Calling all fashion bloggers! Birmingham Fashion Week 2014 kicks off Saturday, April 19. If you’d like to apply for a media pass to cover this year’s events, you’d better hurry. The deadline for media registration is April 1. Don’t be daunted by the word “media.” You don’t need to be a reporter for a major magazine or newspaper to be considered. The organizers of BFW show plenty of love to independent fashion bloggers too. They’re looking for blogging who consistently post relevant and timely fashion stories and bloggers who are very active on social media.Bloggers who provide pre-event coverage and those who provided significant coverage of last year’s event will be given priority. If you don’t snag a media pass you can still cover Birmingham Fashion Week without breaking the bank. Simply attend the event(s) best suited to the theme of your blog. If your blog focuses on local style then you don’t want to miss Grassroots: A Local Fashion Evolution. This event, set for Tuesday, April 22, will feature local emerging designers vying for the title as emerging designer of the year. This event will also include designs by Elizabeth Singleton, last year’s emerging designer winner. The local vintage lifestyle brand Harold & MOD will be featured as well. If your blog covers both fashion and fitness then Lifestyle: Mind, Body, and Soul is the event for you. Set for Wednesday, April 23, this event will feature fashions from Pure Barre, Mountain High Outfitters, and lululemon athletica.
UPDATE: Congratulations to Laura Tucker Gallitz and Hilary Weston! They won the two pairs of tickets to this event. Have fun, ladies! *** Local author Liza Elliott is on a mission to get you ready for your next vacation. Not only is her novel 30-A Supper Club a great beach read, but next week she’s hosting a beach-
themed fashion show. Girls Night Out: Operation Beach Ready will feature food and fashions from local vendors and the Birmingham Fashion Truck is set to be on the scene too. The first 100 guests will receive free swag bags that include a copy of Elliott’s novel.
30-A Supper Club (Red Camel Press), follows sociologist Harley McBride on her quest to identify a gold coin she finds on a Florida beach near County Road 30-A. McBride’s search leads her into a murky world where her longtime friends and members of the 30-A Supper Club protect deep family secrets dating back to the Civil War. A complicated pursuit of the true meaning of the coin begins drawing Harley into secrets about illicit affairs, murders, and more. Girls Night Out: Operation Beach Ready is to be held 6-10 p.m. Thursday, June 13 at The Summit Club, located at 1901 6th Ave. N. in Birmingham. Tickets are $30 and proceeds from the event will benefit Glenwood Autism & Behavioral Health Center. See Jane Write is giving away two pairs of tickets to this event. You can enter below!
Look out Tavi Gevinson! Birmingham may have its own teen prodigy in the world of fashion blogging. Abby Hathorn started her website Vintage Inspired Passionista about a year ago when she was only 16.
“I wanted to show that teenage girls did not have to be sixteen and pregnant, but sixteen and successful,” Hathorn said.
Hathorn not only blogs but also works part-time as a stylist for Mississippi-based Town and Gown Magazine and writes for Real Story Publishing.
“Juggling my blog, writing for Real Story Publishing, styling for Town and Gown Magazine, and finding time in the day to homeschool is quite a challenging task, but thanks to my iPhone and Claire Massy at Town and Gown Magazine and Joseph St. John at Real Story Publishing, I am able to find time in the day to do what I love-fashion and writing,” Abby says. “It is great to be able to collaborate with them via text and email. I am originally from Mississippi and have family and friends close to Starkville and Columbus which allows me to travel there as often as I am needed.”
This past week Abby was busy covering Birmingham Fashion Week, but she still made time to chat with See Jane Write about blogging and the Birmingham fashion scene.
Abby at the BFW 2013 Kick Off Party
How did you put together the outfit you wore to the Birmingham Fashion Week 2013 Kick Off Party?
I love mixing patterns! When I spotted the printed dress and chevron cardigan at Banana Republic, I knew they were meant to be in my closet! I felt the basic navy needed a pop of color, so I sported my favorite pair of Michael Kors heels with it. I adore handmade jewelry and Etsy so I topped off my BFW 2013 Kick Off Party ensemble with handmade earrings by Rachel Leathers (of Hearts of Stone Jewelry) and a luscious stone ring by Lisa Hamilton (of Beadsoul).
Why do you think it’s good for Birmingham to have an event like Birmingham Fashion Week?
