Tweed Blazer with Leather Panels, Court Shoes: Zara | Silk Camisole, Leather Skirt: Forever 21 | Bag, Bangle: Hermes | Bangle: Cartier | Watch: Gucci | Ring: YSL | Cross gold necklace with Diamond pendant
I have a feeling that this is going to be too TL;DR. Forgive me in advance. I just came from an Olay event where I got into a conversation with a few long-time bloggers, and couldn’t stop the cogs in my brain from turning. I don’t really attend so much events because I’m either busy or lazy but in the past 3 events that I’ve attended, I’ve noticed the multitude of fresh new faces in the Fashion Blogging landscape (some of which, I’ve worked with for other projects, some of which I’ve recommended to my clients, and some of which I genuinely like because they are so idealistic and so lovely in person). Anyway, I’ll get into that later. Let me start by letting you know what I do outside of the said industry.
It’s no secret that I have a day job considering how I won’t shut up about it. I’ve always found pride in considering myself as a “hyphenate” (doing this and that and various other things), I felt that it made me quite the interesting person. Plus, I like the independence and control of having a consistent job with a reliable source of income. So most of you may already know that I work in Advertising as an Account Manager–would you believe that I’ve wanted this since I was seventeen? Way before shows like Mad Men glorified the Ad industry, I set my sights on heading straight towards the Advertising career path for reasons I can no longer remember. Of course, it wasn’t instantaneous–I somehow ended up in an off-shoot of the industry by being a part of the Marketing services group for a television network. Five years later (and the realization that I wasn’t getting any younger), I risked my stability, quit my high-paying profession, and saddled myself in one of the best (if not, the best) Creative agencies in the Philippines. It’s been my life thus far and despite the constant erratic up and downs, I’m glad that I took the plunge and chased after what may seem like a long forgotten trivial dream.
Why advertising, you might ask–it’s simple… I find elation in being a part of a bigger industry that helps shape a society’s behavior.
That said (and I really just had to get it out there), if you’re a slight bit surprised to find out that I work in Advertising, let me tell you that my officemates share the same confusion when people reveal to them that in the midst of it all–the dynamic, fast-paced, time-consuming job ensconced in what I would refer to (without a miniscule amount of fondness) as an overtime culture–I’m also a fashion blogger. I often get asked how I can manage taking photos or writing long-form entries, moreover, what made me get into it.
It’s quite simple too… I do it because I enjoy it. When I started out 5 years ago, it was because I wanted to write. I felt that I had so much to impart and since I’m not at all sociable, blogging seemed like the perfect platform to converse without invading anyone’s personal space. Suitable for a standoffish person like me! I opted to talk about Fashion though because I’m rather obsessed with it and I liked the idea of utilizing a topic deemed by most as shallow, to serve its purpose as a metaphor that I can link to in-depth existentialist reflections. Also, I’m very vain and materialistic so Fashion seemed like the perfect subject–I get to yak and criticize, but I also get to take photos of my “totes amazeballs” outfits touting trending things I self-declared as such and then consequently, shamelessly whoring my face in a platform meant to have a lot of visual support just because I’m so full of myself.
What I did not gear myself up for was that, if you got into Fashion Blogging at the right time like I did, you’re bound to get a bit of attention, a bit of authority, and a bit of monetary compensation (or a lot, depending on how well you market yourself). Those were not things I foresaw down the pipeline when I started. To an extent, they are very alluring–and they’re of course, very much welcome, but to be blunt, I blogged out of passion (not to mention, I hate drawing attention to myself because I’m your resident awkward turtle) and so this halo effect that I did not outright expect despite being a supposed “marketer”, turned out to be the heart and core as to why people wanted to become bloggers.
Before you get up on my ass for sounding self-righteous, don’t get me wrong, this is precisely why I established my day job from the onset so you get a better appreciation of my insights. I personally don’t see anything wrong with monetizing blogs and leveraging on becoming #instafamous–I may sound like I’m mocking people but get over it, this is how I talk. I get it 100 percent. I support it and I am not wholly against it. Blogging has slowly creeped up as a somewhat almost legitimate form of micro-business and it can be very lucrative when done right (and this encompasses in whatever industry). Though it is not and will never be my practice (mostly because it is so time-consuming and I really can’t commit to blogging full-time because this isn’t really part of my ambitions, and blogging has always been sort-of dispensable for me), I do have respect for those who make it into their bread and butter–the amount, the time, and the effort they invest for something that seems to be so ephemeral is quite ballsy. No, I’m not being sarcastic.
