Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Icon: Justine Iaboni

Our 2nd interview for our special project is here and today Justine Iaboni, the lady behind Whatever...Eurotrash, is under our spotlight! Read the following interview carefully as there are actually some good points for all of us to absorb!

Do you consider 2011a successful year for your blog? Compare to 1 year ago, do you think your blog has evolved and captured a specific audience?
Yes. One year ago my blog was still sort of just a space where I occasionally wrote witty articles about my life and fashion. Since then I've redesigned the layout, added tools and plugins, made it Search Engine Optimized (I graduated with an Arts degree - I am no computer techie) and all those fun things. It seems that more and more people are catching on to this thing called "Eurotrash", which my blog heralds. I'll have "fans" send me messages about a Eurotrash food truck or lyrics to a song... Anything that adds to the Eurotrash canon.

My blog is slowly becoming the go-to for snarky, ironic and witty approaches to fashion and lifestyle. I think if I can make people laugh while giving them expert insight about the new Gucci Museum in Florence or my exclusive visit with Luisa Via Roma I've done my job as a captivating writer. I don't think people just want information - they want an opinion, a voice, a personality; and from the feedback my readers graciously proffer, Eurotrash exudes the latter.

Out of all the things you have done this year, what was your biggest achievement?
It's funny you ask this because at the time when I receive really great news it seems as though such and such is the biggest achievement, until a few weeks later when something else comes up and I get excited all over again. 

I will say though that one of my biggest personal achievements was my feature on Luisa Via Roma. I was fortunate enough to be in Florence this summer and I told myself that if I didn't go into LVR and introduce myself, ask for a tour etc,... well basically NOT going wasn't an option. So there I was, a lonely blogger entering one of the most popular boutiques in the entire world trying to get a feature on them. And you know what? It was the best thing I ever did. They accepted me with open arms and I got exclusive photos, information, etc. Since this store was where the concept "Eurotrash" was first born back in 2004 it really felt like coming full circle this summer, almost 10 years later, having developed an adolescent idea into a successful fashion and lifestyle blog.

Other than your own blog, which Canadian fashion/arts blogs do you visit regularly? Why do you put them on your must read list?
To be honest, I don't really do much "regular" blog reading in general. If I see an article on facebook or twitter that draws my attention then I will read it - no matter whose blog it is. It's really different when you're immersed in the industry vs being an outsider, I think. Then again I'm not a really methodological person so I sort of approach my blog reading a bit haphazardly.

What kind of expectation do you have for your blog in 2012? Do you think you will be adding some new elements to it?
I have all sorts of expectations for Eurotrash in 2012. I'm adding various elements to it. All of which are a secret right now, which I'm sure you can appreciate, Marcus!

In general though I'm expanding. The site will cover more, I am adding a team of photographers, stylists, interns, writers (send your resumes to I'm also going to be collaborating more and more with sponsors.

I'm also shying away from the "NEWS" approach to blogging. It becomes a bit redundant for business - if we all cover the same launch party, pop up shop, where all us bloggers attend the same event and all read each other's same post about it the next day.

Courtesy of Mark Sommerfeld

I know there are a lot of people looking for ways to break into the Canadian fashion and arts scene, what are some of your advices you can give to them?
Don't follow the trend. Be original. (My friend Sabrina Maddeaux just published a really germane article on this called Luxury Fashion Lottery in The Genteel - every aspiring blogger/writer/stylist/etc should read it). Blogging about LG Fashion week isn't going to get you anywhere fast. Also, you have to bother PR firms over and over and over again. They will not remember you, they will not invite you to events, they won't even send you press photos unless you bang on their door. It's the most disappointing aspect of being a fashion blogger - PR companies aren't doing their research so us lesser known bloggers sort of have to do it for them.

If you had a chance to collaborate with a fashion brand for your blog next year, which brand would you want to work with? What kind of projects would you want to do?
In a dream world I'd love to collaborate with Gucci. You know how Rihanna was the Tattoo Heart spokesperson a few years ago for Gucci's UNICEF campaign? Well, I'd love to help design a capsule collection for their next charity campaign - and we'd only sell the product online and at the Bloor Street flagship store, this way business and attention would be centred in Toronto. Most collaborations and celeb events (Mugler, Anna dello Russo, Man Repeller) don't really bring quantifiable business to our city, nor the amount of attention Toronto deserves. I've said this many times on my blog and in interviews: Toronto needs to become the main attraction, and not just a stop on the tour.

Click here to visit Whatever...Eurotrash. Trust us, you will be entertained!

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