This week, we're moving to the other side of the table and getting a glimpse of what it's like to be a fashion blogger. Our Industry Insider is Marisa Flacks, the founder of The Style Almanac.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Marisa Flacks, I am currently a senior at Rutgers University studying Communication and Cultural Anthropology. I grew up most of my life in Pennsylvania but am a city girl at heart and had to move close to NYC which is why I chose Rutgers.
Tell us about The Style Almanac
Since I was about 12 years old I remember wanting to work in fashion. When I first came to college, I was interning as much as I could at large corporations all over NYC. However, what I began to realize was that much of the talent of ‘interns’ or students was being overlooked, when in reality our generation is the one that is going to take the global fashion industry into the future. Today, The Style Almanac serves as a platform for the next generation of the fashion industry.
What motivates you to continue running The Style Almanac?
The passion of people. As a Cultural Anthropologist, I love hearing people’s stories behind their craft, some are truly inspirational. Also as a first generation college student myself, it’s great to know that the website can act as a resource and inspiration to students who are carving their own path for their future.
You feature emerging designers every week in your Designer Spotlight segment, do you have any favorites?
Every new feature is exciting to me because every artist is so different. I do have to tell the story of one designer I met who truly touched me with his story and inspired me to continue the website and strive to make it a resource and outlet for artists to tell their story. A little over a year ago I was interviewing the Academy of Art University students who were presenting at New York Fashion Week. One designer, Ozanhan Kayaoglu, began to tell me how his fabric was dyed in rust from prison cells. When I started to question his motivations, he opened up to me about how he had fought terrorism in the Turkish Military and was even thrown in jail solely for his nationality at one point. After finally finding refuge and starting his life again, he vowed to use his talent as a designer to protest war, crime, and violence worldwide. That was truly the greatest testament to fashion being art and having a much deeper meaning.
Are you noticing any design trends we should keep an eye out for?
Definitely outerwear, big, thick jackets. Also unisex clothing has been really popular lately!
What’s been the hardest thing about starting & running The Style Almanac?
My dream is really to make The Style Almanac known as a resource for young talent in the industry, so I guess the difficult part has been spreading the word! But I’ve been so lucky to have some awesome collaborations with schools, students, and fashion weeks around the country.
Best thing about running it?
My favorite thing about The Style Almanac is that when you visit the website, each artist has a different story to tell. It really proves that fashion is not just clothing. There are so many different motivations behind why people choose to work in fashion, and it’s just so interesting to read. On a personal level, the best thing about running the website is that I found a way to combine what I love to do: working with people from around the world in a creative and inspiring environment.
Tips for someone looking to start their own fashion blog/publication?
Definitely do your research before starting! Pinterest, YouTube, and Lynda.com are amazing resources to find literally anything you need to know. Also use your networks! You would be surprised how many people you can reach when you take advantage of the networks that you have.
Are there any fashion blogs you regularly follow?
WeWoreWhat just because Danielle is a great entrepreneur and leader in the street style blog world. I also love YouTuber Lauren Elizabeth, I love her raw personality and wish I owned every piece of clothing in her closet.
How would you describe your personal style?
I am definitely a minimalist! I could wear a black t-shirt, ripped jeans, and a leather jacket every day of my life and be perfectly content. It’s funny because I often get asked if working with fashion talent everyday has changed my style and my answer is always I own nothing but black clothing.
Do you have any fashion icons?
Definitely Lauren Elizabeth. I love how she pairs minimalist pieces with simple, layered jewelry.
What are you passionate about outside of fashion?
Ooo I like this question! I have a horrible case of wanderlust, I love to travel. My last year of college I tried to hit 8 different U.S cities, even if I had to hop on a plane by myself to explore a new city. Besides that, I’m very into fitness, boxing is my current favorite! My mom’s a personal trainer so I’m pretty sure my whole family eats, sleeps, and breathes meal prepping and weight lifting.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In a perfect world, I would love to have established The Style Almanac in an office in either San Francisco (my favorite city) or New York, working with talented students around the world. I would love for TSA to be known to incoming college students as a resource where they can not only put their talent out there, but also gain resources such as scholarships and job opportunities.
Any final parting words?
I really love what Maderight is doing! I’m very passionate about fair-trade and ethically produced clothing and I love that Maderight is paving the way for designers to manufacture their clothing the right way! Hopefully together we can breed a generation of the fashion industry who not only cares about our planet and the people making our clothes, but uses their talent and art for a good cause!
If you have questions you'd like us to ask in future interviews, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org.