Classic Black Pumps Turn into an Internship
by Hillary Humphreys
I've been keeping my own little fashion blog, Classic Black Pumps, since I was about 16. The fashion industry intrigues me to an absurd degree. It's full of creative, eccentric people (not unlike Shimer) and the things that it produces are both beautiful and functional. Fashion becomes history. From Marie Antoinette's wigs to the flapper dresses and flats of the 1920's, what we're wearing is a reflection of our society and our clothes can have a major effect on the way we interact with the world around us. I'm not exactly a trendy person. Trends don't work with my personality. I go for the classics more than anything else- little black dresses, pencil skirts, well-fitted jeans - but I like to keep my finger on the pulse of fashion currents just the same. When I found that there was a community that sought to unite all of us pedestrian fashion journalists, I applied immediately. And that is how my internship with the Independent Fashion Bloggers came about.
There's Vogue and there's Harper's Bazaar. There's Elle Magazine, and some beautiful lesser known fashion publications like Lulu and Flaunt. Up until a few years ago, magazines were just about the sole fashion resource (there are several incredible books on the topic out there, too). But with the dawn of social networking and sites like Blogger and Wordpress, anyone who cares about fashion is now allowed a say on the matter. A lot of people seem to think that the internet is where a bunch of hooligans just let their mouths run about things they haven't truly a clue about, but in the case of fashion blogging this is rarely the case. 85% of the time, fashion blogs are informative, well-researched, and beautifully written. The writers behind them are bold, creative, and inquiring. When the big shots in the industry realized this, fashion bloggers became an integral part of the way designers, models, agents, editors, and the other important fashion folks function. Now you'll see bloggers sitting front row at fashion shows, being the inspiration behind a collection, designing their own line of shoes, getting a cover story with a fashion magazine. IFB is where all these up-and-comers organize and discuss how to improve their work, ethical blogging dilemmas, and interactions with the big names in the fashion world. I am so proud to be a member, and even more proud to be one of three interns for the site.
Thanks to the Shimer Internship program funded by the JS Kemper Foundation, I am able to spend the majority of my summer keeping the site looking its best. My main purpose on the Independent Fashion Bloggers is to build community. I go over applications, welcome new members, moderate discussions, and roam the internet in pursuit of new recruits. At the beginning of the summer, this was all done from the comfort of my laptop in my home in Oregon - hardly a fashion capital. But then I came back to Chicago and the really fun stuff began. Under the watchful eye of Jennine Tamm, the supervisor of my internship and CEO of IFB, I am learning how to increase traffic to my blog, basic fashion writing skills, and cool tricks with html. I've found an overwhelming number of bloggers call Chicago home. I can't wait to take advantage of that with blogger meet-ups and I plan to build a strong community of IFB members there. It's already promising to be an interesting, busy summer and I can't wait for the rest of it to take off.