but I was thinking, like maybe, style for each other for a special theme. What movie characters do you think are interesting? But, you know, I have a full time job so the time is very limited. I don’t really have to work in the weekends. So I
So you think that there will be less bloggers in the future? There will be more social (media) influences. So there will be more people on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I’ve also heard from other bloggers that the statistics of the blog just keep dropping. For me, as well, before I keep track of Betty’s blog everyday. But since I follow her on instagram, I just don’t go on it as much. Also there is interaction for Instagram and Facebook. You get to interact with the influencer more directly.
What are some of the social media platforms that you use regularly? I started to get Instagram in May last
year and it has become an important part of my life now! I update it everyday. I instagram, I Facebook. I don’t have Tumblr, I don’t have Twitter, so it’s just these two. But it’s time consuming, I must say How did you set up your blog? What platform do you use? I use Wordpress. I think it’s based on a standard template but I just changed the banner, added some more personal elements and icons to it. I think before, I had a fashion blog, I had a personal blog. I used Blogger back then. It was like 6 years ago, I think. I think Wordpress is a lot better.
with the world. I think it’s really interesting. It’s also nice because we as the readers can get a sense of how different individuals style and see what the young people like nowadays. It’s not just about going to college and stuff. They can have a side thing where they can express themselves and to talk to the world. Especially with internet. I think the nicest thing is that you can communicate with people from different parts of the world, to get to know each other through blogging. I think that’s really nice to know about a culture of different countries.
Do you think for someone who is just starting out with blogging, it is imporSo if anyone is interested in starting tant to network with others? their own blogs, you would recomI think it really depends on what you are mend wordpress? aiming at. But yeah, I think blogging is Yes, I think so. It has different nice temreally about interacting with other people. plates to choose from. So even if you are Of course, you should network with other not good at programming and stuff, you bloggers and see if there is any chance can get a really nice layout. for interesting collaborations. But, I think the most important thing is to share with What are some of the websites that the world what you love, what you think you visit regularly? is beautiful. Networking, yes it’s good. If Style.com. I check it out everyday, beit means your blog’s success depends cause I just want to see what is going on on networking…I think the most imporin fashion week. I’m also always looking tant thing is if your readers love your forward to see what my favorite designstuff. They find something in common ers will come up with for the new season. with you. But, if you have a good netI also read the posts on my Facebook. I work, you get a lot of collaboration with also look at Lookbook. For a Hong Kong other bloggers and companies. So, as a fashion site, I like poppy.com. Yeah, business, of course networking is importhat’s about it. For other stuff, I will check tant. It really depends on what you are out BBC news, times.com. aiming at. But, it’s always a good thing if you network. What do you think about the booming youth community because a lot of How do you network? How do you young people are really interested in meet other bloggers? fashion, photography, and blogging? Well, I actually don’t know too many I think it’s really good that young peobloggers because I have a full time job. ple can let their creativity shine through I don’t’ get to attend events all the time. photography, or whatever they use to But sometimes when the events are held express themselves, and share during lunch hours and it’s near my 68
office, I try my best to go. I got to meet PR people and some Hong Kong bloggers. For example, I met Bryant (of “bryantlives”) by going to a preview at a shop in Causeway Bay. Last year, I went to lunch by Alice and Olivia, and I met quite a lot of other Hong Kong bloggers there. Do you think it is very difficult to find your own space in this community of fashion bloggers? I think if you have a very strong style. If you have a unique style, people will start to notice you. But, if you ask if it’s difficult, I think I’m very lucky to have been on the LOOKBOOK scene a long time ago. So I developed a follower base there, which is really helpful for new readers to get to know me. So I guess if I didn’t have a very active (presence on)
LOOKBOOK, it would have been very difficult for me. How do you express yourself? I think I’m naturally quite an expressive person. I show my feelings on my face. But, fashion is a very good way for me to express myself and my aesthetics as well. But, I once doubted it. For a period of time, I dressed in very romantic outfits, and girly outfits. But, I’m totally not a girly person. I think it reflects my ideal. The kind of person I want to be, but I can’t (be), because I don’t have manners! I am totally not an elegant person. But I dress elegantly. But I think my recent style actually reflect more about me. Like I would have an oversize plaid shirt, (which is) something that I feel very comfortable in, and match it with some girly elements.
