Archive for December, 2011
2011 is the year when my dreams came true.
Before I started this blog in the summer of 2010, I felt kind of lost, like I hadn’t figured out where I was supposed to be heading in life. It wasn’t until this website gained some traction, in early 2011, that magical things started happening. First, I started working with PinkMemo and Refinery29 as a contributing writer and photographer in January. Then in February, Marcus Riley of NBC Chicago filmed a documentary about me taking street-style photographs outside of New York fashion week.
Also in February, my Cynthia Rowley Spring Trunk show party saw over 100 guests come out to meet me, the Gaudy God, and Anthony Maslo (to whom I owe both a huge thank you, without you the event wouldn’t have been such a success). Then came the features in the mainstream media, including the Chicago Sun-Times and CNN. Later in the summer I also spoke at the University of Chicago on how brands work with bloggers during the 20SB Summit.
In April, I signed a contract with Timberland to photograph their Man-On-Street social media campaign for the relaunch of classic workboot. It was my first big assignment, and was my first taste of the advertising world. Then came more corporate projects with companies like Oliver Peoples, J Brand Jeans, and Proctor & Gamble to name a few.
And who could forget the collaboration Jena Gambaccini and I did with Microsoft Bing?!
The highlight of 2011 – hands down – was my trip to New York’s Spring 2012 fashion week in September. Not only did I get to meet my street-style icon, Anna Dello Russo at an exclusive blogger breakfast at Vogue’s Conde Nast headquarters, I also got to hang out with Bryan Boy (who is the sweetest guy ever) and my new friend Ann from Holier Than Now.
And last, but certainly not least, my collaboration with True Religion and Milk Studios fulfilled a life-long dream to be backstage at New York fashion week. In exchange for taking five street-style photos a day for True Religion, I had backstage VIP passes to every show at Milk Studios. It was an enormous privilege to have all-access passes. I always said I’d know my blog was successful if I ever had the opportunity to go backstage at NYFW. And it happened, only one year after starting my blog.
I am also thankful to the people at The Feast and NBC Chicago for featuring me again this fall in a video about how to get spotted by street-style photographers like me.
I am infinitely blessed to have two parents whose support allowed me to follow my dreams over the past year. Both are dreamers themselves; my father retired in his mid-30s to become a cattle rancher (one of the reasons we moved to Arkansas); my mother is a life-long adventurer who climbed to the top of Mt. Aconcagua (the highest mountain in South America) in her 40s. At the same time, both have vigorously encouraged me to figure out a way to translate my blog’s popularity and success into a real career. The work that I’ve done with corporate clients showed me that what I really love is coming up with creative strategies and executing them for brands. I graduate from DePaul in June with a Master of Science in Management. I only have two classes left and if everything goes well I’ll land a position at an advertising agency before then!