Better Know A Blogger: The Fashion Poet, Annie Vazquez
I think we're going through a renaissance now, partially from fashion bloggers bringing more awareness to Miami.
Miami fashion blogger Annie Vazquez insists that fashion bloggers do it better. At least that was the name of her inaugural event thrown in conjunction with the Goodwill Project girls last month at Midtown hotspot Ricochet Bar & Lounge. With blogger-inspired drinks, a pop-up photo booth, and designer wares on display, the event drew over 300 local bloggers and fashionistas to network and come together as a community. The Fashion Poet, as Vazquez's blog is named, is in the vanguard of shining a spotlight on Miami fashion for the world to see. Here, she talks about attending New York Fashion Week, interviewing Diane von Furstenberg, and the fashion-forward pieces every girl needs in her wardrobe right now.
How did you get started blogging?
Annie Vazquez: I started writing for the Miami-Herald and freelancing after college, and I've just continued doing it. I started the blog exactly a year ago, last April. One of my friends kept encouraging me, saying that there were no blogs in Miami that focused on fashion. I was hesitant to do it because I didn't want to tarnish my reputation as a journalist by putting something out there that wasn't up to par, but out of frustration with not being able to get stories published that I thought were worthy of being published I just went for it. I didn't really know what I was doing at first, but people started reading it and they liked it.
How did you pick the name The Fashion Poet?
I write about fashion, but there's a million girls that do that. I also write poetry. That's what I studied in college. That's what I wanted to be, but I realized I was going to starve to death [Laughs]. I just decided this is who I am. I love fashion. I love poetry and literature, so I just combined both names.
Have you ever published your poetry on the blog?
No, but it's something people keep asking me to do. I'm in the process of revamping the blog and I'm going to put a section on there where I can share poetry with my readers.
What do your readers get from the Fashion Poet?
I share news about what's going on in Miami, as far as fashion events and sales go. I try to pepper in my take on things like new trends. I write about my firsthand experiences interviewing celebrity designers or attending New York Fashion Week. I also do outfit posts where I dress up in what I like to wear or what's new at the stores, and go out with a street fashion photographer. Girls like to see how other girls dress for inspiration. I wanted the blog to be really Miami-geared. There's lots of blogs with girls dressed phenomenally, but I want to know what's cool in different cities.
What's unique about Miami's mark in the fashion world? What is Miami style?
We love color, we love to be sexy, and we enjoy dressing up. Other cities, like even L.A., they're a little more laid back. We can do casual cool, but we like to dress up. We're a city that is still growing. We had a moment in the '90s where we had all these models here and fashion shoots. It slowed down, but I think we're going through a renaissance now, partially from fashion bloggers bringing more awareness to Miami. I know I've been approached by brands interested in exploring that market and we get visits from a lot of big designers.
What three items does every girl need in her wardrobe now?
A high/low dress or skirt. They're overtaking my closet! They look so good and they go with everything. Definitely a pair of colorful denim, like cobalt, yellow, or something bright because that will still be in for fall. I know a lot of people are intimidated by them, but a pair of Jeffrey Campbell Litas shoes.
What's your favorite fashion moment?
One of my dreams was to interview Diane von Furstenberg. A couple of years ago at New York Fashion Week, I was wearing her dress because I was going to her show, and she walked right by me and she said hi. And I was just starstruck. I couldn't say anything to her. That killed me! I just hoped that I'd have another opportunity. A few months went by, and she came down to Miami to debut her new perfume Diane. I was going to see her at her event at Saks Fifth Avenue, but the day before she was at Sephora, and I went to see her and ended up doing an impromptu interview. I put my questions together in five minutes. That was the greatest moment.
How would you describe your style?
I don't have a signature look. I'm always changing. I'm not afraid of anything when it comes to fashion. I'm obsessed with women wearing ties and the whole menswear look. I like that you're going against the norm. I like to test the waters and see what I can get away with, like pairing polka dot shorts with a bright floral jacket.
Where do you shop in Miami for great fashion finds?
I like the Closet Boutique on Bird Road. If you drive by it and blink, you'll miss it. The owner Loretta lived in New York for a while and worked for several designers. She has a great eye for picking pieces that look like they cost hundreds of dollars, but everything in the store is probably under $100 and its good quality. I love Jessie Boutique in South Beach. If I'm going to go to an event, and need something that looks great, that's where I'll go. Electric Boutique in Kendall has cool things, and they launched their own line of denim called Tribe. I'll shop anywhere, though! Honestly, one of my favorite stores is Forever 21.
Images by Karla Garcia