I think writing is also a very good way to express yourself. Fashion is an instant language that everyone can relate to. What do you like to do in your spare time? Styling. I’m also a crazy cat lover. On Saturday, after taking some outfit pictures, and after having some lunch, me and my husband will be a volunteer to feed cats in Sheung Wan. There is this society. There are about 50 cats there. You should check it sometime, its near this museum. The cats there are very cute. They are born in the streets, so most of them can’t be home. Most of them can’t have babies though, so there won’t be an overpopulation problem. It’s one of the things I really look forward too. It’s also kind of my only exercise. You know, walking uphill and downhill, and all the stairs. I’m not a sporty person! What is something that you think people should pay more attention to? Shoes? I guess a lot of people are already paying attention to shoes. Color coordination? Because even my styles are sometimes different. But, the common theme is color. I like colors that make me feel good. But I’m wearing boring colors right now because of work. If possible, I would dress brightly. It’s not just for yourself. People on the street see you and the bright colors. They will be cheered up! What is your favorite color? Barely pink. Like a really light shade of pink. But basically, I love every pastel color.
This is a platform that allows me to write. Without blogging, I wouldn’t have had the incentive to write things. I’ve learned to express myself better. Do you ever experience any form of negative comments? Strangely enough, people don’t post any negative comments on my posts. But I know there are people who posts comments in other places. I just don’t happen to see them. I mean, they are nice enough to not post on my platform. Do you ever get affected by them? I just kind of laugh it off because, you know, they use some very humorous things. I laugh with them. But of course, I would ask myself, “Oh, am I really that bad?” You know? Some people say that I look like the evil woman in any Korean drama! Some people who want to start a blog might be scared of the negativity. Do you think it is something that people shouldn’t be afraid of? Rationally, I don’t think they should be affected by it or afraid of the negative comments. But I think emotionally, you can’t control your emotions. It’s natural to feel upset about what people say. But, as the saying goes, “Haters gonna Hate.” It’s impossible for everyone to love you. It’s also very childish to say those kinds of things on other people’s platforms. I’m lucky enough that when I started blogging and lookbooking, I was already a grown up. So I could take criticism much more easier than a teenager, when you are still developing your self-confidence and style.
What is something that you learn from being a blogger? One piece of advice for people who I think I have learned a lot, but I have are interested in blogging? never thought about this question. Don’t be pretentious. Be yourself. Find 71
your own voice and make it interesting. Make it something that only you can offer.
Find Mayo Wo At: Instagram: @mellowmayo
What is your next step? Iâ€™m not really the kind of person to have a plan. But as I said earlier Iâ€™m always trying to make my blog more interesting. Hopefully I will do some special projects for it.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/mellowmayo Website: www.mellowmayo.com Lookbook: www.lookbook.nu/mayowo
Mayoâ€™s Top Picks Nicole Warne
Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger
Anne Krembs Can you describe yourself in three words? Fun, creative and happy. When I was growing up, my maiden name is Freun. That name in German and it means ‘to be happy.’ So, I always relate to that.
