The fashion industry has been seeing a pretty significant change in the last 5 years or so. Designers, and what they put on the runways, have traditionally been the first point of call for dictating the trends of the season. The trends are then represented in magazines, and by traditional celebrities, and then eventually they are translated into affordable labels and chain stores for everyone to access.
However, these days the sphere influence is slowly revolving with the incredible progression of Web 2.0, and there are some new kids on the proverbial block of the fashion World. ‘Bloggers’, only a recent phenomenon, have established a firm place in the fashion industry as the gateway from the high fashion runways to the every day person, allowing us to observe and imitate trends as they begin.
It’s impossible not to notice the booming number of bloggers out there, whether they dominate on Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook (or all of them), often times paired with a website or blog to join them all together. They show us what they wear, what they eat, what they do, where they go and who they meet. Sounds pretty mundane, but the best bloggers out there do it with a stylised theme, and really do produce beautiful pictures giving an insight into their lives.
Most of them are young women with an eye on the fashion industry, and with so much competition out there it takes someone special to rise to the top of the pack. Introducing, Margaret Zhang.
Based in Sydney, Margaret is a quadruple threat writer, stylist, photographer and creative director, who blogs through her beautiful website Shine By Three as well every other social media platform imaginable. She’s worked with some huge names in fashion like Nike, Louis Vuitton, L’Oreal Paris and Swarovski. She’s got a hugely creative eye she exercises through working with magazines like Harpers BAZAAR Australia, Nylong, The Coveteur and Elle.com. Now get this, she’s just 21 years old, and has been building up to all of this since she was about 14. Yeah, kay…
Despite her impressive work in the fashion industry, she’s not just a pretty face or a clothes horse. She’s currently studying and almost finished a double Bachelor of Commerce and Laws at the University of Sydney, which she strives to incorporate into her career – it’s not just any piece of paper for her. Many bloggers make it seem like their lives mainly consist of brunch, fashion shows and photo shoots, but it’s incredibly comforting to read up on how Margaret fits in her fashion life with her study, as personally I’m also studying full time and lose my plot on a regular basis.
Not only has she worked behind the scenes, but she’s modelled in many magazines thanks to her ridiculously good looking good looks. While I’m never one to reduce someone to their heritage, Margaret leads the way for Asian-Australian models in an industry we often know is dominated by stereotypes. She hardly ever wears makeup, and is never one to shy away from her culture.
She’s down to earth, and refreshingly honest about the way the blogger-fashion world works. It can be easy for bloggers to act like they’re God’s gift to the fashion industry, and designers shower them with clothes and invitations on a daily basis. Margaret gives a much more honest insight into the world, just ask her…
“I’ve never been much of a campaigner. I get awkward when receiving compliments. I’m not a social-climber, or a cocktail schmoozer. I don’t even wear a bloody bra, most of the time.”
She’s travelled to many corners of the World for her work, but all the while has still kept up her studies, and manages to keep up her blog and all her creative work in between studying 2 degrees. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Aside from her kickass personality, her blog Shine By Three is amazing. She has absolutely killer taste that translates into a montage of her own photo shoots, re-gramming and re-posting, and her own style. She also dispels the urban myth that bloggers have a personal photographer follow them around all day documenting their day; Margaret explains that most of the photos of her she takes herself using a tripod and timer, or even asks random people on the street to do. If that’s not commitment, I don’t know what it is. Get amongst her, you’ll feel like she’s your bestie in no time.
All pictures courtesy of Margaret Zhang on Shine by Three