So for the newbies out there, who want to get into the industry as a career path: Mazel Tov. If you want to balance it with another occupation then hats off to you as well–you’re a Wonderwoman (and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise). My nugget of advice is that, yes, there are a lot of blackhat tactics to becoming #instafamous–this has been a hot issue lately with fake followers, likes, and hashtagging. I empathize with the desire for wanting to have a lot of likes–I get quite addicted to hashtagging as well, if only because I’m a narcissistic cow and I want validation that “I’m like totes pretty.” But please, somewhere at the back of your head, please listen to the voice telling you that there is more to that. Don’t let it consume you and don’t let it give you ammunition to act haughty and high-strung.
For brands and agencies, I’m sure we’re all aware that a lot of tools and small-time marketing sites offer services to accounts that make them get instant traction in less than 24 hours. It’s not rocket science. I know there are a lot of ways you can employ to drive people to site or to advertise your brand. I also happen to know that some bloggers (or their parents/handlers/family members) email you from time to time asking for a gig or revising their ratecards every month when their following grows somewhat dubiously. My suggestion is to be more vigilant. Yes, it’s quite easy to just tell your client, “she has a lot of followers so we can invest X amount of money on her” but do your due diligence and research. There is such a thing as “affinity buys” and I’ve always been an advocate of promoting people with niche markets… whatever can address your client’s objectives.
But in the end, don’t forget about the other humble pioneers, who blog because it is their passion. They paved the way for the industry and they’ve helped shape it to the way it is. Respect them. Thank them. Most importantly, patronise them because these are the people you would go back to again because they are every ounce credible. And no, I don’t mean me. I know other bloggers who’ve been in the industry for 8 – 10 years already and these people know their shit. If you’re new, take cues from them. Like a lot of art-forms, blogging is a continuous learning process and to this day, I’m still learning a lot. It will be beneficial if you want to be a blogger or if your work entails bloggers in general.
ETA: For those insecure anonymous bitches who won’t so much as leave an identity behind their names and who are obviously below the required IQ to understand self-deprecation and good writing, please get off your high horse and talk to me once you get my level before digging old issues. Before giving your two cents, understand the context. Likewise, don’t take it too hard, I wasn’t referring to anyone, I was referring to the industry as a whole and not even in a bad way. If you have negative thoughts based on your assumption then that’s on you, not me. Otherwise, when you get the courage to put a face and a name, I’ll grant you an interview so you can do your tell-all revelations. In fact, I can have JL guest star so you can actually create a legitimate, well-thought out article instead of becoming another D-List. All else, get over it missy, not everyone wants to be famous and some of us can actually afford to not be famous. Like I said, and I feel like this is a point you’ve sorely missed, there is more to life than just likes and fame. They are, by all means, welcome and nice, and I am genuinely happy for those who have achieved such and are living their dreams, but if you want to chase your dreams of fame then good for you, but leave me out of it and out of your narrow and pathetic mindset. I’d hate for you to think that we have the same priorities when we clearly have different directions and mental capacities to come up with a variety of realizations (mine are honest, yours are baseless). From my Birkin to your orthodontically-challenged teeth and anonymous pimply face, you’re welcome! Keep on hating! Your hate won’t make me any less happier, and I’m certain my existence on earth won’t make you a better person.
Signing off and leaving everyone, an outfit from my legit work.
Also, I know a lot of people are asking me on what I do with my hair. I actually use a triple barrel curler that acts like a crimper only it creates waves instead of erm, frizz. I got mine sent to me by @shyshopii (and they have a lot of other knick-knacks) and I absolutely love it. Get your own affordable one at Shy Shop! And yes, this might seem like such a hard-sell promotion but I swear to God, I can’t get over how amazing this mechanism is. If I can wear this hair forever, I will! It’s that amazing.