mainly my place for documenting the kids as a new mom. Blogging was getting really big. It was more for scrapbooking purposes. I use to take a trip and then make an album. So if you come to my house, I have a lot of old albums. But then once we got to India, and the What would you say your occupation kids were maybe about two and three, is? I stopped printing out the pictures. We Whenever I meet someone I would tell would have a trip and then I would just them that I am an international educator post it on the Kremb de la Kremb blog. because this is my 6th school. I started So it started out as a family blog. Then as a language arts teacher, second we were in Bombay, and we were at grade teacher, elementary (school) lia one to one laptop school. So then I brarian, high school librarian - all of it. started Dear Librarian blog. Then when Then, if they get to know me more or I I was moving from Bombay to China, am at an event in Hong Kong, I would and I knew that at that point I was ussay that during the day I am actually a ing Wordpress, but I know blogs were librarian. Then, when I tell them that I blocked in China. So, at that point I am a librarian, they would say, “What?” bought my own domain, both for Kremb because I don’t think I come across as de la Kremb and Dear Librarian. Dear your typical librarian. Maybe. I don’t Librarian has always been education and know. Like other librarians that I know in library, and booky and tech. With Kremb the area, or other librarians that I know de la Kremb, it’s family and its still family. through my work overseas, I haven’t met But when I moved to Hong Kong in 2012, anyone that is a fellow fashion blogger I finally was like, “I’m going to take a on the side! plunge.” .” I will fill it with fashion. I found Jasmine (Smith of Dress Me Blog Me), When did you start blogging? I found Zoe (fashiononymous), and I I started blogging a really, really long found your brother (Bryantlives). I’m just time ago. I think it might have been when going to go for it. So it was when I was in I was in Venezuela, and my babies were Hong Kong, where I started. So around born around 2000-2002. I started with Christmas I started doing some polyvore Blogger, then I moved to Tumblr, then I collages. I was really timid at first. I was finally moved to Wordpress. By the time really shy to do it. I was afraid about I was in India, I had two blogs. I had what other people would think. This June Kremb de la Kremb and Dear Librarian. would be a year, where I have been full Kremb de la Kremb started first. It was force going for it. At that point last June, 75
was when I was like I’m going to go for it. I think I have a lot of bohemian in my I’m going to take pictures. style. I always gravitate to anything that is bohemian. But then at the same time Have you always been interested in I have a sister who is so stylish and she fashion? is all modern, like Gwyneth Paltrow miniYeah, always. I have a recent post actu- malistic. So at the same time I have this ally about when I talked about first lovbohemian style, and I include classic and ing fashion. I was ten years old. It was modern bits to my clothing. So I really the eighties. I saved up money to buy don’t know what my style is. One time those silky running shorts that open on one of my best friends said that I was the sides. They were bright blue and I funky boho or something. At the time I bought a matching striped top. Then in was like, “I am not!” She called me funky high school, I worked at The Limited. bohemian, but I wanted to be classier. I worked at a video store to buy all my So I guess I just have to embrace the sweaters and bought shorts at Benetton. fact that I am artsy with trying to be chic. I wrote a petition for my school so that But, I really don’t know what it comes we could wear shorts at the time. We across as. I would love to know what were not allowed to wear shorts because other people think. Like, I really have a it was winter and we couldn’t. But the dichotomy going on in my brain. Like last style at the time was to wear tights and week I wore a pink tool skirt with a nice long shorts with a cuff, and the principle black tailored top. But then the next day, would be after us. So I wrote a petition I’m wearing paisley flowy pants with a and got a 100 people to sign. So that got denim shirt. Like, I don’t know what my passed. We also had this department style is! store called Nordstrom. They had a fashThe good thing about being fashion is ion board, and I was a representative that you get to explore your style. You from my school and sat at the fashion board. So I was a part of fashion shows, can try to express yourself through other