While she indulges in a bustling city that offers a versatile range of local and international designers, Youme has her own sense of style and knows how to experiment and turn the idea of "less is more" into full-blown glamor.
Tell us a little bit about your background?
My name is YouMe and I just graduated from NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where I concentrated on “Storytelling in Social Entrepreneurship.” I’ve always been fascinated with how powerful storytelling can be and how social enterprises can utilize it to create a positive social impact. I was born in New York City and but I've been traveling a lot since I was around 13 years old. I’m a very adventurous person who loves to learn and try new things!
When did you start blogging? Can you describe what the initial days were like?
I started blogging for fun when I was a sophomore in college. I was living in Florida prior to moving back to New York City for college. I became mesmerized with the fashion scene in the city and wanted to use my blog to document what my fellow classmates were wearing. In the beginning stages, it was something experimental for me and I didn’t really think too much about whether or not it would turn into something big. Little did I know, it would turn into a campus blog at NYU with a team of 20 people managing the blog on a daily basis. However, it took about two and a half years before it really kicked off.
It’s such a rewarding experience to see something you’re extremely passionate about to turn into a organization that now serves daily fashion inspiration to all the students of NYU.
How did you build your presence?
I think a good tip for building a strong presence or a group of loyal followers is to be authentic and know who you are and who you are not. You don’t have to follow what other people are doing or compare yourself with others. I truly believe that when it is your time to shine, you will! In addition, I make sure I engage with my followers and use my content to empower them to pursue their dreams.
Which are the brands that you have worked with? Any preferences in selecting a brand?
Givenchy, Naadam, American Eagle and Hunter boots are some examples of the brands that I’ve worked with in the past. For me, I only want to work with brands that I enjoy purchasing from and can ensure the quality of their products. I would never ask my followers to purchase something that I don’t genuinely trust and haven't used myself. Which is why I try not to partner with too many brands on a monthly basis and only pick the ones that I already love. I enjoy working with organic beauty brands and brands that care a lot about sustainability. I am very selective in terms of who I partner with because I know it’s easy to take on multiple gigs at once. But at the end of the day, it's about quality and not quantity. Because I have such a great group of followers, I want to give back to them by being honest and real.
The challenges and the opportunities of being a fashion blogger?
I’ve received so many incredible opportunities for being a fashion influencer: I've partnered with my favorite brands, attended major fashion events and worked on campaigns. Instagram has opened so many doors for me, more than I could ever imagine. I am able to connect with people from all over the world and share my passion with them - which is the most enjoyable part of my job. In terms of challenges, I think one thing I would like to improve on is to show more of the behind the scenes and the "raw" side of my job in addition to the glamorous side. My goal isn't to make them think that my life is perfect, but that we are all capable of working hard achieving our dreams.
An article has been released in the past. Fashion editors from a distinguished magazine condemn bloggers who attended Milan fashion week in which they called them a "street style mess" and some fashion bloggers responded to the criticism. Can we get your insights on this?
I don’t know much about the article, therefore, I don’t feel right to comment on it. But, I feel that fashion is a form of self expression and people should have to freedom to wear whatever they wish.
Any words of wisdom for the up and comers?
The fashion industry can be very intense at times, but don’t let that change your moral standards and who you are as a person. We are all very unique and beautiful in our own ways and when it is your time to shine, you will! And always be humble and prove yourself through your strong work ethic, your hard work and your good morals.
CONTRIBUTOR : Liviel L.