It was October 2011 and I was in New York with the job from my past life where I worked in PR at a really huge company doing event production and planning for some of the biggest brands in the game. T-Mobile, one of the main clients I worked on at that time, was the hugest carrier service company in the game and known for throwing some of the best parties in town. My company and I had gone to New York to put together a big launch party to promote T-Mobile's latest and greatest device that had just come out which included a big blowout performance from the Black Keys. The night consisted of fun little interactive stations where we brought in experts in different fields to come show off their industry to guests using apps and actions with the device. When it came down to getting experts for the fashion station, we flew in these two girls, Katherine Power and Hillary Kerr who had this website / blog I had never heard of called "Who What Wear". The premise of the website was to break down the latest fashion and trends of your fave red carpet moments and celebrities and show you places where you can shop the looks for yourself. And I distinctly remember thinking to myself-- "fashion blogging, what is that? What an obscure concept." Yet I was so curious and impressed that these two women were creating a business for themselves circling around talking about fashion online.
Now fast forward almost 5 years later and the word "fashion blogging" has become as commonplace as any other word in the dictionary. And 5 years later, these two women who I now dub as the pioneers of fashion bloggers are running the fashion world. With a book, an uber successful line with Target, and now a new panel discussion series called "Boss Notes", these two have really been able to make a name for themselves and show the potential that this fashion blogging world can have.
If you saw from my Snapchat @iamfashionlaine, last Saturday I got the chance to take part in the world of Who What Wear and this new panel discussion series that they have formulated. The morning started off with a VIP reception in the Westwood Village at Fleurish Flower Bar where we got to make our own floral crowns. From their we took a trolley to the Westfield Topanga mall where we got to hear GabiFresh, Katherine Schwarzenegger, and my absolute favorite fashion icon-- Nicole Richie, speak about fashion and what it takes to run their own companies. But before that all went down, I got a chance to interview the fashion moguls of Who What Wear below, getting all of the details of everything behind the company and what's next. And what a full circle moment this truly was for me, reconnecting with these two now as my own fashion blogger self while they have become these two leading ladies in fashion. It just comes to show, you never know where life will take you!
Fashionlaine:Explain to us what we're here for today.Katherine Power (Who What Wear): We are here for the partnership between Who What Wear and Westfield malls. We have put together something called "Boss Notes" which is a leadership summit for women. We just wrote a book called The Career Code which comes out May 17th and it's all about helping women achieve their dream careers whether their starting out or starting over and to put together a summit to inspire people in real life and to tie together the book-- so here we are.
FL: And you guys now have a line with Target. You've expanded to so much stuff! People were running to the store the second it came out to buy it.Hillary Kerr (Who What Wear): Yeah, it's been amazing! We're both wearing pieces from the line today. We had this trench coat that just hit the dot com that I think has basically sold out in one day. I have people, friends of mine, snapping me and emailing saying "Oh what about this sweater? Is it coming back? Are we getting any more cape blazers?" So it's been incredibly encouraging and so inspirational that people have been really responding to it because this has been a dream of ours for literally 10 years to do a line of Who What Wear clothes for Target, specifically. So it's sort of like you have to manifest it and put it out there in the world. And if you work really hard, then sometimes it happens.
FL: I worked on an event in New York with T-Mobile that you guys were apart of a few years ago and I remember at that time fashion blogging was not even a commonplace phrase or job. But here we are now, and someone like myself saying I'm a fashion blogger is so common and typical. How have you guys seen the game of this fashion blogging world change? Hillary Kerr: We totally remember that event (and what we were wearing)! It's crazy to think how 10 years ago we started Who What Wear really with the simple idea of having the greatest of-the-moment style photos whether it was runway, tastemakers, celebrities, or red carpet all in one place along with helpful information about how to get the look, how to make it your own, how to shop it for your body, and also, to make everything shoppable. And it's crazy because I was talking to someone the other day about how I do 90% of my shopping online now. And it's so wonderful to watch so many young women now embrace the internet and especially for fashion because it's creating this entirely new set of entrepreneurs because there's not a huge barrier in entry in terms of cost of starting a business. And I would say there are all of these women who are really the bosses of their own careers, really driving their own success in a way that was unfathomable even 10/15 years ago. So knowing that there are all of these young women out there creating industries, and their own careers, and their own businesses, and hiring people at much younger ages than before-- that's a really incredible, empowering positive thing.
FL: What do you see as the future of fashion and blogging?Katherine Power: At the end of the day, we're really all content creators so the platform doesn't matter. At one point it was print magazine and then a desktop computer and then a mobile phone. So whether it's being a blogger on a website or a social influencer across all the platforms, really if you're creating really strong content with a really clear point of view, you should be able to evolve across all the platforms on all different devices.
FL: And what is next for Who What Wear?Katherine Power: We have our book coming out May 17th called The Career Code so that's our next big project. We're going to be heading on a big tour, going around to different colleges and putting together events like this where women can be inspired and have this tangible takeaway through our book where they can put items into action. Hillary Kerr: The book has a lot of actual practical, helpful information all in one spot and I think that's the part we're most excited about. Because you can buy the book and when you read it, you can see "here's a list of things to do, here are 17 career codes to live your professional life by" and it will actually have actual translatable amazing results from reading it.