styles, right? mannequins, and worked there. In colYeah like a chameleon. But I know for lege, again, working at The Limited. So sure that I always love patterns and I yeah, I always loved fashion. I have always love color. Those are two...and always loved it and anyone who knows I think that’s a little bit from the fact that me knows that I love it. But now it’s reI’ve lived in Venezuela, I’ve lived in Inally odd because now I’m kind of old. dia, I’ve lived in Saudi Arabia. India is I’m finally admitting to it. Now it’s really so colorful, Venezuela is so vivacious. fun because I’m feeling so creative. I’ve always been creative. My mom is an art- Some of the places I’ve lived in have definitely influenced what I like. ist, my brother is an artist, my sister is a designer - we all have a little artisticness So what would you say would be your in us. So now, I’m really just embracing source of inspiration? it. So yes - the answer is yes! I think she’s so cool I can never pull it off, but every now and then she’s a little bit How would you describe your style? bohemian. Blair Eadie of “Atlantic pacifI don’t know. I have the hardest time figuring out my style. I definitely know my ic.” She’s so classy but everything is so high-end. I love going to Krystal Bick style is colorful. I am very into patterns. 76
of This Time Tomorrow and she’s really classy but really colorful. So both those two are really they’re super Audrey Hepburn classy but they’re colorful at the same time, so I go to them a little bit. Those are some of the people I go to their blogs. Those are some of the fashion bloggers that I go to. But when I’m shopping, or looking around or seeing in a magazine anything that has color or has print or texture, I always gravitate to it and it’s so funny because at the same time - my sister’s name is Julie - and I’m always thinking, what would Julie do? Sometimes I’ll be with Julie and I’ll try to go with what Julie would do. But Julie would wear like shoes like these and so I might try to wear some Julie with some black simple leggings, a little button down and a blazer but then the Anne in me would gravitate towards my cheetah backpack - like I have a cheetah print backpack. My sister would never have it so its just kind of funny!
What makes the internet such a powerful tool? Why do you think fashion blogging started? It’s because everything has become accessible for the everyday person. I’m a librarian and I’m able to put myself up there on the web. Who cares if you take away the fact that anyone’s watching or reading? Like I’m able to pretend that I’m putting together outfits just the way Vogue would. I’ve been reading Vogue since I was thirteen and now I can pretend to find a wall and put this purse and match this lipstick and put on these earrings. You get to emulate real life fashion. I kind of wish I was twenty years younger like your brother (bryantlives) or Zoe. I can’t imagine being a teenager right now. I would have been so different, you know? But that’s why for me, I just go for it even now because I can, so why not?
What social media do you use? So every time I make a post, I have a Kremb de la Kremb Facebook page, I have Twitter, Instagram. Now I post Monday, Wednesdays, Friday 6 AM. So once I post, I send it to my Facebook page, to Twitter, and to the HKFashionBloggers page. What do you think about the fashion community that has been growing in Hong Kong? Because of Jasmine (Smith of Dress Me Blog Me and HKFashionBloggers). I just find them to be so welcoming and open. I remember at Vogue’s Fashion’s Night Out, I went by myself, I didn’t know anybody but I just went for it and I network. That’s another thing that blogging has done for me. I’m really proud of how ballsy I’m becoming and becoming a risk taker and it feels good. Besides allowing me to become more creative, it makes me feel like I’ve really been embracing life, which is fun! People are so kind. At Vogue’s FNO (Fashion’s Night Out), I met Nick Chan (Cut and Copy). When I was there I introduced myself and (Nick) was like “You’re Kremb de la Kremb” and I’m like “You know who I am? Wow cool!” So every now and then, those surprises they take you fifty steps forward because the other ones will take you a thousand steps back. But I find that the community is very kind. It’s hard to get in, but when you’re out and about and meeting people and putting yourself out there, they’re very kind. Just the matter of how often you can do that. I’m a mom, I work, I live on the south side, so once a week, I try to go into town to do something. The community could use some growth, I think. It is growing totally but it is very small for sure. It’s not exactly like New York.
