Lights, Camera, Fashion!

One of the most difficult aspects of being an influencer is making it look effortless. But behind the scenes there are hours of contract signing, coordinating with other bloggers and photographers, and angling to land the next opportunity. How do all the pieces come together, and if you’re wanting to enter that sphere, where do you even start?

The Gossip & Glamour Style Summit will be your holy grail of answers. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Sunday at the W Bellevue, a panel of bloggers and fashion experts will detail their journey to success, forecast marketing trends, brand building, and how the digital landscape has transformed the industry. Founder of Gossip & Glamour Sydney Mintle created Style Summit three years ago to help build the Seattle and Eastside blogging community, and bring people out from behind their screens to meet and collaborate in person.

We caught up with a handful of the panelists for a sneak peek into some of what they’ll discuss at the Style Summit.

Responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.

Photo Courtesy of Tiffany Ishiguro

Tiffany Ishiguro, Fashion and Beauty Blogger


What’s your style? 

I’m very girly — pink, ruffles, lace — but in a modern classic kind of way.  I always incorporate a little bit of fun and girliness into classic pieces. I am a big believer in spending money on a few investment pieces that will last you forever. I’m also a mom of a preschooler, so I also try to be practical, but I will never give up my heels!

Fashion blogging has been hugely amplified by social media. If you’re just starting out, how do you build a following?

With any business you are starting, networking is key. Find bloggers in your same niche.  Partner together on fun things like giveaways, photo shoots, blog posts, etc., so that you are continuing to open up your network to other people and vice versa.  Go to events and talk to people!  I find that as bloggers you get used to talking to people online only.  There’s nothing like making a connection in person. I’ve formed many great personal and business relationships by going to events and talking to people and getting to know them.

To many, this probably seems really glamorous, but what challenges come with being a fashion blogger?

Bloggers are running small businesses.  Taking photos and wearing cute outfits is just a small part of it.  I spend a big part of my time reading contracts, negotiating, managing deadlines and campaigns, which definitely isn’t glamorous! If you are a full-time blogger, your income is 100 percent dependent on your own brand, which means that you are always hustling, always looking out for the next partnership, trying to decide how much to charge, who to work with, and managing your schedule so that you aren’t constantly working all the time.

What’s your favorite item in your closet right now?

(This is) probably because we are in the middle of winter right now, but I have a pink fur hood coat from my clothing line, T&J Designs, that is my go-to.  Not only is it so warm, it’s one of my favorite designs, and I get compliments on it wherever I go!

Brittany Hicks, Buyer at Amazon Fashion


As an Amazon buyer, what makes you stop and say, we have to sell this on the site?

“I’m not authorized to speak on behalf of Amazon Fashion, but in my career as a buyer, I’ve developed a point of view through time and experience. That point of view, is of course, heavily influenced by my day-to-day life, including social media and online marketing. The difference I’ve found in my role with Amazon is that we rely heavily on brands to direct trend and help us curate because we are customer obsessed and want to be sure we have what customers want, which is very different from the traditional store environment — which is typically a more narrow point of view and specific to one type of customer.”

Photo Courtesy of Chelsea Lankford

Chelsea Lankford, Style and Travel Blogger


What’s your style?

I try not to take myself too seriously, while keeping it classic and comfortable. I keep an eye on trends, but it usually takes me awhile to get on board with most of them. It’s a pretty even mix between feminine and masculine — I can do a ruffled shirt with trousers and an ankle bootie, but you’ll never find me in a dress!

Where do you find style inspiration?

I love movies and TV, and I often find myself recreating looks worn by my heroes on the screen:  Meg Ryan, Blake Lively, Hilary Duff, and Sarah Jessica Parker have all played characters that inspired both my life and wardrobe. Other times, it will be a pretty book cover or a band I’ve been jamming to. I always try to keep an open mind.

Fashion blogging has been hugely amplified by social media. If you’re just starting out, how do you build a following?

Always communicate with the folks who are already following you. Communication = community. Don’t underestimate the use of hashtags, and don’t be afraid to sell yourself in person! I always take business cards around with me, and the opportunity to tell someone about my blog almost always presents itself.

If you could impart one piece of fashion advice to women, what would it be?

Don’t hesitate to tell someone else you love their sweater, or their handbag, or their outfit when you’re admiring from afar. The fashion community should be just that — a community, and a supportive one at that. You never know when you could make someone’s day.

Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Meyer

Stephanie Meyer, Lead Stylist at Armoire


How would you sum up Seattle style?

Being from Indiana, Seattle style is much more fashion forward than back home, which I love, because it’s inclusive of all! I would describe it as street style meets casual outdoorsy. Since you’re pretty much always having to take into account the weather elements, layers are key. Also, my take is that most seem to dress like the weather. I have always worn a lot of color, and here, most people wear a mix of muted neutrals, which I really like, but don’t have a lot of myself. Overall, the biggest thing I’ve learned about Seattle style is that it’s casual all the way from desk to disco.


Photo Courtesy of Aika Yokoyama

Aika Yokoyama, Fashion Blogger


Fashion blogging has been hugely amplified by social media. If you’re just starting out, how do you build a following?

Use hashtags effectively — don’t just use the bigger hashtag. If you are a small account and don’t get as many likes, your pictures are potentially hidden. Find your aesthetic for your feed – color theme, editing styles, and what make you stand out from other bloggers/Instagrammers. Develop your own unique yet noticeable visual style. Nowadays, I’ve seen so many accounts that have similar filters and color theme flooded and it kinda bothers me, to be honest. For long term, don’t get caught up imitating other accounts.

What’s the key to being successful at this and making it into a profitable job?

Don’t expect that your follower count to skyrocket overnight. It takes a while and don’t feel overwhelmed by it. As you are focusing on making a solid feed and account, you will eventually and definitely be found by brands that love and appreciate your aesthetic.

If you could impart one piece of fashion advice to women, what would it be?

Try something new each season that you’ve been wanting to try but didn’t have courage to wear. It’s fun and so refreshing to find a new you through fashion! This month, I’ve finally tried a pair of flare cropped jeans that I’ve always wanted to try and I felt so good to break out of my comfort zone!!

What’s your favorite item in your closet right now?

Definitely a baker boy hat/captain’s cap in white! It completes my entire look and takes it to the next level. I’m thinking about getting a red one for spring.

Photo Courtesy of Sabrina Tan

Sabrina Tan, Lifestyle and Fashion Blogger


What’s your style?

I try to have a very down-to-earth approach when it comes to life and my style. I would say my style is boho-chic with an edgy twist. I love comfy and chic clothes!

Fashion blogging has been hugely amplified by social media. If you’re just starting out, how do you build a following?

Honestly, that’s the hardest question to answer. The game is ever changing. Engaging is key but so is creating good content. You want to create an account that people want to follow to learn from and continue to come back to.

What’s the key to being successful at this and making it into a profitable job?

It is a creative world we are in, but it is also important to be business savvy in order to make it a profitable job. I know lots of people with a great following and engagement who still don’t make a living doing it. Be a go-getter. Jobs aren’t just going to come to you. You have to pitch to brands, PR companies, etc. Be ready to work 60-plus hours a week or more. Don’t go into the blogging world for the wrong reasons (i.e. just for free stuff or money). Also, it’s important to find your niche and have a voice. With so much fakeness in the social media world, people yearn for authenticity.

 If you could impart one piece of fashion advice to women, what would it be?

Accessories are almost always forgotten but it’s the little details that make the outfit uniquely you!

is an assistant editor at 425 magazine. Email her.
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