StyleNest takes five minutes with the face behind Style Bubble, Susie Lau and talks style, fashion and blogging.
With a wealth of digital experience under her iMac, Susie Lau aka Susie Bubble knows a thing or two about the digital era and how to keep in check with social media. StyleNest pick her brains, on what to expect next from the style blogger as well as catching up with her latest collaboration with vitaminwater.
You started your blog Style Bubble in 2006 but studied history at university. What made you decide to venture into fashion?
I didn’t really decide to “venture” into fashion. I started the blog on the side of my full time job and it was never meant to be anything more than a hobby. I was quite content to have my boring full time job and then to have something on the side for me to enjoy. As it turned out, I stumbled into fashion without fully meaning to.
You worked in advertising before taking on the role as online editor at Dazed & Confused. The fashion and advertising world is intertwined. Do you think your background in advertising helped with this role?
I think it made me aware of the commercial tie-ins that fashion publishing needs in order to survive as a business and obviously helped me a lot when thinking about monetising Dazed Digital as well as Style Bubble.
You have recently teamed up with Glacéau vitaminwater for their #shinebright campaign which helps give emerging talent opportunities. Can you tell our readers a bit more about the campaign?
The #ShineBright campaign is basically an opportunity for myself and the other campaign stars to share their experience and their expertise with their one chosen winner. I’ll be offering the chance for someone to come to London Fashion Week and see what it is that I do during the most hectic time of the year. They’ll be seeing shows, going behind the scenes with designers and helping me out with maintaining the blog. It’s a great opportunity, as I’ve actually personally never taken on an intern or an assistant. I’ve worked by myself for so long that it will be quite strange to have someone with me for two days. It should be a great experience for whoever wins though.
You are offering one-to-one mentoring and the chance for a lucky creative to work with you at London Fashion Week. What qualities in a candidate will you be looking for to mentor?
I’d like someone who thinks a little differently with regards to fashion – beyond the glitz and glam. It’s a real industry with lots of creative and hard working people so likewise; I’d like the candidate to be equally hard working and creative.
London really nurtures young designers. What do you think it is about London that makes it such a hub of creative energy and talent?
Creativity is ingrained into the city’s very culture, from the art schools to the different hubs in the city which breed leftfield thinking.
London Fashion Week is the city to showcase new designers. Who are your favourite British designers?
There’s so many…. J.W. Anderson, Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou, Meadham Kirchhoff, Simone Rocha, Christopher Raeburn, Agi & Sam, Sibling, Palmer//Harding, Richard Nicoll, Jonathan Saunders… the list goes on and they’re all people whose clothes I wear regularly.
How would you describe a day in the life of Susie?
It can either be very static – me sitting at my desk geeking out on my iMac, drinking too many cups of tea, or very manic, if I’m travelling – anything goes. If I’m out and about in town, then I’m running around meeting designers, PRs, seeing showrooms, exhibitions and new shops. It’s important to go out and get your story for the blog. I don’t really like getting stories purely from the Internet without having seen something in person.
These days it’s so easy to start writing a blog but it’s not so easy to make it successful and to make a living out of it. What advice would you give our readers who want to set up a blog whilst making an income too?
- The first thing is to eliminate all thoughts of making an income out of a blog. You need to build up strong content first and foremost so perhaps starting a blog on the side of studying or a job is a more ideal situation.
- Take pleasure in the act of blogging and establish a rhythm that works for you as well as content that you feel stands out in the blogosphere.
- Check out other people’s blogs and obviously don’t replicate what’s already out there. Think about a niche that you can focus in on that nobody else is doing.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I don’t think that far ahead.
You’re very online savvy. With Facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest, and vine how do you keep up with all these forms of social media?
Actually I try to just stick to two or three platforms as opposed to doing everything, so for me my favoured platforms are Twitter and Instagram and now the latter has video, there’s a whole new approach to explore there.
What do you think is going to be the next big thing for the online world?
Content driven shopping experiences which is what is already happening but I think it will evolve to a new level very soon.
Style is very important to you – how would you describe your style?
A bit all over the place – I’m a style schizophrenic. I don’t like being put in a style pigeonhole. For me the fun of fashion is trying different things out, even if it doesn’t always work out. Getting it wrong is half the fun for me.
You have a great and individual style and always look so polished and perfectly accessorised from top-to-toe. Can you give our readers any top tips on shopping for new season styles?
There are a lot of great textures going on for the new season. I think it’s good to dip in and out of the fun things like all the furry textures (faux please) or the punk themed stuff. On a more serious note, there’s a lot of classicism – boyish silhouettes, elongated skirts and ladylike belted in coats. I think it’s about finding what suits you rather than buying into everything. I personally wouldn’t go for the ladylike thing because I don’t really suit it but I’ll be on the hunt for a mannish trouser suit for instance.
We can’t believe the sales have started and before you know it Fashion Week will be round the corner. How do you plan your looks for the shows?
There’s not much planning involved as I’m very much a “shop as I go through the weeks” kind of person. Especially in New York when I like to wander around doing bits of shopping at Opening Ceremony or vintage stores. Now it’s the sales, I have picked up things here and there but it’s not really that strategic. Weather plays a huge part in fashion week dressing and I tend to plan outfits around that.
Any advice for readers who want to experiment with their style a little?
Go for colours that you would normally steer clear of. I often find once people try an unexpected colour on, they surprise themselves with how much they like it. Then do the same for a print. I would never force someone to go out of their comfort zone. People should just try things for themselves and not be bulled into it.
Living in London, you must know a few hidden treasures. Can you tell us your favourite boutiques and cafes?
I love Alfie’s Antique Market in Marylebone for a vintage one-stop drop and Merchant Archive in Notting Hill is my favourite vintage spot overall just because they always have a surprising selection. I also like LN-CC for their selection and it’s a pretty amazing shopping experience. Towpath Cafe, Honey & Co and Le Peche Mignon near me are my current faces.
You grew up in London but your parents are from Hong Kong, where is your go-to city in the world to shop?
Without a doubt Tokyo. Everywhere you go there are brilliant shopping experiences to be had and the best thing about Tokyo is the abundance of second hand designer clothing stores – it’s such a great hunting ground.
To find out more about #shinebright and the creative challenge set by each of the six mentors, head to www.vitaminwatershinebright.com. The six #shinebright opportunities are open until Friday 16th August. Follow @vitaminwater_uk to find out more about the collaborations, stay up to date and get involved.