More Than Just Pretty Clothes
Song of Style founder and fashion blogger Aimee Song on her success: It’s constant work
When Aimee Song started her fashion and lifestyle blog Song of Style in 2008, she had no idea about the exciting journey she would embark on. Within a few years, the social entrepreneur has gained international fame and recognition, and with 5.4 million followers on Instagram she has become one of the top influencers of her generation.
Now a full-time blogger and interior designer, Aimee is in the lucky position to travel to the world’s most extraordinary places, visit the most prestigious fashion shows in New York and Paris, and share her story with millions of fans from all around the world. I had the opportunity to interview the successful businesswoman and ask her about her personal views about the fashion world, her experiences as an entrepreneur and her beauty tips to always strike a scene wherever you go.
You travel all around the world in the name of fashion and attend prestigious events like the fashion weeks in New York and Paris. How does a typical working day for you look like during these events?
It depends which Fashion Week I’m at because some are busier than others. New York is the most hectic, and a typical day means waking up really early to get ready and eat breakfast before heading to the shows. Sometimes I won’t get to go back to the hotel until late at night so I have to plan ahead and change my outfits in the car! Then once the day is done, I focus on creating content for the blog and my other channels.
What are the differences between US and Europe fashion weeks when it comes to the atmosphere and runway styles?
I just attended my first Couture Week in Paris this year and it was definitely a different experience than New York or even Pret à Porter in Paris. The shows were smaller and a little more intimate and obviously the clothing was much different since it was Haute Couture. I really liked it a lot.
Were you inspired by any styles at the recent NYFW?
I’m mostly inspired by real people. I love walking down the street and seeing different girls doing their own thing—whether it’s a cool hairstyle or they’re wearing a piece in a way that I wouldn’t have thought of.
You’re very busy during NYFW covering the latest fashion trends. How do you find some time for yourself to relax during such stressful activities? Do you have a secret sanctuary to escape to that you can share with us?
I relax when I go home to my dogs! I usually am able to chill once it’s night time and the shows have ended though. I don’t have any FOMO (fear of missing out) and I don’t drink alcohol, so I don’t go to every party or event and that leave me some time to decompress from the day.
Thanks to your blog, you were able to travel to some of the most beautiful places in the world, e.g. France, Italy or even Iceland. How do you prepare for those journeys? Do you pre-select the outfits you are going to present online or do you decide on the fly?
I always look at photos of where I’m going if it’s a place I’ve never been before, and I plan my outfits accordingly before I pack because I do want to know what will look good in photos, but also when I’m in such a beautiful place I don’t want to have to spend time worrying about what to wear. I talk about this more in my book, Capture Your Style, which is coming out in September!
Which piece in your wardrobe is indispensable and has to be a part of every trip, no matter what?
Denim. As much as I love pretty dresses and heels, I’m always the most comfortable in jeans.
What are your go-to accessories to complete a perfect outfit?
I love dainty necklaces and rings like Anarchy Street or Art Youth Society because you can mix match and layer them in different pretty ways. The right lipstick is always important too. My current favorite is the Laura Mercier Creme Smooth Lip Color in Palm Beach, but for Paris Couture Week I switched up the colors depending on my outfits.
How do you choose what clothes to wear? Is the look more important than comfort?
When I was starting out blogging and going to fashion weeks, it was definitely more about the look, but as I’ve gotten older I care more about comfort and dressing for the occasion. I remember one New York Fashion week a few years ago in February where I was wearing a mini skirt and heels and I still laugh when I look at pictures because I was totally freezing and it was impossible to walk in those shoes on the ice.
If you had the opportunity to ask your favourite designer to personally create one pair of shoes for you: Who would it be and what would it look like?
I’d choose one of the Italian designers like Guiseppi Zanotti, Edgardo Osorio from Aquazzura, or Gianvito Rossi because they make such incredible shoes, and I would let them create whatever. But probably some kind of high heel sandal. But if Azzedine Alaïa said he would make something for me, I would literally die.
Your life seems to be all about fashion and style. How do you spend your time if you are not keeping track on the latest trends in the business?
I like to spend time with my family and my dogs as much as possible when I’m home since I travel so much.
You had been announced as one of Forbes’ “30 under 30” in the category “Arts and Style” and with millions combines followers on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, you are considered one the most influential and popular fashion bloggers out there. What do you attribute your success to?
I attribute my success to consistent hard work, as I’ve been working full time since I graduated high school, but also to my family. My parents and my grandma instilled really valuable lessons in me that still apply to my life to this day.
At what moment did you realize that your blog was far more than a hobby, but had turned into a business?
When I was in college and flying back and forth from New York to go to the Fashion Week, but made it back in time for my classes. Until a few years ago when an agency had reached out to represent me I didn’t really know to what extent it could be a business.
How did your view of the fashion industry change over the years from being merely an observer to being a part of it?
It became much more exciting and I look at it in such a different way because I understand the craftsmanship and business aspects so much more than I did before.
What do you reckon is the biggest misconception people have about your work?
I think people have the perception that this field is just getting your picture taken or they think that we’re just models. But one of the reasons the blogging industry is so successful is that we are real people. I’ve made this my full-time job and I have clothing lines as well, but a lot of my friends run successful blogs and still have full-time jobs and are moms at the same time. It’s constant work.
What advice do you have for anybody who wants to follow your path?
I would say start because you are passionate about the topic of your blog and don’t do it just because you want to be popular.