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THESE DAYS, just about anyone with access to the Internet either blogs or reads blogs. But five or six years ago, blogging was a relatively new online activity for those who had things to say and had the time to write about it in an informal setting through a blog, also known as an online personal journal.
I began blogging in October 2005 and wrote about bags and things I love (www.thebaghagdi aries.com) without thinking I would have an ?audience.? Little did I know there would be other web-savvy ?in the closet? bag addicts who would read and relate to the stories I wrote.
Today, blogging has become a profession for many. Stories of people quitting their day jobs for blog writing are no longer uncommon. In fashion, one thing is certain: Fashion bloggers are here to stay.
American Vogue?s annual power issue last March declared it. Last June, Florence-based international online fashion retailer LuisaViaRo ma.Com validated it by inviting some of the world?s most influential bloggers to its 10th anniversary celebration.
Five top fashion bloggers who have been individually featured in major international publications like Vogue, Women?s Wear Daily, The New York Times, International Herald Tribune and Cosmopolitan Magazine talk about their blogs in this exclusive interview.
They are Bryan Yambao (www.bryan boy.com), Tina Craig and Kelly Cook (www.bagsnob.com), Wendy Lam (www.nitrolicious.com) and Denni Ramos (www. chicmuse.net).
What prompted you to blog?
Bagsnob: We started in 2005 after both having babies. We were looking for a creative outlet outside of the home. Blogging about bags was a no-brainer as both of us have been obsessed with bags since childhood. It was also the perfect thing for new moms since our hours were so flexible. In the beginning, we worked when our kids were napping.
Bryanboy: I started my blog as a travel journal in October 2004. I went to Russia for a month and a half. I created a blog so I could keep my family and friends updated on my whereabouts instantly without e-mailing 200 people while on holiday. Having a blog made perfect sense; I used to be a freelance web designer.
Nitrolicious: I started blogging in 2006 as a personal online diary after a friend prompted me to start chronicling my personal style, shopping habits, love of H&M, and inspiration.
Chicmuse: I started officially blogging a little more than a year ago. Before that, I already loved the fashion world, but I often felt kind of alone in my way of thinking and dressing. So when I discovered the blogger life, I knew this was for me.
What?s your all-time favorite post?
Bagsnob: A favorite is a post about meeting Nina Garcia of ?Project Runway.? She is warm, genuinely kind and the most gracious woman you?ll ever meet. She is one of those people who?s always there with a helping hand but never asks for anything in return. We?ve actually become friends since meeting three years ago and she is a constant source of inspiration! We also always love doing lists, whether it?s the top snob bags of the year, worst slob bags of the year, or the Halloween bags.
Bryanboy: For this year, I must say it was after I visited the American Vogue offices in New York. I had the pleasure of meeting Anna Wintour and her army of editors?in the inner sanctum! Anna Wintour is truly an incredible woman. Based on my interactions with her, she?s very warm and extremely gracious. She never fails to amaze and inspire me.
Nitrolicious: My all-time favorite post is a recent one, when I had a chance to meet one of my favorite fashion designers, Karl Lagerfeld?in my neighborhood! He was there shooting for Chanel?s Fall-Winter 2010 ad campaign. Come on, how often will you see Karl Lagerfeld working the streets of the Lower East Side in New York City? That was seriously epic!
Chicmuse: I wrote about ?Le Denim Total Look? about five months ago, and what I love about it was that it represented a simple denim style. After posting it, I won an H&M contest and then I got contacted by the editor to be featured in German Vogue. Another favorite post was of Anna Dello Russo. I had the pleasure of getting to know her more, and I just think she is so inspirational and brave. She always manages to look amazingly chic and luxurious, and I admire her for all the things she has achieved.
Do you have a style or brand preference?
Bagsnob: We call the Hermès Birkin the Holy Grail of bags. As bag collectors and lovers, we consider it the ultimate indulgence and luxury. The bag is eternally beautiful and also worth the investment, since the prices for them have consistently appreciated.
Bryanboy: I consider myself eclectic and androgynous. I like the idea of having my own look instead of being part of a trendy flock. I dress based on my mood, my emotions and what I have available. I hope my style reflects my fun, ?devil-may-care? personality. It?s also nice to bring a smile to people?s faces when they see me.
Nitrolicious: I like to mix and match high and low, and I?m always ?all black everything.? I like my clothes loosely fitted and more on the unisex look, casual and a bit on the ?dark? side. I can spend very little money on clothes but I like to splurge on handbags and shoes, and I?m obsessed with rings! You?ll almost never see me without my rings!
Chicmuse: I love small dresses à la Balmain, and amazing shoes. There is nothing better than a pair of black skinny jeans (low or high waist), a white loose shirt or tank top, some great stilettos and red lips!
What?s the future of fashion blogging, and where do you plan to take your blog in 2 years?
Bagsnob: We would love to collaborate on a bag collection with a designer. We have been presented with opportunities, but we want to make sure we are able to do something that completely reflects our love for bags.
Bryanboy: I could only speak for the present: Bloggers are, without question, the new celebrities. We?re already seeing what the future is for bloggers: first-hand access to the shows, positions in traditional media (like contributors to newspapers and magazines), collaborations with fashion houses. Some are turning into designer muses, some are working with retail stores as guest buyers while some have launched modeling careers. A few bloggers even have their own merchandise and/or clothing lines. You?ll certainly see me collaborate with various international brands. The industry evolves at a very alarming rate. A few years back, I remember that most people had no idea what a blog was. Now, everyone seems to have a blog, or participates in online social media!
Nitrolicious: I plan on building on top of what my blog has become, and along the way increase my readership. I also plan on being more involved within the fashion community and hope to work with more fashion designers and perhaps collaborate with them. With digital tools changing so fast, it?s hard to say where fashion blogging will be in the next two years. In the past two years, blogging has grown and Twitter has become another medium to express and reflect on firsthand news, style and fashion. I think blogging will continue as is, but with more involvement from big and small fashion brands.
Chicmuse: I love fashion consulting and working as a stylist, but I don?t want to classify myself just as that because there are still many other things to do! I would love to do collaborations with designers or to create images for upcoming brands or traditional ones.
Follow me on twitter.com/thebaghag; visit www.thebaghagdiaries.com