Fashion over the years has trickled down from its high towers to the streets. Today, a fashionable person is someone who can mix items from flea markets and couture shows with equal verve, as opposed to even a decade ago when wearing something from the latest collection was considered high form. The shift to digitisation and DIY culture has made it very easy for young and talented fashion enthusiasts to put out their opinions and show the world how to dress in a unique way with the help of fashion blogs. What started out as a creative outlet has now become quite an industry and it does not require anything but a hardworking and dedicated mind to make it a success. Rasna Bhasin of RasnaBhasin.com and Tejeshwar Sandhoo of Blurberry Blackout tell us how anyone with a good sense of fashion can now make it big by putting in a little hard work into their own blog.
Q. When and how did you start?
Rasna: I started writing my first blog in 2011; it was inspired by Sex and The City, and Carrie Bradshaw. The second blog RasnaBhasin.com went live in 2013; the idea was to have an online portfolio of myself. Both the blogs started as a creative outlet for me. As a profession, I continue to focus on fashion writing for publications, digital marketing and brand consulting. The blogs don’t really work if you start out with an aim to earn from them.
Tejeshwar: I launched my blog in April-May 2014. My friends suggested that I start a fashion blog. I was experimental with my dressing and they said that you should show people how to dress better in clothes they’d be able to pull off. The blog is my attempt at encouraging Indian men to try harder and experiment with clothes without spending too much.
Q.Did you have anything particular in mind while starting your blog?
Rasna: I had no specific plans. The only thing I knew was that this website had my name on it, so everything had to have a certain standard. It was an online representation of me.
Tejeswar: There was no plan. I wanted to start with a basic thing which would not get too much for an amateur to handle. It took me a while to figure out the direction, and now I am slowly working towards that.
Q. How long did it take before you could say that your blog was actually going somewhere?
Rasna: it was after I wrote a post to Marc Jacobs International the weekMarc Jacob resigned from Louis Vuitton. His team sent me an email saying that he was touched reading my post. Their PR retweeted my tweet with a link to what I had written in my blog. That was the one incident which really brought attention to my blog. The other time was when I collaborated with Homegrown. They focussed on who I was and did a photo series that led to major traffic to my blog. I’ve also worked with Nike twice and it was a great experience. It’s a collaboration I’m proud of. I joined forces with H&M India and I love working with their team.
Tejeshwar: It took me almost a year to figure out the initial steps and see whether my blog was actually going somewhere. Even though I was part of the Allen Solly 2014 Chinos campaign and had done a huge collaboration with Swarovski, I wasn’t too happy with it. I realised that that I needed to set my priorities straight.
Q. What are the things a new blogger can do to get attention to his blog?
Rasna: Be yourself. Honesty and novelty are the greatest attractions. Also before youmake a statement, always back them up with facts. Study your subject and then write.
Tejeshwar: New bloggers needs to create a niche for themselves. They should identify what their blog is about. Doing something just for the sake of it will not yield any results. For me, it’s about wearable fashion with an edge. I collaborate with high-end designers/product companies at times but that doesn’t mean that the street style essence of my blog is lost. So the key is to stay true to your vision, which might take some time to be apparent but when it does, one must focus on it.
Q. Do you feel you canmake a career out of fashion blogging?
Rasna: Of course you can but you need to be dedicated to it. Blogs have a great outreach; it’s a full time business if you treat it like one.
Tejeswar: Making a career out of blogging is a risky affair. One must have a back-up. Collaborations do fetch you money and fame but at the end of the day, there are only so many brands, and once that is exhausted, what next? There will be new brands but new brands do not have the kind of budgets that the bigger brands do.
How did you expand on the basic idea and grow the blog into what it is now?
Rasna: I started fairly early ; it was an outlet to express my views and opinions, apply my leanings to the real world. To me it’s not a source of income but a platform to express my ideas and views.
Tejeshwar: Clothes have to make an impact and that’s what I have always wanted to convey. My aim is to make the clothes one sees in magazines more wearable and relatable by fusing them with street style. A stunning editorial spread which takes you to a fantasy land, is great but it’s too stylised for normal people.
Q. Whatare the high points low points for you while blogging?
Rasna: Recently a magazine did a feature on me claiming me to be a social influencer. That article was both a high point as well as a low point for me. It sure was a great boost for a 22-year-old, but it also got me a lot of negative reviews. People pointed fingers and made a hue and cry about how I did not deserve it. Some of these were people I looked up to, so yes, that was disappointing. However, I don’t doubt myself. Criticism helps me keep my head firmly on my shoulders and my feet on the ground, but appreciation fuels my drive.
Tejeshwar: High points are whenever people recognise my work and acknowledge me for it. I was featured in GQ India’s website, and that was probably the highest point this year, in addition to the multiple features on Buzzfeed and Mensxp. A low point is when fellow bloggers try to compete with you, knowing that your niche is completely different from theirs. I feel that this is a mutually beneficial space and a sense of community is important for us to thrive; we all must work and respect each other.