Reflecting on the past can be an important part of moving forward. I often choose to end each year looking back at what has transpired and what I’ve accomplished. When a portion of your life is documented online – through social media or a blog – it’s easy to travel back in time through the past 365 days. Sometimes this is a blessing and a curse. There’s a point at which spending too much time on the past can hinder our journey into the future. There’s such a fine line between constructive and detrimental reflection on the past.
For me, the past year – my first year of freelancing and blogging full-time – has been a lot of learning what not to do. I’ve made a number of poor decisions as I’ve taken total and complete control of carving and shaping my career. While I know it’s all part of the learning process, it’s easy to fall into the trap of looking back with a negative mindset – the could-have, would-have, should-have mindset. Of course there are many, many things I could have, would have, should have done differently. The key to reflecting on these moments in a productive way is to acknowledge and examine what can be learned from them as I head into a new year and fresh start.
Whether it be self-imposed or a force from the universe, there’s a lot of pressure on year two of freelancing and blogging from New York City. So, I’m spending the last day of 2014 focusing on my energy – mental, physical, emotional energy – and reflecting on 2014. As cheesy as it sounds, I have this intuition that this is my year. It’s scary to proclaim in writing on such a public forum, but perhaps this is my first step in telling the universe I’m ready!
W I N T E R
S P R I N G
S U M M E R
7. Blogger Bazaar Milwaukee
8. Midwest Style Blogger Happy Hour
10. My Best Friend’s Wedding
13. Just Knotted ARTicles of Clothing Blog Bands
F A L L
24. Birthday in NYC with blogger GaBrielle Pedriani of Look Sharp, Sconnie
One year ago today I launched ARTicles of Clothing Blog. I can’t believe it.
A successful one-woman business is a myth. If I’ve learned one vital thing over the past year, it’s that you can’t do anything alone. As a blogger and freelancer, most days it’s just you and your computer. It can feel lonely and isolating, but it doesn’t have to be. It shouldn’t be. The minute I started connecting with others, particularly fellow artists, entrepreneurs, and creative spirits, my work improved drastically. I could not have pressed forward day after day and continued to compose this blog without the support and contribution of many, and to those invaluable people, I want to say THANK YOU and CHEERS TO YOU!
Thank you to…
I met Jessica at a seminar at AmericasMart in January 2013. She was the first style blogger I connected with, and over coffee she told me one of the most important things an aspiring blogger can hear – you just need to sit down, and do it!
Angie Webb, Suburbanite Photography
Angie started a blog in college, and through it, I grew to know and love her. In the spring of 2013, Angie and I sat down over dinner to catch up and discuss my desire to establish my own blog. She gave me a great deal of advice and encouragement and, most importantly, a branding questionnaire that was vital to my creation of AOC. Since then, she has contributed to AOC as my primary photographer and an avid supporter.
Over the years Denise has had many roles in my life – dance teacher, Pilates instructor, mentor, friend. Since venturing out as a freelancer and blogger, she has taught me about being an entrepreneur, helped me make meaningful connections in my industry, and always been there at the right time with a piece of advice, encouraging word, or relevant music video.
Erica Bryan, Singer/Songwriter
When Erica reached out to me about working with her as a stylist, I could never have imagined what an impact she would have on me and my career. From the moment we partnered together, Erica became my advocate. I truly believe Erica and I are kindred spirits, placed in each others’ lives at this point in time for a specific purpose. Erica’s passion is contagious, and I’m continually inspired by her enthusiasm and commitment to her artistry.
Catie has been my hair stylist for the past five years and over that time has become a close friend. Earlier this year, Catie connected me to her longtime friend, Nikki, owner of an upscale boutique, Encore. I partnered with Encore for the first time for a feature on their spring 2014 look book, and since then, Nikki has continued to be a dedicated supporter of AOC.
Tova Gelfond and the Eide Team, Eide Magazine
For years I’ve admired Eide for their dedication to narrative voice and carefully curated aesthetic. In June, they reached out to me about reviewing their summer issue, and I had the opportunity to interview the magazine’s founder, CEO, and Editor-in-Chief, Tova Gelfond. Speaking with and learning from Tova and working with Eide is an undeniable milestone in my career and highlight of year one of AOC.
Jocelyn Negron, Must Love Sparkle
Jocelyn is the founder of Must Love Sparkle, a jewelry destination characterized by a unique aesthetic, exceptional quality, and attainable prices. She has a keen eye for buying and her own collection has a stunning design. Jocelyn has contributed jewelry for a personal photo shoot and for styling singer/songwriter Erica Bryan. Throughout our partnerships, Jocelyn has been a meaningful advocate AOC.
