Saturday Spotlight: Owen Payne of The Style Whale

Blog Name: The Style Whale

Blog URL: http://thestylewhale.com

Your name: Owen Payne

Twitter: twitter.com/owen__matthew

Instagram: @owen__matthew

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Where are you located? I currently live in the west end of Richmond, Virginia.

Tell us a little about yourself: I am a 20-year-old junior at VCU studying Fashion Merchandising. I currently work for Nordstrom selling women’s shoes. I’m from Spotsylvania, VA (but that’s not important). My interest in fashion started to develop when I was in middle school and grew through my high school years. I now plan to pursue a career in fashion publication, ideally at a magazine like W or V working as an editor or (eventually) a creative director. The things I love most about fashion publication are the editorials and photographs. That’s what I want to do with my life. Nothing inspires me more.

When did you start your blog? I started this blog in the Summer of 2012.

Why did you decide to start blogging? I have been blogging since I graduated high school in 2010. A friend of mine got me into the idea of it and I have been addicted ever since. Blogging is an excellent creative outlet and a great way of expressing myself, through all of my likes and interests.

Where are your favorite places to shop in RVA? I feel Richmond is a terrible place to shop for taste because it’s a small, conservative city. I find things at H&M, Gap, and Nordstrom mostly. I also love ordering pieces from Topman.

Top 3 favorite blogs to read? weslah.tumblr.com – He is a fashion design student at SCAD and his work is amazing. He is very talented and successful for his age. He and I have a lot in common as well.

dirtyrichmond.tumblr.com – Brian is such a great street style photographer and person.

Another site I’m always on, although it is not really a blog, is style.com. I love reviewing runway collections, reading about fashion news, and so on.

style whale

How would you describe your personal style? I would say clean-cut with a touch of edge. For example, one day while I was at work, I was wearing a sweater. While I was talking to someone, my sleeve rose a little and some younger girls saw part of one of my tattoos on my arms. They gasped and said how awesome it was of me to have so many tattoos because they would never expect it, because of the way I dress and present myself. So I like having that impression on people.

Who is your style inspiration? I do not draw inspiration from one person in particular. I can draw inspiration off of many different people, by the way they act and behave and dress. I get a lot of inspiration from photographs and street style. I may see something that catches my eye and go, “Oh, I have something similar to that in my closet. Let me try that out tomorrow.”

If you could give any advice to other bloggers what would it be? As cliché as this sounds, be yourself. Being a blogger, especially a fashion blogger, you’re going to feel intimated by blogs that are a lot more successful and popular than yours. These people may make you want to change what you do; don’t. Now when I say, “don’t change”, I mean don’t change who you are as a person, because I have definitely reinvented myself through blogging. Stay focused on your goal, you never know who might be looking and reading. I have received several job offers based on people just reading my blog before even meeting me. People have said, “This kid is talented and knows what he is doing,” before even meeting me in person. That is something that I really appreciate, because I do put a lot of time and work into my blog. This brings me to a second piece of advice: DON’T STOP! So many people give up after a certain amount of time because they get discouraged or don’t make it a habit/daily routine. You’ve got to keep it going!

Who are some of your favorite designers/design houses? I am very much a fan of European high fashion. My favorites are Miuccia Prada, Coco Chanel, Jil Sander, Raf Simons, Givenchy, Ricardo Tisci, Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs, Valentino, Maison Martin Margiela, and Lanvin.

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