Monday, 1 November 2010

The Lady Presents

I came across LadyM Presents during the summer when I was covering Clothes Show London as it was one of the blogs that had great coverage on the event. LadyM Presents was created by Rachel Montague-Ebbs in September last year and is a hybrid of fashion, beauty, boutiques, lifestyles and accessories.  As a fruit importer by day and blogger by night you could say that Rachel has the best of both worlds as she is able to work on both passions. Her work has also caught the eye of the media and Rachel has been featured in The Kent on Sunday and on BBC Radio Kent. She took time out to answer some questions about her blog.

What made you start blogging?
My salsa dancing partner asked me one day "what do you do that's creative?" as a fruit buyer by day the answer was "not much, apart from salsa dancing." So I decided to start a blog - originally on Blogspot -
about my daily life.  I realised that the blog was quickly turning to being more about fashion - especially when I did the feature "Dress Challenge - wearing a dress to work everyday" (I work in quite a casual
environment). I met the fabulous Jez of Torpedo Juice who offered to create a brand and design a website for me and Lady M Presents was born.

Describe the concept behind LadyM Presents.
LadyM Presents is an online magazine for fashionistas. I would say that it is turning more into a features magazine than a blog, as it is less about my own style and life now.  I feature up and coming designers who I think deserve some promotion, boutiques both online and with physical stores, beauty professionals and occasionally the odd feature in the lifestyle section too. It's basically a platform to promote amazing talent in the fashion industry, who may lack recognition at the moment and also an
opportunity to explore trends and styles which is something I just love writing about.

Over the last year bloggers have really made their mark in the fashion industry, how do you think they will continue to push the boundaries over the next few years?
The position of the blogger has moved forward in the world of fashion in recent years. We now get invited to fashion weeks, have our own lounges at events such as Britain"s Next Top Model Live. We have to ability to feature collections and news practically instantly and the internet continues to have a strong presence in the industry so the bloggers (usually unpaid) provide a lot of free marketing and an online presence for a lot of events and brands. I followed New York Fashion Week by reading tweets that were sent from the front row of the main catwalk shows, it gets information out there instantly and also widens the audience.  Bloggers are often seen as a lower class in the fashion world but they hold an important place and are the future of new ways of promotion and marketing in a competitive industry.

You are based in Kent, how do you keep in touch with all latest trends in beauty and fashion?
I have a lot of links to fashion houses across the world via Facebook and Twitter. I also sign up to all the main websites such as and Fashion Insight for all the latest news. I work with some leading PR companies across the world to get updates on latest collections from designers and boutiques.  I am also fortunate to be able to attend London Fashion Week and New Zealand Fashion Week and get to see the next seasons trends first hand.

What do you do when you are not working on your blog?
My day job is completely different. I am an importer of berries for major UK supermarkets, I get to travel, sourcing products but its not all glamour, I spend a lot of time in the office programming, number crunching and problem solving. When I'm not at work you'll normally find me on the treadmill or in a spin class as well as salsa classes every Wednesday.

Describe a typical day in your life.
There is no typical day. It depends if I'm in the country or not. Normally I'm in the office by 7am. As we say in the industry "strawberries never sleep", so its a long day. Then I head to the gym, catch up with my friends over dinner and usually head home, check out Twitter for the latest gossip and news, check the analytics of LadyM Presents and email designers and boutiques that i have met at fashion weeks or events who I would like to feature on the site.  Usually I have two evenings a week when I am writing features or researching and then an afternoon at the weekend.

What are your favourite glossy magazines? 
I have a subscription to Vogue, Elle, Stylist and Grazia (the poor postman!) I love the way Elle is written, I think my style of writing is very similar. I love the weekly arrival of Grazia, its a quick taste of fashion and celebrity news that is well put together and their photo shoots are always amazing. Stylist comes with me on any trip or I pick it up at the airport.

Name five blogs that you read religiously.
Clothes, Cameras and Coffee from the very talented Roz, I interviewed her recently and was amazed at her talent considering she is so young. Of course The Musings of Ondo Lady, it's different, well written and fresh. I must admit I'm more of an online magazine and glossy magazine reader rather than blogs.

How do you see your blog evolving over the next two years?
I see it becoming a fully fledged magazine, I hope to take on some contributors as there are not enough hours in the day. I would like it to become more international, so to have bloggers in New York, Paris, Moscow, Sydney - just broaden the horizons. I'd also love to have "house designers" - designers who we follow closely and work with in developing their brand so that we can understand their collections and be on trend all the time.

You can read LadyM Presents here.

You can follow Rachel on Twitter.

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