h1 I see collections before they hit the shops, and am able to pinpoint what's coming up next for my readers.
Cara McLeay, A Fashion Love Affair
If style is a way to say who you are without having to speak, Cara McLeay is fluent. The super chic Vancouver-based fashionista posts adorable and perfectly put together outfits that showcases her casual and sophisticated sensibility on her site A Fashion Love Affair.
We checked in with Cara, a new Say Media partner, to find out what her favorite styles are right now, how she likes to works with brands – and where she shops for her favorite clothes and accessories.
For those that are new to your site, what are some great posts to start with? Some of my favourite posts are:
You have a great following online. How would you describe your readers? My readers are primarily from Canada and the US, and range in age from 16-45. They enjoy seeing the mixing of high and low items, and respond to outfits that are wearable while remaining chic and fun.
In addition to running your site you're a fashion buyer and social media strategist – how do all those things influence and inform A Fashion Love Affair? I am a Senior Buyer and Social Media Strategist for Vancouver's Secret Location and I find that my job influences my blog and vice versa. I am constantly doing trend research for my job, and that certainly seeps into my day to day style - I have access to great trend sites including WGSN and get to travel to the Fashion Weeks in New York, London, Paris and Milan, so I get the chance to see collections before they hit the shops, and am able to pinpoint what's coming up next for my readers. I grew my own social media network quite quickly, and this is why I was put in charge of the social media outreach of for Secret Location - I love attending events and sharing the latest via Twitter and Instagram, so it all works very nicely together.
What other fashion sites do you admire? Who are your soulmates in style? There are so many! I tune into Sincerely Jules, Tuula, and The Blonde Salad daily, but I also love to check out They All Hate Us, Harper and Harley, Kayture, Gary Pepper Vintage, Jou Jou Villeroy, We Wore What and Song of Style regularly. I also love to check out Harper's Bazaar and Vogue's style sections, especially after Fashion Week!
How do you like to work with brands? And what's a favorite recent campaign? I love working with brands, from simply styling pieces from their collection to hosting giveaways to doing long-reach campaigns to spread the word about the brand or a new aspect of the brand. My latest campaign was with ALDO to promote their Spring line...I was gifted a pair of shoes and created three different outfits with them, and then hosted a giveaway for a $50 Amex Gift Card where my readers had to visit the Aldo site and let me know which spring shoe was their favourite. Another favourite campaign was when I visited Luisa Via Roma in Florence and did three "Style Lab's" where I chose pieces from the store and had a professional photo shoot in and around their shop in three different outfits, and then again hosted a giveaway for a Natasha Mark By Marc Jacobs Bag. I would love to move into more advertising campaigns to really work with brands long-term to create great content and ads that can be used on all social media and brand sites next!
You get to see and try a lot of fashion pieces early. What are your favorite fashion finds for this season? My favourite fashion finds for spring and summer 2013 in terms of designers are Otswald Helgason (really cute printed sweaters and great pops of bright colour), Duro Olowu (again amazing mix of floral and stipe prints, and SS13 black and white trend in flowing dresses and skirts, so feminine and flirty!) and Vika Gazinsskaya (often seen on Miroslava Duma, she creates amazing shapes and interesting prints that I haven't seen anywhere else) As far as just trends go, I love seeing more bright colours, floral and stripe prints, and I especially love the monochrome look or print on print, so easy and so fun!
What are your favorite places to shop in Vancouver right now? My favourite spots to shop in Vancouver are of course Secret Location (My latest purchases were an Anine Bing tee and Vanrycke necklace), Holt Renfrew (I purchased Chanel Espadrilles and Valentino Rock Stud Heels, it is a great place to find the latest designer pieces) and for little day to day treats I go to Zara and J.Crew.
What celebrities' style inspires you right now? I always look to celebrities when it comes to style inspiration (I am addicted to Pinterest!) and my current favourites are Taylor Tomasi Hill, The Russian Fashion Pack (Miroslava Duma, Elena Perminova, Ulyana Sergeeko) Olivia Palermo (always!), Kate Moss, The Olsens, Diane Kruger (always shines on the Red Carpet), Joanna Hillman and Kate Bosworth.
How would you finish this sentence: When in doubt wear… skinny jeans, a white t-shirt and heels - always a safe bet.
What's next? One of the biggest things I am asked is how do I style my hair, so I am currently working with a flat iron company to create an A Fashion Love Affair branded flat iron and a tutorial video to go along with it. I am also currently writing an e-book about the Business of Blogging.
[Photo credits: All photos A Fashion Love Affair]