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Old is the new black |

Young Star

Old is the new black

UNWRITTEN - Maria Jorica B. Pamintuan -

My inbox  is full of toothbrushes — my virtual inbox, that is. For the past few days, a person whose blog I follow has been posting pictures of toothbrushes of every shape and kind non-stop — one photo for every picture of shoes or clothes that finds its way into her Tumblr dashboard.

Judging by the number of toothbrushes I’ve seen, she could start an online catalog with all the photos of Louboutin heels, Prada bags and Chanel dresses that she said were posted on the blogs she follows. Looking at my own dashboard, I could say the same thing for myself.

With so many self-proclaimed fashionistas and style experts making the Internet their new haunt and forum, there is no doubt that fashion blogging is a new and rapidly expanding trend. Every 16-year-old girl with a computer and a penchant for fashion is suddenly a critic. The latest runway look and every single fashion-forward purchase instantly becomes the subject of a blog entry.

Some bloggers are talented (or fortunate) enough to make it big in the worldwide web. There are many internationally famous fashion blogs — Sea of Shoes (, The Sartorialist ( and Fashion Toast (, to name a few.

Locally, the Philippines’ blogging niche is in its fledgling stage. However, it still has its own bigwigs, like Cecile van Straten’s Chuvaness (, and Little Miss Dress Up (

Not every Joe on the street who thinks he’s got style can become as famous a blogger as the creators of the blogs I mentioned. Many, actually, just repost articles and images from designer’s websites.

I wanted to know how hard it is to maintain an online haunt without sacrificing personal time or blog content, and just what it takes to avoid falling off the bandwagon of fashion blogging. Lizette Lanuzo of Project Vanity ( told me the secrets to how she made her Internet home one of the more known fashion blogs in the country.

A blogger for five years, Liz started out like most other web writers: using a blog as a glorified, not-so-secret diary. It was only in college that she got interested in fashion and beauty — a hobby that gave birth to her blog, Project Vanity.

“I wanted to share (my) passion. I loved makeup and fashion. I loved writing. A blog is the best way to combine these!” she said.

Truly, many, if not all, bloggers start out this way. Everyone has something to say, and everyone wants an audience. However, according to Liz, a blog may be born out of passion, but it takes determination and perspiration to keep it going.

The purpose behind keeping a blog, said Liz, can make updating a chore. Some people blog for the wrong reasons, like to get freebies, or simply because everyone else is doing it. She said she posts entries because she enjoys the feeling of being validated by someone who likes what she writes, adding that writing is therapeutic for her. She doesn’t mind pouring time and effort into her blog, because it’s what she really wants to do.

The biggest challenge of blogging really is maintenance and a big part of this task is figuring out what on earth to post. For fashion blogs, it seems easy, right? Just grab whatever new pictures or articles are on Dior’s website, or Vogue’s online version, and you have an instant post. Wrong.

Although Liz admits that Internet research (emphasis on “research” — copy-pasting is bad!) makes up a big chunk of her blog entries, she said that “real-life” research is just as important. “I go to malls and check out everything, I do a lot of people-watching,” she said.

Of course, being able to maintain a blog doesn’t guarantee success. Not all fashion bloggers are made equal, and this is the reason why some make it big and some are condemned to live in anonymity.

“It looks easy, really, I mean, just taking photos of stuff and talking about them. But it’s not. Building your reader base, traffic, brand, creating relevant content — all of this requires a lot of personal investment and talent,” Liz said.

Liz, whose blog is at number 10 on the Philippine fashion blogs listing, certainly invests a lot of effort into her work. The quality of her posts is probably what makes her a cut above the rest of the fashionistas out there.

“I take blogging seriously in the sense that I make sure to provide clear pictures, detailed reviews and coverage. I try to make it as personal as possible while being professional at the same time. My goal is to keep my blog informative while still being entertaining. Like I said, it’s all fun, but it’s more enjoyable when I know that I’ve provided quality content. That’s the writer in me,” she said.

Dedicated bloggers like Liz have changed the landscape, not only of blogging, but of the fashion industry itself. Their importance has been recognized by commercial companies, and these days, it’s not uncommon to find a blogger or two among the press corps at events and shows.

Liz explained the allure and newfound strength and influence of bloggers, by saying, “I think the power of bloggers come from how easily they walk the thin line between being a layman, a nobody just like everyone else, and the glittery, high-profile world of fashion and beauty. Everyone loves Cinderella because everyone dreams to be her in some way or another, you know, penetrating the glass ceiling of high society from the sooty fireplace, or in this case, the glass ceiling of mainstream media. Bloggers are the darlings of the press and the brands — the Cinderellas of mainstream media.”

However, being among the ranks of the now very powerful online community is not enough for Liz. Writing about fashion is only one of the ways she has contributed to the industry. She gives new life to pre-loved fashion pieces, too. Liz and her business partner Lauren Dado manage a site called Ukay Manila (, which takes ukay-ukay flea market finds, cleans them up, and finds them new owners.

“I’m surprised that the business is doing well. When I got into selling ukay, I didn’t know that we would actually get a following. I mean, I was sure we’d find fashionistas who are into one-of-a-kind pieces, but I didn’t know that jeans and shirt types would also patronize the store. So our clientele is diverse and that works very well for us.”

Liz shared that it takes a lot of hard work to manage her blog, her store, and all the other jobs she has (believe me, she has a lot). So, why does she keep on doing it?

“I enjoy the act of sharing. Pang- Miss Universe yang sagot na yan, but that’s really it. I am passionate about beauty and fashion — I want women to discover themselves by trying new things, getting out of their comfort zone.”

Maybe that’s why fashion bloggers are a dime a dozen nowadays. Who doesn’t like sharing? And when you’ve got a captive audience like Liz, why stop writing?

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