Breanne Gratton is a
graduate student at University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication. She currently works as an editor for both the U.S. and U.K. CollegeFashionista fashion websites. On top of that, she keeps her own fashion blog which has opened many doors to opportunities within the fashion industry.
How did you get involved with CollegeFashionista?
I originally got involved with CollegeFashionista as a writer, or a Style Guru as they are called on the site. I found the job opening on a posting from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication on Twitter. However, after ending my position as a Style Guru, I took a break and then became the first editor for the website, a position that I have held for over a year. Currently, I am the head editor for CollegeFashionista and CollegeFashionista UK. I love my position and the team of editors I have working for me. I also love working for my boss, Amy. The CollegeFashionista team has really become like a family, which I adore. I love seeing how the site has grown, progressed, and become an influence in the fashion world.
Where do you draw inspiration?
Literally, everywhere. I know that is what many people say, but it’s kind of true. I will never cease to be amazed by Lee Alexander McQueen and his designs. He is the most prolific and powerful inspiration of our time. I also get inspiration from Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, Balmain, Christian Louboutin, and many, many other designers. Kate Moss and Daria Werbowy also inspire me a great deal. (I die for them.) Outside of the fashion world I find inspiration from the books of Truman Capote, from the colors of autumn, old photography, art, history, music, and really just how I am feeling. When you truly know yourself and what you love, the inspiration comes easy. I also adore Bill Cunningham, Iris Apfel, the Olsens, Anna Wintour, and Diane von Furstenberg.
Do you look at specific blogs to generate ideas?
For my personal style, that is innately me. Yes, the Olsen twins and Kate Moss inspire me but my style is just who I am. My mom will always tell a story about as soon as I could walk, I was in the stores, picking out my own clothes, and dressing myself. I have always known my style and what I love. It has changed and evolved through the years, but I think that is commonplace with most everyone. But, yes, I do look at blogs, to get back to the question. I look at Saucy Glossie, Runway Hippie, Olsens Anonymous, The Sartorialist, The Coveteur, WhoWhatWear, etc.
What attracts you to writing about fashion?
What keeps me interested in editing and writing about fashion is that this is what I love. This is the work that I have found that I am truly in love with. I get up each day knowing that I am working toward my goal of being in the fashion industry and that thrills me. Some say that fashion is frivolous and petty, but it is what we live in. Whether or not we think about it, we get dressed to show the world our mood, our mindset, and our feelings, which is amazing. Fashion is always changing, so it makes it very exciting and keeps writers always on their toes, which is something I love.
When you are deeply passionate about something, which I am about fashion and writing, the attraction is always there, luring you in more and more day-by-day.
How do you differentiate fashion blog writing vs. writing about fashion for a magazine or newspaper?
I love blogging. It allows me to have my own voice, my own tone, and my own style, which I think makes blogging so amazing. No two blogs are going to sound the same. When you are writing for any magazine or newspaper, fashion related or not, you have a chain of people to answer to and those people will be making your writing into their style, their tone, and what they want. With blogging you have the freedom to be completely yourself. You can be honest, sarcastic, serious, funny, bitchy, whatever, and that is great. The Man Repeller has an amazing voice and style of writing on her blog, which always makes it a joy to read. But, fashion is a bit more creative in the writing, magazine or blog, which is also what keeps me interested. I could never have a newspaper job writing just about news. That isn’t me and that isn’t what I love. I will never do something that I don’t love. That is something I learned very early on. If you do what you love, the money and the career will follow, but having passion and being happy is what is most important. I suppose when I write an article for a publication I am a bit more formal and I follow the “journalistic” rules a bit more. But, of course, being who I am, I follow Lee Alexander McQueen’s quote that you have to know the rules to break them.
How do you use social media to generate page views and/or expand your personal brand?
I have a Facebook page for my blog, my own Facebook page, a Twitter account, a tumblr account, a Google Plus account, and a StumbleUpon account. I promote every new post on all of them, with the exception of tumblr, which I use for inspiration for Breakfast with Fashion. I post photos on there that inspire or move me in some way. I find that my traffic from my Facebook pages is higher than the traffic from any other outlet, with the exception of the days when Stumble Upon sends hundreds to my blog. Social media is such a vital part of creating, promoting, and expanding a personal brand. It has boomed so much in recent years and a basic knowledge of it is crucial. Not only do you promote your page to your friends, but also it expands your reach to friends of friends, amongst other things. I work with brands on Breakfast with Fashion (most prominently JewelMint) so connecting with them and their client base via Twitter and Facebook is crucial. I think one of the moments I felt verified as a blogger was when stylist Cher Coulter complemented my look and styling. I was like a little kid hearing Santa’s footsteps. It is an amaze feeling when someone you respect so much acknowledges your work.
To promote my brand I have business cards, social media, working with brands, working with other bloggers, etc. Connecting with people of all sorts is so important to getting your blog noticed and having an influence.
Where do you see your career in five years?
My career in five years? I have no idea to be honest. And that is the beauty of fashion. I don’t want to know everything my life has in store. If I did that then I wouldn’t be where I am today because I know I would have made changes in my life, which probably wouldn’t have led me here. I hope that I am working in the fashion industry in some way, but most importantly, I hope that I am happy and still with the man of my dreams. That’s what it all boils down to — being happy. If you aren’t happy, you are less likely to be passionate about what you do and I always want to have passion in every aspect of my life.
But, to not give the convoluted answer, I hope to be working in the fashion industry. Whether that means working as a blogger, at a magazine, styling, or for Diane von Furstenberg, I don’t know. All I know is that the sky is the limit and living in New York never could hurt.