Monday, 2 February 2009

Chanel Ward: The Hip Blogger

Fabulous blogger, Chanel Ward is a busy lady, not only does she run a successful design publishing company and dabble in real estate she also finds the time to run six blogs. Chanel Ward Designs, Cute Dresses, Baldwin Hills 911, Top Model 911, the ever popular Hip Candy and new kid on the block, Michelle O. Style. She has been blogging for almost three years and was a top ten finalist in Project Runway's Fan Blog contest. Chanel took time out of her hectic schedule to answer a few questions.

Describe the concept behind Hip Candy?
The concept behind Hip Candy is just fun. When I created Hip Candy, it was out of a need to share my views on what was happening in fashion. But it quickly turned into more than that. Hip Candy now covers fashion, entertainment, celebrities, and current events. All in a fun, sometimes very opinionated way.

How do you think bloggers have made an impact on the media?
Wow, that question is super loaded! Bloggers have obviously been making a huge impact on the media, just in the sense that blogs can get information out in the public domain much quicker. Magazines, entertainment shows, news outlets and the like are on schedules and timelines, whereas blogs can acquire information and have it posted days, sometimes weeks before traditional media gets a chance to report on it. It's because of this fact that bloggers have also been met with resistance from some traditional media as well. A blogger with a good site that is putting out solid and credible content is threatening the very fabric of traditional media in that it kind of levels the playing field. For example, there are more and more bloggers now that are invited and who are actively attending Fashion Week, whereas before Fashion Week attendees consisted of strictly industry insiders (fashion editors, boutique owners, stylists, etc.) Public Relations firms as well as up and coming designers recognize the strong collective voice (and growing audience) that bloggers are bringing to the table.

You went to the prestigious Fashion Institute of Design and Marketing (FIDM), what was it like there and how did it affect your outlook on fashion?
It was much harder than I thought! I was a sketcher from childhood, and growing up, I was under the impression that design was just sketching beautiful silhouettes and then handing them over to someone else to figure out, complete and finish. I quickly learned that that wasn't the case when I got to FIDM. It was intense! Fashion Design majors had to learn how to put together a garment from start to finish. Not only did we need to know how to sketch, but we also had to take pattern classes, sewing classes, grading (sizing garments) classes and more. I hadn't sewn a stitch before attending FIDM. Now, I absolutely love it. And the pattern classes were probably the hardest and the ones I liked least. But to this day, I'm very appreciative of the knowledge I gained from those classes, because whether I'm altering a store bought pattern or making one from scratch, the pattern teaching I received was invaluable. And to this day, I am still a much better sketcher than I am a sewer, but I'm continually improving! I'm currently working on a small and simple dress line that I'm sewing together myself to be available on Etsy soon. I'm super excited about it.

Describe a typical day in the life of Chanel Ward.
Lately I've been blogging, sewing, and doing a bit of consulting on a local lifestyle magazine. I also run a desktop publishing business that I've been operating for 9 years now and I work with my husband who does Real Estate and Property Preservation full time, so my days are pretty full.

Who are your favourite designers?
I love the simplicity, polish and wearability of a Michael Kors line, a Tracy Reese line, Isaac Mizrahi or Jason Wu. But I also like more girly, bohemian and romanticized designers, like Milly, Rebecca Taylor and Anna Sui. I can appreciate the artistry in more complex lines, say like an Alexander McQueen, but I wouldn't call them "favorites". Cleaner lines always win me over.

Name five blogs that you read religiously.
Some of them aren't really blogs, but these are my regulars:
What made you set up the Michelle O Style blog?
Because she is absolutely fascinating. Michelle Obama is highly educated, smart and accomplished, yet with all her accomplishments and education, there's a bit of whimsy and unexpected flair in her style choices. So far I haven't been able to box her into one style lane, because she keeps changing lanes and I love it. She is a designers dream with her height and stature, and I think it's wonderful that she has a real woman's body because she's making women realize that they can still look good not being a size zero.

You have six blogs; how on earth do you manage to find the time to update all of them?
That's a good question! I honestly don't update all six daily. I try to keep Hip Candy updated regularly. Michelle O. Style saw a surge in traffic around the inauguration so I tried to keep that updated around that time. The rest of my blogs I just update when I have new information or news on the subjects. So it's not as hard as one would imagine to keep up with.

9 cool comments:

coco said...

Great interview. I must check out the Michelle O blog, that is such a great idea.

Chic Chocolate said...

This is a good interview! She's a busy lady!

T-Shirt and Tails said...

Great interview, how did you tie her down? I love that she's writing a blog on Michelle Obama, such understated beauty!

I dying to find a jump suit also but am struggling to find a good high-street version - if you have any tips let me know...x

Kwana said...

Great interview. Thanks for this intro. She is fab.

Agnes Deer said...

Wow!! I love the Cute Dresses blog! It is awesome, specially for someone who never wears pants!

Fashion Addict said...

This is a very informative interview and I'm glad I read it! Ms. Ward certainly has a whole lot of work on her shoulders, and she's really good at keeping up with it all!

BTW, I'm hosting a Valentine's Day contest and I would love it if you entered! Please check back at my blog for more details!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful interview! She's inspiring. I wish I could write six blogs.

lisa said...

Fantastic interview. And holy cow, 6 blogs! I have enough trouble updating my own and writing for Stylefinds.

rhealyn said...

you really did a good job!

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