Do The Hustle (The Way To Success)
In collaboration with East Dane
The perks of having a style and travel blog can be enticing but there’re few unexpected surprises that make those late nights of hard work even more worthwhile (not referring to the sneaky Nutella snacks though). I was flung into Toronto recently to work with The Drake Hotel and while intensely photographing our lunch one afternoon as Glenn salivated with yearning puppy eyes, I was recognised by a local Instagram follower a few tables across the restaurant. I lay no claim to being a global social superstar but situations like these, while cosmically strange, give a greater sense of validation than mere likes and follows.
Another stamp of approval came from a follower in Ukraine who reads my blog. Having seen my street style snaps of intimidatingly tall, radiant and just absurdly stunning Koreans at Seoul Fashion Week SS17 – which incidentally left me weeping and feeling like a cheap peasant – he asked me to spill the T on getting invited to shows and events. You see, in the fashion world, nothing says “made it” more than when you’re requested by brands and PR Managers to attend shows, sit front row and put that blue steel look you’ve been perfecting for the camera to good use.
The truth is, there’re many bloggers and Instagrammers who haven’t made it but are savvy enough to ride on the smoke and mirrors that come with the digital age. Many don’t get invited to fashion week events – rather they hustle their way for an invite. While hustle sounds like a dirty word – in this industry or any, as a matter of fact – that’s what you do. Unless you’re an A-grade celebrity where PR queens will sell their first born just to have you show up for the paps, chances are, you’re not influential enough (the irony some Instagram influencers or “public figures” think the power they have because of a label) to have them coming to you.
That idea of being approached does sound like the dream though, doesn’t it? I’ve been lucky enough to have brands and agencies reached out to me, which I’m grateful for, but like many, I’m still hustling like my life depended on it. Such is the case here where I collaborated with East Dane to shoot some of their AW16 pieces at The Drake Hotel (whose selection of art incidentally inspired me to become “art”). I’ve always believed in the importance of brand synergy as that brings out your best work and an authentic collaboration. I mean, these are also actual pieces that I would wear so that makes it easy too.
Now, before you go hustling every PR and marketing agencies and contacting brands that you think might be keen in working together, the advice is hone your craft and understand the benefits of brand collaborations and what the end goals are. It helps too if you have an opinion (that’s what sets you apart beyond Instagram where images and captions are merely carbon copy of another these days) and are prepared to put in the hard yards.
Nothing comes easy in life unless you’re Serena van der Woodsen, in which case then I say, let it work for you. Most of us are the Dan Humphrey in this life, where hard work and being good at what you do eventually pay off. Hell, even Blair Waldorf, the queen of Upper East Side, would tell you girl had to work hard and hustle to get what she wanted in life, even though she was already living the dream.
Enough pop culture and all that talk. Go hustle while I revel in the fact that I’ve somehow managed to look less of a peasant here than when I was in Seoul.
Xoxo, Gossip Girl
Wearing McQ Alexander McQueen Needle Punch Cable Crew Sweater, MSGM Needle Punch Cable Crew Sweater, Marc Jacobs Flash Sweater, Ovadia & Sons Eli Pants, AMI Corduroy Pants all available from East Dane