Karla Garcia sees fashion through a different lens.
Garcia, a 26-year-old full-time wedding and lifestyle photographer, first opened a blog in 2008 when she became interested in photography. The blog was a place to “dump all my images on there to have an outlet.”
Seeking more consistent content, Garcia re-launched her blog last year with fashion as a focus. Rather than posting photos of her own outfits, she wanted to show her readers what she liked through her photography of others’ style.
Garcia started by interviewing and photographing girls on the streets of Miami who she deemed stylish. Sometimes, though, Garcia gets strange looks or rejections.
“I want to be able to go in the street, give them my card and have people want to be featured on my site and feel comfortable with the fact that we’re growing as a fashion community,” Garcia said. “And it’s not people that only wear brand names; it’s just people who have personal style.”
Garcia said that South Florida fashion bloggers are “self-made taste-makers” who are trying to show the world “what we’re into and that our city is growing.”
“It’s nice to know we have a growing culture here considering that most people build their art or fashion line and go off to pursue the big-time,” Garcia said. “I just think, ‘Why can’t we be the big time?’ That makes me so sad.”
Visit Karla Garcia’s blog at kargarohhsnap.com.
“The Fashion Poet”
Garcia often photographs one Miami fashion blogger who first made a name for herself outside the blogosphere and through her freelance articles on NBC, Ocean Drive magazine and The Miami Herald, among others.
Annie Vazquez is a 35-year-old stylist, journalist and blogger who said she started blogging last year out of frustration.
“No one is really focusing on fashion here,” Vazquez said. “No one is really making noise.”
Similar to Garcia and other bloggers, Vazquez’s blog “The Fashion Poet” focuses on the fashion and talent Miami offers.
“A lot of people think about Miami being a party city and a beach place, but they really don’t associate us with fashion. We have our own style,” Vazquez said. “The blog is a doorway into helping make this city what it should be and show that it is a fashionable place.”
Vazquez and Garcia have embarked on a photography project, titled “Miami: Through the Lens of Street Fashion,” that features editorial photo shoots of Vazquez set in less-exposed areas of South Florida, like parks in Miami Lakes or the sidewalks of Coral Gables.
Vazquez said that by showcasing Miami and its fashion movement, bloggers can motivate more local designers to stay local and grow in Miami, rather than in New York City or Los Angeles.
And it all starts with bloggers becoming more cohesive, she said.
“I feel like if we’re going to be successful, we have to be friendly and get together,” Vazquez said.
That is the reason why Vazquez and another blogger duo organized one of the first ever South Florida fashion blogger events, after being inspired by an Independent Fashion Bloggers conference Vazquez attended in New York City during this year’s Fashion Week.
The event, “Miami Bloggers Do It Better,” attracted more than 300 attendees. More recently, Vazquez and other South Florida fashion bloggers collaborated with Neiman Marcus to host a “Fashion Bloggers Night Out,” complete with a panel of bloggers and fashion show. During the networking event, a group of local designers and brands set up pop-up shops and sold their merchandise.
Vazquez’s next project is a fashion festival, combining music and fashion similar to California’s Coachella that features music and art.
“This is all exciting,” Vazquez said. “You feel like you’re your own brand and businesswoman, and it’s empowering to do that.”
Visit Annie Vazquez’s blog at thefashionpoet.com.