Events such as Birmingham Fashion Week help to boost tourism and draw attention to the area’s awesome attractions, shops, and dining. It brings attention to and supports nonprofit foundations like Alabama Forever and Camp Smile-A-Mile. It also shows off the South’s fashionable talents! And what shopaholic doesn’t love a preview of spring fashions?
Why do you think it is important for local bloggers to cover Birmingham Fashion Week and how can they do it in a way that will fully engage their readers?
It is a fantastic and fashionable way to support the community! Easy ways to fully engage readers during events like BFW is with photos and interviews. Readers love to be involved, so ask them which design/event was their favorite.
How did you get interested in fashion?
My fascination with fashion began at a young age. I was always playing dress up in my mom’s closet! Well, I suppose, I still play dress up.
What was the inspiration behind the name of your blog?
I am inspired by all things vintage! Vintage clothes, music, movies, and cars! There is nothing better than putting on a vintage Frank Sinatra record while brainstorming about blog ideas.
How did you get your gig with Town and Gown Magazine? How do you manage to work for them while living in Birmingham?
Claire Massey, the editor of Town and Gown Magazine, discovered and contacted me to do a fashion article for the November 2012 issue. Since that article, I have been working as a stylist for Town and Gown Magazine.
Town and Gown is a wonderful publication with which to work! Claire Massey, the editor, and Divian Conner, the photographer, make planning and conducting photo shoots easy.
What tips would you give to bloggers (not only fashion bloggers) looking to build their brand and a community?
Social media promotion is key! Create a Facebook Like Page, Twitter, and Instagram page for your blog to draw in your readers, and be sure to post often, but not overwhelmingly. Early on in my blog, I decided that I needed a logo that not only represented the VIP, but also was catchy! Thanks to Amy Shaw for creating a fabulous logo for me. Another super easy way to grow a blogging brand is with business cards. I always have lots of business cards with me, and I hand them out everywhere I shop, eat, and hangout.
Alexis Barton Photo by Lynsey Weatherspoon of Lynsey Weatherspoon Photography
If you need advice on how to put together an outfit, you can’t go wrong going to fashion blogger Alexis Barton of Same Chic Different Day for help. Earlier this year Birmingham Magazine selected her as one of the city’s most beautiful people and in 2010 she was a finalist in the Birmingham Belle contest sponsored by the online magazine MyScoop.
For those of you who live in Birmingham, Barton is teaming up with Birmingham Magazine and the Birmingham Public Library to offer free holiday fashion advice. The event is called Fashion Friday and will be held this Friday, Dec. 7, at noon in the Arrington Auditorium of the Central branch of the Birmingham Public Library, 2100 Park Place. Expect to learn how to take your office attire from day to night and how to look great without breaking the bank. And you can finally learn the difference between cocktail, creative black tie and dressy casual.
Barton, however, is a good person to turn to for blogging tips, too. Her blog has only been around for 15 months and already has had the honor of being a finalist for best blog in Birmingham Magazine’s annual Best of Birmingham contest. Barton was also once recognized as a top blogger for Skirt magazine.
I had a chat with Barton recently about her upcoming event and her blogging success.
How did you come up with the idea to partner with the library and Birmingham Magazine to have this event?
It was actually the library’s idea; Chanda Temple, BPL’s Director of Public Relations, invited me to participate. I love reading. My first job was in a library. And I enjoy visiting the downtown branch frequently so I was happy to help.
What’s the biggest mistake you see people making when it comes to their holiday fashion choices?
The biggest mistake people make in general when choosing what to wear is overthinking it. It can make a person talk herself into wearing something she should leave on the hanger.
What inspired you to start a fashion blog?
I needed a project to keep myself busy last summer, and decided to create an opportunity to use my creative writing and social media skills. Most writers are advised to “write what you know,” and since I’ve been shopping forever and enjoy putting outfits together, I thought writing about style would be a natural fit.
With so many fashion blogs around, what do you do to stand out?
I really don’t do anything in particular or intentionally to stand out. If anything, I think people connect with my “voice” and writing style.
Your blog seems to have become pretty popular in a short time. How did you spread the word and build a following?
Honestly, it has spread through word of mouth. When I began the blog, I really only thought my mother, sister-in-law and friends would read it; that it has caught on with others is a pleasant and welcome surprise.
Do you have any advice for other bloggers out there hoping to make a name for themselves?
Yes: don’t focus on “making a name.” If you focus on putting in the work necessary to make your product or your blog the best it can be, people will notice.