We love a great conversation and a great cup of coffee and that's exactly what we set up. It was a perfect sunny Sunday morning in San Diego when we met up with the Creative Director of Fashion Mixtape. We're definitely all XOXO about Fashion Mixtape and has been one our faves since Spring and Fifth had it's beginning. It was one of those things where we kind of just fell in love with each other, a brand crush of sorts and we were definitely very excited when we saw a feature about us on Fashion Mixtape back in the spring. We wanted to know more about our brand crush and asked to set up a chat. We were pretty stoked to hear back from Vanessa Barnes, the Creative Director and total badass at Fashion Mixtape which covers all of the fashion news in San Diego and is an amazing part of the fashion blogger community with hits from media like Vogue Italy, ooooolalala! Below is our Q&A and what it takes to run something like Fashion Mixtape and what you can learn from this gal, enjoy loves!
S&F) What inspired you to start Fashion Mixtape? When did you start it? What was your biggest challenge when you started?
Vanessa: I started Fashion Mixtape 5 years ago. I was inspired by my love for the arts of music and fashion. My fashion background started in 2005, in styling/wardrobe, for music videos and local television. From there I grew relationships with emerging artists and talent. Fast forward to 2011, one of my DJ friends (Fashion Mixtape affiliate), wanted me to promote his brand on social media. At that time, I had a different blog. From there, I merged our brands.
The biggest challenge when I started. Having to be the face of my own brand. I previously wrote under a pseudonym, for marketing and promotion on forums. Stepping out from behind the scenes. Learning what it takes, to run a blog.
S&F) What attracts you to fashion? Did you know that you would work in fashion?
Vanessa: I've always been into fashion. My mother said when I was a toddler, I used to dress up my barbies. I would emulate the styles from artists on MTV (big hair 80’s looks). One of my favorite looks apparently came from Tina Turner. Till this day, anytime Tina Turner surfaces in the media, my mom still contacts me to tell me! Throughout the years, I would pick out fabrics and patterns. A seamstress would create the dress I wanted for events.
I decided I wanted to get into fashion, after taking an intro to fashion, college elective. That course taught me all the careers in fashion. People outside of fashion think it's just design and the store front. There are many factors that go into the fashion business. Whether you're in, or don't keep up with fashion. People still have to wear clothes.
S&F) Is there a special moment when you realized that it was all worth it? Perhaps when Vogue Italy reached out? Or another time?
Vanessa: Various moments have been special. Receiving recognition from established fashion magazines and respected media outlets. One recent special moment came from a fan. I received a genuine fan letter. The majority of my email is business/blog related. The fan letter expressed what they liked about Fashion Mixtape, and the brands featured on the blog. The connection from people who visit the blog. That makes things worth it!
S&F) Where do you source your inspiration from?
Vanessa: Inspiration comes from my music moods. I love various genres of music. Past music from 60 years ago, and present time. Emerging fashion designers give inspiration, with their fresh perspectives.
S&F) What attracted you to Spring and Fifth?
Vanessa: Spring and Fifth is new and exciting! I love the fall in love with the city while looking fabulous mantra.
S&F) What collaborations have you truly enjoyed? What brands would you like to work with? Any fun and new projects that we should look forward to?
Vanessa: Fashion Mixtape's latest collaboration with House of CB London and Dash Radio, was a huge honor! I've had the privilege in receiving exclusive look books from Jessica Faulkner and her team are amazing! I do have a project in the works. I created a prototype, so I'm narrowing it down, in creating the final product. I would like to work with other bloggers, and creative types. To feature their fashion, music, and overall art! Fashion Mixtape will be seeking contributors within our niche. Last but not least, I am excited about adding a fashion public and media relations referral service. To refer emerging talented designers, that have the potential to have their brand, exposed to a larger platform. Helping to give, that extra growth. That emerging designers face on a daily basis.
We loved getting to know Vanessa lots more and we were definitely very excited to hear about her latest collaboration with House Of CB! Outfit posted below! We are going to visit their new location in the Los Angeles area because we already fell in love with some of the collection at Top Shop!
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