GaBrielle Pedriani, Look Sharp, Sconnie
GaBrielle was the first blogger I connected with in the Midwest. After visiting her blog, my perception of personal style bloggers completely shifted. Gabby defies the typical personal style blogger aesthetic ,and she’s a skilled writer. Although I only got to know her for a short time before she relocated to NYC, Gabby made a profound impact on me as a blogger and my Midwestern fashion experience.
Pamela Wilson, Iona
Pamela has been key influence in my Midwestern fashion journey. Upon meeting Pamela at a fashion event, she immediately welcomed me into the local fashion community. I’ve learned a great deal from her approach to fashion and entrepreneurship, and I’ve made some invaluable connections through events hosted at her boutique.
Amsterdam Station, Alternative Rock Band
Amsterdam Station approached me this summer while in the process of re-branding. As part of creating their new look, they enlisted me as a stylist. The band has an invigorating energy that translated into our work together. Amsterdam Station not only furthered my styling career but also broke me into the world of styling men.
Sonali Prabhu, So Narly
I connected with Sonali through mutual friends and was immediately impressed by her social media presence and following. Sonali is wise beyond her years and, in my opinion, represents the future of social media. She’s innovative, committed to her brand, and confident yet humble. While composing my first YouTube video, Sonali was a take charge director and brought a fun energy to the shoot.
Ryan Pernice and Micki Kimberly, Osteria Mattone
Ryan and I went to high school together, and he’s now the owner of two successful restaurants in our hometown. I had the opportunity to do a photo shoot on location at his Italian restaurant, Osteria Mattone. A portion of the shoot was dedicated to today’s celebration, AOC’s one year birthday. Pastry chef and personal friend, Micki, composed a special dessert for the occasion: Budino Caramellato with Fior di Latte Gelato (yes, we ate it after the shoot, and yes, it was as good as it looks and sounds).
Midwest Style Bloggers, Community
I’ve connected with a number of the founders and members of the Midwest Style Bloggers at various events. They have welcomed me into the Midwest fashion community and have been invaluable to the growth of AOC.
My friends, family, and the AOC Blog Focus Group
Despite the fact that most of my friends and family are far more traditional and practical than I am, they have offered me unlimited love and support over the past year. I could not have launched this blog and continued to grow and improve it without the feedback of my Focus Group. I want to express my particular appreciation for the following people: My boyfriend, who has no interest in fashion whatsoever but has never failed to listen, lend a hand, or provide a second opinion; My mom, who has fueled my creativity from a young age by enrolling me in my first dance classes, buying me countless notebooks, and exposing me to art in various forms; My Kitty Kat, for serving as my co-stylist on my first photo shoot; and My Boo, for setting the foundation for my reader spotlight series.
YOU, My Readers
I only make up 50% of this blog, the other 50% is YOU, my readers. Without your loyal readership, this blog would just be words and images floating around cyberspace. ARTicles of Clothing blog is both by you and for you.
CHEERS TO YOU ALL!
“Every single one of our stories better be worthy of a dinner party conversation. If it’s not, then we didn’t do our job correctly. I think that’s what sets us apart and what has made Eide successful in such a short amount of time. “
World Culture and Southern Style
As part of my exploration of Eide’s summer issue, I had the opportunity to sit down with the magazine’s founder, CEO, and Editor-in-Chief Tova Gelfond for an exclusive look into the creative process that goes into each issue. Tova’s candor and enthusiasm about Eide allowed our meeting to evolve from an interview to an easy dialog among two writers who share a mutual appreciation for world culture and southern style.
Each Story Has to be Timeless
First, I wanted to learn how a typical issue of Eide is composed, specifically how the concepts of the issues, like adventure, are crafted. Tova explained that one of Eide’s goals is to “keep the readers learning and guessing.” After exploring the Adventure Issue, I believe this is one of Eide’s key strengths – the ability to dispel preconceived notions about a topic and shift the perception of a particular subject matter. Unlike the average periodical, at Eide, “each story [also] has to be timeless.” “You could pick up [an issue] in a year and the stories would still be relevant.” This element of timelessness is how Eide creates a publication that makes a lasting impression on its readers.
What Makes a News Source Valuable?
In a digital world where people are constantly craving instantaneous, up to date information, I wondered how a young periodical finds success. How are Eide’s readers unique if they’re coming to a periodical with an element of timelessness? To answer this question, Tova posed another: “what makes a news source valuable?” Decades ago, a source’s reputation was based on “who broke the story first.” Now, a source’s significance is based on whether you value and trust that source. Tova went on to say that she believes this shift not only accounts for Eide’s rapport with its readers but also accounts for the growth of the blogging community. As a blogger, this affirmed that it’s not only the content but also my unique writing style, tone, and voice that help to build connections with my readers.
