There is no doubt that the fashion industry has changed. We see it everywhere we turn. However, with the main focus today being on bloggers, we've forgotten about the equally glamorous life of those that get paid to write about fashion - the life of fashion writers and columnist.
Today's Carrie Bradshaw still uses her laptop in the wee hours of the morning to finish a column, she still has a closet to die for and she still has a job that other writers would give their left arm for. However, today, Carrie's column is digital, her rolodex can be found on Twitter, her network is Facebook and her image is a combination of social media, fashion events, product reviews and photo shoots.
We recently had the pleasure to get an inside look at the life local fashion columnist Corbin Chamberlin who writes a column "Fabulousity by Corbin Chamberlin" for ArizonaFoothills.com. At first glance, Corbin's presence (which some compare to Andre Leon Talley) can be overwhelming. Corbin stands well over 6 feet tall and is usually covered from head to toe in Hermes and/or faux fur with his recorder, blackberry and Mac tucked away for quick access.
However, once you speak with him he will softly inform you that his passion and life goals revolve around fashion, art and culture. According to Corbin, "Fashion in my life is what electricity is to a light bulb "meaningless and dull without it."
Being a successful fashion writer these days is a full time job. Not only do you have the integrity of the magazine to answer to, but your "person" becomes your career. Throw in the constant need to keep up with technology, fashion, social media and the local fashion scene and only the strong and passionate survive. We sat down with Corbin and asked him a few questions:
Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What's your educational background? What are your general professional and non-professional interests? I am from Arizona, went to school for fashion merchandising. My interests both professionally and personally are fashion, art and culture as a whole. I love working with young, emerging talent and students.
When did you realize you wanted to be a part of the fashion industry? I was nine, my neighbor was a retired pattern maker who told me stories about the fabulous garments she would create and the marvelous designers she worked with. I was in awe.
What was the first article of clothing you ever feel truly in love with? My mother has an incredible ruby ring that I was always obsessed with. I have also had a long time love affair with Hermes Scarves.
How long have you worked in the fashion industry? I have been working in the industry for six years! But have always loved fashion.
What's a day look like in Corbin's life? I wake up at 5:30 return emails, go for a run. I always have a full day of appointments. Break for lunch, St. Francis is always my top choice. I have at least 2-4 events a week in the evening. After that is the "witching hour(s)", where I blast the music and finish my work for the day.
How do you prepare for your day to day job? Chanel perfume, five shots of espresso over ice and a purse filled with moleskin journals, voice recorder, planner, Blackberry, Mac.
Who is one of your favorite local models to work with? Lauren Abbey, She is beyond gorgeous and so easy to work with. The girl is a star.
Who is one of your favorite local designers to work with? Joy Li, hands down! One of the most sensational people in the valley - so kind and is very helpful.
What matters to you most as an up and coming local fashion icon? Educating and supporting the local talent. Finding and exposing emerging designers is a huge part and a privilege of my job.
What's your favorite part about conceptualizing a project, show, shoot, magazine article etc? The finished result. As well as working with creatively driven people. And of course playing with such incredible clothing!
What are some of your accomplishments in the fashion industry? Working and being mentored by such incredible individuals such as Peter Davis, Naeem Khan, Michael Dee and the sensational people I have interviewed. I am very fortunate.
What do you believe makes a quality article of clothing? It's all about the love affair. When I see something I love I have immediate day dreams of me wearing the article. Like some commercial! The fabric, design and feel must seduce you.
Do you consider yourself an artist? I do, I think it is very important. In order to give a pure review of a collection or exhibit you must relate to the artist/designer.
Who are some of your favorite designers worldwide? Naeem Khan is a dear friend and mentor, his work is extraordinary. I also love Alber Elbaz, Karl Lagerfeld and Doo Ri Chung.
The "Andre Leon Talley of AZ"? Explain how you got that label and how you feel personally about it? I love it, but the title was not self given. I have been wearing fur, brooches, scarves and over the top things since a child. Evonne Bowling the fashion director of MCC and previous head buyer for Dilliards titled me this in an interview and it just stuck. Peter Davis of Italian Vogue also calls me "The New ALT" I adore Andre, and feel privileged to be compared to such a magnificent person but I am not mimicking him. We both just have elaborate.
Is it hard keeping up your image 24/7? Do ever feel like you need a break? I am just me; I do not put on character. What you see at 10am is what you will see at 10pm. Being unique and yourself is so refreshing, no break needed.
Where can readers go to get more of Corbin? Arizona Foothills Magazine! My column "Fabulosity" is online as well.
Is there something that no one would guess about you from looking at you? I enjoy gardening and I am an equestrian.
Want more of Corbin? Twitter: http://twitter.com/corbin_c Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Corbin-Chamberlin/140102943210 Google Profile: http://www.google.com/profiles/corbinchamberlin
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