Image via Flancake.co
It dates back to 2011. I was participating in the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Pre-college Program. She was there, too. And though, we didn’t mingle as much during the four-day course, years later we are still friends.
Flannery and I have shared important moments in our careers, even though we see each other once every year. We first went together to Teen Vogue’s Fashion University in 2011 and then to its 2012 edition. In 2014, we shared a room at The New School’s 14th street dorms for an entire summer, in which we both interned at fashion companies. She was a design intern at Lulu Frost and I was a PR intern at Eddie Borgo. What blossomed from the 12th floor at The New School dorms was an awesome friendship, in which Flannery was the risk-taker (aka. doing her own piercings) and I was the concerned mom.
Since then, Flannery has created her blog Flancake and worked for Seventeen Magazine in their Sales & Marketing Department. Currently, she is an Apparel Merchandising & Product Development student at the University of Arkansas and plans to move to New York City as soon as she graduates.
BF: Why fashion?
Ever since I can remember I was always altering my clothes or being rebellious and wearing Tinker Bell heels to school when I was in first grade. Fashion is a way to express yourself just in a moment’s notice. I love fashion because you can, not only express yourself, but you can also be creative in more ways than one.
BF: What childhood moments would you consider to be premonitions of who you are now?
I think when I was creative in some of the strangest ways my parents always encouraged me to keep going. For example, I can’t tell you how many of my clothes I quite literally cut up, and my parents weren’t mad – but would rather ask what I was creating. I think this really factored into not giving up on many things I start, and also not taking no for an answer.
BF: What kind of kid were you?
I was crazy, creative, loud, and social. I was always involved in something whether it be athletics, creative endeavors, or coming up with my own agenda. I got in trouble early on for being so social, so I finally learned when and whom to speak to.
BF: Why New York?
New York is full of so many opportunities. I grew up in the smallest town ever – literally 5,000 people. And not to say that I didn’t have opportunities to do things in my hometown because my parents made sure to help show me the world and my surroundings, but New York has always had such appeal to me because there is just so much to do! I love the hustle and bustle too and how there are so many different kinds of people. I also love the open mindfulness and diversity, of course the personal style seen on the streets are amazing too.
BF: How do you think an education in Apparel Studies prepares you for the next chapter in your career?
I think it makes me stop and think about the business and serious side of things. I’m so quick to get going on projects that are easily creative, and I’ll spend hours on them – the projects that involve numbers are a bit more challenging for me, but that just means that I have to sit down and think about it and realize why it’s important.
BF: There are many debates about the artistry of fashion and how fast fashion is killing the art itself. How do you see it?
I think that, thankfully, there will always be a market for both. Even from when I was younger, I always loved the couture houses and big names of fashion. It’s important to appreciate the level of talent and attention to detail these brands and houses can create, but, at the same time, it is an art form, therefore it’s not accessible to everyone. As unfortunate as it is that fast fashion copies very talented designers, the fact of the matter is that a big majority of people simply can not afford the high price tag that comes with designer clothing. I think understanding the difference and appreciating both is important, and also trying to incorporate a mix of both [like accessories or statement pieces from the real artist’s of the design houses, and more trendy items from fast fashion retailers] is also a good approach to supporting the art, yet staying within your budget.
BF: What would you advise someone that wishes to start their own blog? How do you see fashion blogging today?
It has certainly changed a lot since its inception. We all know there are tons of blogs out there, and I know several people who simply start a blog to say that they ‘have a blog’. I would say to try to do something original that no one has done before, but that’s almost impossible. The most important thing I think is to do it for yourself. Some bloggers are so focused on getting followers that they don’t even care about the meaning of their content. If you can create a blog that you love and feel like is worth something, the followers will come eventually.
BF: What do you consider to be badass?
A favorite quote of mine is “be a bada$$ with a gooda$$”, and I know at least that I’ve got one part of that down.
BF: What are the rules you apply to your work?
For my blog and other creative work, I like to first make sure what I’m doing aligns with my personal brand image and message, and that I’m doing it for the right reason. Recently, I’ve been approached by a few [note-a very small number!] brands about promoting and collaborating on my blog and social media platforms. For the most part these have all been brands that I think parallel my interests, but a few have honestly not been what I’m into. In the beginning of creating a blog or personal brand, it’s easy to just jump right into a promotion or collaboration because your thoughts might be focused on getting followers and media attention, but if you wouldn’t actually personally purchase a product or work for a brand, then don’t work with them. It’s sometimes hard to say no, but in the long run it’s more important to stay true to your blog’s voice and branding.