The Voice of Fashion in the South
Part of Eide’s mission is to craft an “enlightened narrative” with each issue. An essential part of a narrative is, of course, the narrator. Tova acknowledged that Eide’s voice has been cultivated over time with the contribution of different perspectives from different writers. However, she believes that one of the biggest successes of the publication is that it’s the only magazine showcasing Southern fashion from a Southern perspective. Eide is emerging as the voice of fashion in the South. Tova’s words hit home. I was born and raised in Atlanta, and my first fashion influences originated in the South. Now that I’ve moved to a different region, I’ve realized how much my style reflects Southern culture and noticed how others infuse Southern fashion into their own style. Tova noted that in recent years “the stylish aesthetic of the South [has been] reigning in a lot of ways.” This is part of makes Eide, a national publication with Southern roots, so exciting.
If Part II of my exploration of Eide’s summer issue has left you craving more, you can read the digital editions of past and present issues online or purchase the print editions at Barnes & Noble locations nationwide and at select Whole Foods stores and specialty boutiques in the Southeast.
AN INTRODUCTION TO EIDE MAGAZINE and THE ADVENTURE ISSUE
As someone who prefers short stories to novels, Eide is the ideal publication. Each “article” or story is like a tapas plate: easy to digest yet leaves you hungry for more. When you think of adventure, what comes to mind? A cross country road trip? Backpacking through Europe? The idea of adventure initially sparks the notion of a grandiose journey, but Eide’s Summer 2014 issue, The Adventure Issue, reminds us that “thrill-seeking isn’t relegated to the lily pads of Taiwan, architecture of Prague or tranquil beaches of Mexico, it’s found right outside your carport or bus stop.“
Each issue of Eide starts with a concept, like adventure, and “stretches that concept as far as it can,” according to founder, CEO, and Editor-in-Chief Tova Gelfond. In this issue, Eide challenges us to shift our perception of what constitutes an adventure. While a “self-imposed scavenger hunt” in Panama and a photographic journey through the mountains of Peru are part of Eide’s Adventure Issue, these more traditional adventures are nestled between a guide to foraging and an expose on glamping. In Eide you’ll find something for everyone – the food connoisseur, the fashion lover, the thrill-seeker – so if you’re not keen on adventure in the conventional sense, skip the story on skydiving and turn the page to the feature on athletic fashion and the Atlanta Ballet’s Thom Panto and Ben Stone. “Some people are just hardwired to crave the feeling that danger provides” and others aren’t, according to the magazine’s piece on calculated risk. However, after exploring The Adventure Issue, you may realize you’re more daring that you thought.
In nearly all aspects of my personality, I consider myself dichotomous. I can be introverted or extroverted depending on the situation I’m in, the people I’m with, or my general mood at the moment. But when it comes to adventure in the traditional sense, my response aligns with the introverts: “University of Amsterdam researchers determined that extroverted people have an enhanced sensitivity to rewards based on how their brains react to dopamine. When compared to introverted personality types, extroverts had intensified responses when their risks resulted in rewards…” Before reading The Adventure Issue, I considered myself a somewhat unadventurous person – I don’t like heights, I’ve barely traveled abroad, I rarely throw caution to the wind and do something spontaneous – and I’ve always found myself envying those who are conventionally audacious. I may never be the overtly thrill-seeking type, but this issue of Eide taught me there’s an adventurer in all of us, even me.
I can honestly say that each and every story in the Summer 2014 issue resonated with me in some way, but there are two in particular that really spoke to my brand of adventure. The first of which is a story I feel many women can connect to, particularly twenty-something women like myself who “tread the line between adolescent and adult.” In the story Seeing Red, Senior Editor Jaime Lin Weinstein takes us on her adventure of “rebelling against growing up.. [and] dying [her] hair red. Not auburn red. Or strawberry-blonde red. But red, red. Shock value red.” Jaime and all women know “the inexplicable importance these strands hold within the female psyche.” I’ve never changed my hair dramatically with color, but at a monumental turning point in my youth, I chopped off a good eight or so inches of my long locks and traded them in for a short bob. I’d never thought of this particular experience as an adventure, but when I take myself back to that moment in the salon – “blood pressure [increasing], heart pounding” – I realize my haircut was an adventure after all.
The second story that spoke to my newly discovered adventuresome side is Beautiful Bacteria, also by Jaime Lin Weinstein. This piece appeals to my dichotomous nature. I’m both a scientist and artist at heart, and the prospect of “clothing crafted from microbes” makes my heart flutter with excitement – and there it is again – that sensation – an adventure is about to ensue. “A new breed of textiles” made from bacteria is not only an incredibly exciting advancement for the fashion industry but also an encouraging step toward diminishing “our wasteful wearing ways” and making fashion more sustainable. “In the future, we might compost our wardrobes and grow something new, or, at the very least, return them to the store for recycling,” according to fashion visionary Suzanne Lee, founder of BioCouture and former research fellow at the School of Fashion & Textiles at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design. Although “it’s not quite ‘ready to wear’… bio-manufactured materials could be making their debut in clothing stores in the next two or three years.” This sounds like the cusp of an adventure that has barely begun, and I cannot wait to continue to tag along for the ride.