Do you think networking is important for people trying to get into the fashion community? Networking is important. If you want to be known and have people recognize you. But again, it’s very hard. You have to put yourself out there and it’s intimidating. You have to get this inner gutsy person and go “Hi I’m Anne Krembs. Nice to meet you. Here’s my card!” You really have to go out there and work at it. You have to be assertive! I’m not usually like that, but it’s just so funny the different stages your life takes. I never thought I would be doing this. But it’s fun. It keeps me going. And my family is really supportive. They can see that it’s bringing me - even though sometimes I feel strife from it - they can also see that it’s bringing me joy. Do you find it difficult to carve out your own niche in the fashion blogging community? Yeah. Same with my style, I really don’t know what my niche is. That’s why I have the tagline now “getting the very best out of my life in Hong Kong” because that gives me some wiggle room. Because that means I can have a date night and give a restaurant review. That means I can go find write a review on a second hand shop, or I can do an outfit post in Stanley. I can do a review on my orange lipstick. I’m trying to keep it so that I have a Hong Kong niche, that way I can blog about both lifestyle and fashion. I don’t know if I should be calling myself solely a fashion blogger. I also love to cook and bake and do DIYs. I made these earrings! I also want to post about this and recipes. I’m going to try doing some round-ups and I think it’s okay to do one about cauliflower because I like to do recipes too! I don’t know if doing a cauliflower post is going to kick me
or if it’s okay to be diverse like that. If I think about any reader that’s a mom like me, then I think doing a cauliflower post with links to recipes would be good. If I think about someone younger following me, cauliflower probably won’t work. But I think I’ve got to figure out who my readers are. I mean I don’t want to be stuck in the mom niche because I love fashion too! How do you express yourself? I think I dress according to how I may be feeling. I will dress to match the weather. I definitely feel I express myself through what I wear. What is one of your favorite places in the world? Well, I don’t know if I can pick one. I love Hong Kong a lot! Before I even moved here, I’ve always wanted to live here. I feel really lucky. Before I got here, it was one of my favorite places in the world and now I live here. That to me is like this is my 17th year overseas - you’ve made it Anne. I was in El Salvador and Saudi Arabia, so I’ve been in many places. The fact that I live here to me it’s a milestone reach. Now that I get to embrace the fashion here it’s like wow cool!
Find Anne Krembs At: Instagram: @krembdelakremb Facebook: www.facebook.com/ krembdelakremb Website: www.krembdelakremb. com and www.dearlibrarian.com Twitter: @krembdelakremb Tumblr: www.krembdelakremb.tumblr.com Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/krembdelakremb
Do you have any advice for budding bloggers? Just go for it! If it makes you feel good, if you have the inspiration and the motivation do it. That’s the same advice i give to myself all the time.
A Beautiful Mess
“If you think you are, you are.”
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Justin Wong Justin Wong is a 16-year old blogger who has a fine eye for photography, creates beautiful fashion illustrations and also shares insightful thoughts for new collections in fashion. His blog, Other Fabrications, includes everything from his newest favorites to showcasing his fashion illustrations. He has over 13,000 followers on Instagram (@justincywong), where he shows his photography skills and perfect taste in aesthetics. Heâ€™s definitely someone who will go far and beyond in fashion!
Describe yourself in three words. Simple, understated, monochromatic Why did you start (photography, styling, blogging)? I started blogging because Iâ€™ve developed an interest in fashion a few years ago. From following up on countless blogs, I decided to start up my own blog and post somewhat occasionally.
How would you describe your style (of photography, fashion, etc.)? My style is rather full on black minimal and I would say casual chic? I somewhat try to incorporate some colour into my work and what I wear to make it less dull of course though. How did you develop your own style of photography, and fashion? I developed my style through browsing the internet, magazines, people watching in cafes etc! I pay attention to a lot of details so its easy for me to get inspired by things!
What makes the internet such a powerful tool? How do you utilize it? I think the speed is what is impressive. With just a click of a button, I can access the latest fashion shows, news updates, events etc. especially how its becoming so much more technologically advanced these days! What are some of the social media platforms you make use of? Facebook - of course, Pinterest, Bloglovin’, Instagram!
