They dine with renowned fashion designers, receive freebies like jewelry and beauty products, attend fashion shows in Miami and New York, and are becoming some of Miami’s notable socialites.
The recipients of this celebrity hospitality are South Florida’s own fashion bloggers, an ever-growing population of writers, photographers and fashionistas who chronicle local and personal trends.
Here is a glimpse of a few of South Florida’s prominent fashion bloggers.
“Blah Blah Blonde”
As a little girl, Erika Thomas dreamed of writing about fashion and having the opportunity to attend the annual Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City.
This past February, that dream came true.
The American Chemistry Council covered Thomas’ expenses in New York City, including travel and lodging, so that she could attend a styling event that incorporated clothing made from recycled plastics.
Thomas, a 26-year-old fashion blogger from Fort Lauderdale, has documented her outings and ensembles for two years online at “Blah Blah Blonde,” including those at this year’s Fashion Week.
“This was the moment I had dreamed of when I was younger, and it just happened on its own,” she said.
Thomas first started blogging anonymously in 2010, compiling an online scrapbook of editorial photo shoots and Tumblr images she liked. At first, she refrained from publicizing that she owned a blog due to fear of embarrassment.
“You put so much of yourself out there and you’re open to criticism,” she said. “But now I’m more comfortable putting myself out there, in fashion choices I make and in sharing things I like.”
A copy writer at a marketing agency by day, Thomas still has time to post photos of her and her outfits several times a week.
She described her style as “classic,” while sometimes incorporating fashion trends. Currently, her favorite pieces are a pair of baggy orange palazzo pants and summery one-piece rompers.
At a styling event Tuesday night hosted by herself and fellow blogger Kristin Clark, she laughed about how many pieces in her wardrobe are from Old Navy, the nearest store to her Fort Lauderdale home.
“People ask me, ‘Really? You find something cute at Old Navy?’” she said. “I think you can find items that help you express who you are for a $1 or $300. It’s just about following your personal style and having the confidence to wear what you love so that it doesn’t wear you.”
South Florida fashion bloggers like Thomas cover a variety of events and topics typically in Miami, from fashion shows to product reviews to boutique openings.
“I feel like it’s the best way to show 100 percent of who you are,” Thomas said. “There’s no rules, there’s no editor above you.”
Thomas said one of the best parts of blogging is being able to connect with others. When she first moved to South Florida two years ago from Pensacola, she didn’t know anyone in the area. Through blogging, however, she has made friends with her same interests.
The reach of her blog has even surpassed the local fashion community, a feat Thomas can’t explain. She said that “Blah Blah Blonde” has regular visitors from 140 countries around the world.