Whether you’re the type who salivates at the thought of introducing a new flavor to your palate or the type who burns with desire to be the founding member of a roller derby league in your hometown, Eide’s Summer 2014 Issue connects you to all breeds of adventurers. The take away from the issue – at least my take away – is that adventure is all around us and life itself is one great adventure.
If this exploration of Eide’s Summer 2014 issue has left you craving more, you can read the digital edition online or purchase the print edition at Barnes & Noble locations nationwide and select Whole Foods stores and specialty boutiques in the Southeast. Then, stay tuned for Exploring The Adventure Issue – Part II in which I sit down with founder, CEO, and Editor-in-Chief Tova Gelfond for an exclusive interview about the creative process that goes into each issue of Eide and how Eide is emerging as the voice of fashion in the South.
Pool and beach weather is so close we can taste it. For some of you who are teachers or in school, you might be gearing up for spring break. Magazines are perfect for poolside reading, and they’re ultra beach-friendly too. Before you head to the store and blow $20 on magazines that ultimately underwhelm, take some advice from a self-proclaimed magazine junkie.
Print may be a declining industry, but I’m still a magazine connoisseur. Call me old school, but there’s just something about turning those pages or tearing them out to add them to my IRL Pinterest board a la Shoshanna’s manifestation board in HBO’s Girls, Season 1. I also can’t resist a magazine with a captivating cover and seem to have developed a bad habit of keeping the ones I can’t part with and stacking them in piles so high they turn into makeshift end tables. Maybe I’ll single handedly keep the magazine industry alive with my obsession, or I could attempt to rope others into my strange addiction. So, I come to you today to try to get you on board the magazine train by sharing my top 5 fashion magazines.
You may think I’m going to feature typical fashion magazines: Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Lucky. I do buy conventional fashion magazines from time to time if there’s a particular cover story that catches my eye or there’s an interesting feature I want to read, but for the most part I head for the other fashion magazines. If you’re typically not the biggest fan of fashion magazines, maybe the mainstream ones aren’t for you, and you should give some of these others a try. It might just renew your love for fashion magazines!
What I’m Wearing:
Dress: Rebecca Taylor
Rings: Vintage and Gorjana
Bracelet: By Boe
Shoes: Stuart Weitzman
Makeup: Bobbi Brown, Lancome, and Marc Jacobs
Hair: Bumble & Bumble and Moroccan Oil
InStyle is my favorite popular fashion magazine. It has a little something for everyone with attainable looks for the every-girl and some high end pieces for the serious fashionistas. InStyle also has a nice variety of articles in addition to the fashion-focused ones from in-depth celebrity features to home, beauty, and health. I may be partial because I’m a huge Diane Von Furstenberg fan, but my favorite monthly column in the magazine is DVF’s “Ask a Designer.”
I rekindled my love for Allure last year. I couldn’t resist the December 2013 issue featuring Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen on the covers. Allure is arguably more of a beauty magazine than a fashion magazine, but let’s face it (no pun intended), beauty is a big part of fashion, and there are still true fashion elements woven in. The magazine is best know for its “Best of Beauty” awards each October. We all know beauty products are a necessary evil, and we all know how expensive they can be, so this is a great go-to magazine for the best beauty hacks.
Nylon is one of the more mainstream of the indie fashion magazines. Because the magazine is relatively new by comparison to other longstanding fashion magazines, it’s a bit more youthful and cutting edge. In addition to fashion, Nylon also focuses on pop culture, design, technology, music, and the hottest up and coming stars. Nylon also spans beyond the pages of the magazine. They have their own online shop, which is filled with tons of unique and quirky clothing, shoes, accessories, beauty products, and home goods.
I may be partial to Eide because it hails from my hometown in the south – ATL represent! However, this national magazine takes a highly artistic approach to life and style. One of the cornerstones of the magazine is creating a cohesive narrative in each seasonal issue. Eide also places a heavy focus on aesthetics. Because the magazine only produces four issues per year, it’s essential that Eide carefully curates each issue with rich content and extreme attention to detail. Like Nylon, Eide also extends beyond the pages of the magazine with an online shop.
1. W Magazine
My all time favorite fashion publication is W Magazine. To me, each issue is a work of art, which is why I can’t bear to throw away a single copy I purchase. W is arguably a high fashion magazine, therefore most of its content is highly unattainable for every-girls like me. However, I just can’t tear my eyes away from the stunning photographs and carefully composed features. I draw tons of creative inspiration from this magazine. Whether you’re a photographer, illustrator, makeup artist, hairdresser, stylist, or just a die-hard fashionista, your creative juices will start flowing like crazy as you turn each page. If you truly have a fascination with the fashion industry, W is the magazine for you.