What websites do you visit regularly? Style.com Keeping up with the latest What is your source of inspiration? fashion news and shows is what I do The people around me, the places I go to when I procrastinate! and explore, other designers, everyone interesting really. What do you think about the booming youth fashion community in Hong Do you have a specific goal? What Kong? I think its great that there are are you trying to do with photography, more and more people in our HK fashand blogging? ion community! I’m so glad people here My specific goal right now is to focus on are starting to get more involved with the my studies but at the same time devellatest trends, incorporating fashion into oping my photography/blogging skills as their daily life and just having fun with it! well as reaching for the high numbers on The only downside……more competiinstagram! (I’m an addict, no doubt) tion! What is the most important part of planning and actually doing the photoshoot or writing a blog post, etc.? I think the most important part of planning/making a post is definitely to be inspired first. Finding something you’re personally interested in first, would definitely be more interesting! And of course something you personally like. Why blogging? Blogging is just a great method and way to showcase photography, writing and ideas! Its great how the media is becoming much more accessible and thus the ‘blog’ becoming so much more popular!
Do you think networking is important especially for a budding photographer or blogger? How do you meet people you want to shoot? I think networking and helping yourself build a good network of connections is very useful for the future! You never know, you could become great friends with fellow HK fashion people or learn from them! Its great meeting new people right? Meeting people I personally want to shoot or have a chat with, send an email over or write a letter! Its always sweet receiving things in the mail! Personal and a friendly way to introduce yourself.
Do you find it difficult to carve out your own niche in this community of bloggers? It’s becoming more difficult now because of the booming fashion community in Hong Kong…well more so globally. Mainly because of the talent people have! Just try your best, be yourself, do what you love and hope for the best! Or what else would you do? Life’s too short! How do you express yourself? Hobbies besides blogging and photography? My almost daily instagram posts! I just love doing it and the people who constantly comment and chat with me on my posts! Really does make my day. And sketching! Love it! and currently doing something related to that on my blog/instagram! What do you like to do in your spare time? Procrastinate, sleep, draw. Don’t have much spare time to be honest with all that school work!
And not just eating food from instagram! What is a question that you would want someone to ask you? What do you think people should pay more attention to? Hopefully people could recognise my passion for design! And not just eating food from instagram! What would you like people to know about you or what would you like to say to people? I’m 16 and I love fashion! And hopefully they’d offer me some opportunities! :) Advice for budding photographers/ bloggers and young teenagers in general? Go with your gut feeling. Do what you love and make sure you’re enjoying every single moment too. What is your next step? Hopefully getting into the universities of my dreams to study fashion design or visual arts!
Dream job? Hopefully I will be able to have my own fashion brand one day! If not, a full time assistant at Céline under Philo or Hermès under Lemaire! What is your favorite place in the world? Where is your comfort place? Croatia - its always sunny and it makes me so happy seeing such a wonderful Mediterranean coast! And comfort place - home! What is a question that you would want someone to ask you? What do you think people should pay more attention to? Hopefully people could recognise my passion for design! And not
Find Justin Wong At: Instagram: @justincywong Website: www.otherfabrications.blogspot.hk Tumblr: www.otherfabrications.tumblr.com
s k c i P p o T s ’ n i t Jus
We hope you all enjoyed this little book on Hong Kongâ€™s fashion blogging community. The individuals here have all truly inspired us and we hope they have inspired you as well. We would like to thank Ingrid Yiu for designing our logo as well as providing a lot of help for our technologically-incapable selves (haha). Of course, we would also like to thank every single one of our interviewees for being so friendly and collaborative. We would also like to thank our English teacher, Mrs. Nolasco (Yes, she is the Norbyah Nolasco in this book.) for being so caring and giving us feedback when we needed it. Finally, we would like to thank our brother, Bryant Lee, for inspiring us to create this book. THANK YOU! CHLOE AND MEGAN 90
Disclaimer: All photos belong to their rightful owners. We do not claim any photos to be our own, except for the cover photo and the closing note photo. 91
An E-Book containing interviews with Hong Kong based fashion bloggers and photographers. Enjoy! :)