My name is Nina Brooklyn Brown( Brooklyn is a self appointed middle name that has been with me since I was 16 years & now a part of my identity )I have a blog, HAUTE HOODLUM, that I am slowly developing& expanding& generally having fun with I am not a full time blogger as I work in corporate events but I dedicate a massive chunk of time & energy on HH so I hope you like it.
2.Can you tell us about your blog& what inspired you to start it?
Haute Hoodlum was established in 2012 as an entry to a competition, but I didn’t win. I think the blog was a natural progression for me. I majored in Film, Media& English at the University Of Cape Town (UCT) and went on to do my honours in Fashion at LISOF in Johannesburg. So Fashion& Communication are in my blood Haute Hoodlum focuses primarily on fashion but also delves into events(and usually my take on Who Wore What&How), food (I love to eat) and general adventures.
3. Please Describe Your Style?
I find it really difficult to describe my style because I don’t have one particular “Look” that I go for. Fashion is so versatile and playful and allows you to create versions of yourself every single day. Some mornings I feel like getting really dolled up for work(when I wake up in time) and there are Sundays spent in floral lounge pants and my dad’s sweater. I am a huge fan of skirts because they are really good for my body shape so I can I think that would probably be a way to identify me.But otherwise I can I can really jump over the spectrum of style. I recently returned from London 5 weeks ago where I attended the VOGUE intensive summer course at the Conde Nast College Of Fashion and I think my time there sharpened my look a bit.
4. Tell me about some of the people you have met while working on your blog?
My blog is relatively new so I haven’t come across too many famous faces but I came back from the launch of the ELLE fashion cupboard and I met Trevor Stuurman that I admire hugely& Emile Gambade the new editor of ELLE South Africa. I am Hoping to grow HAUTE HOODLUM as organically as possible but hopefully there will be some more influential fashion figures in the not-so-distant future! What has been really exciting is meeting other young bloggers who are trying new things and have a fresh perspective there really is so much talent in this country it is awesome to watch.
5. How would you describe your blogging style?
I would say my blogging & writing style is very relaxed informal. I write as though I am chatting to friends. People often tell me they can hear me saying all the things I say in my posts and I think that is really true. I also think I am quite funny sometimes and I have a cheeky little way of telling a story. I like to post as often as I can so it needs to be fun & entertaining but also try to be informative in a way that someone who has no idea about fashion or events can still understand and relate to what I am saying.
6. How do you keep your blog relevant?
I think the key to relevancy is honesty. I say what I feel and am not trying to impress anyone or get freebies. I talk about what matters to me, what I find interesting or entertaining and I am not afraid to dish out some harsh truth. At the same time I can make fun of myself which I think makes me extremely relatable to people, even strangers. I also like to talk about fashion events as soon as they happen and if I do an outfit post I’ll always link it to a trend you’re seeing on the streets or in a magazine, but in a simple way. I think that is what makes Haute Hoodlum relevant. I’m just a normal girl who really , really loves fashion and all that it means in the world and wants to share that with people.
7.As you are a Blogger, Writer& Stylist how do you mange all 3?
To tell the truth(and nothing but the truth)in real life I am an events coordinator for a corporate events management company. The blogging, writing & styling is all on the side. My day job takes 90% of my life because events is an 9-5 situation its all day everyday, so I do sometimes struggle to manage everything(see, told you I am real) but fashion is so important to me that I make tie to talk about it. I am also new at all of this I only finished studying December so everything is still so exciting and inspiring that it makes the late nights and bags under the eyes worth it! You’ve gotta work hard in the industry that is just how it works so if you really want to step inside of your dreams, you have to put in the hours.
8. What’s the most fun thing about blogging and what’s your favorite blog post?
The most fun thing about blogging is the creation of the story, its everything. The text , the visuals, the context behind what you’re telling the people. You have to make them understand , so there is an art in the way that you project the information whirling around inside your head. I love producing the posts,( what am I going to wear for this? How should I shoot an image? do I look stupid most of the time the answer is yes and I kinda love it because those photos are usually my favorite anyway.). My favorite blog post is a tricky one because each post has developed from the one before it and how I convey a message. I think maybe the post I did on the latest Fashion Week Season because It was an idea that came to me through a pure observation of the trends and then grew into this magically visual description of a much more complex issue (the fact that the show has become more important than the clothes because there isn’t much room for innovation in terms of apparel anymore)
9. Your favorite fashion magazine & why?
Internationally It has to be British VOGUE hands down, locally I absolutely love ELLE and Marie Claire. I think because they are really beautiful publications that live up to an international standard. I came across a magazine while in London called Schon and it has the most incredible images in it and is a lot more edgy and risky than your usual; fashion magazines.
10. Favorite fashion house & why?
What a tough question! Ok, internationally I have to say Chanel first. The house is just so exceptionally chic and season after season, they produce fashion that is modern and stylish without losing sight of what Coco Chanel first introduced to when she started the house. I also love the luxurious glamour of Dolce & Gabbana, the always elegant YSL (now just Saint Laurent) and Givenchy, Prada, the utterly absurd yet feminine Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen and the pure artistry of Hussein Chalayan (the wooden table that became a skirt will forever be in my heart). Younger houses and designers are also doing incredible things right now, such as Balmian, Céline, Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou and Alexander Wang. Honestly I could go on forever. Locally I have to give praise to David Tlale for always, always producing exceptional pieces; as well as Thula Sindi, Stefania Morland, Anisa Mpungwe for Loin Cloth & Ashes and ELLE Rising Stars Nicholas Coutts and Tamara Cherie Dyson. I studied with Jenevieve Lyons and she is putting out some of the most exquisite and beautifully structured fashion I have seen in South Africa.
11. Your thoughts about fashion locally?
South African fashion has grown in leaps and bounds over the last few years. I think we are really starting to find ourselves and explore what talent we have locally, instead of just waiting for the international trends to dictate what we wear and when. We are doing fashion the way we want to more than ever before and we are producing some phenomenal talent. That said, I think we are still figuring it all out and trying to establish our own style but we embrace fashion and really take risks with what we wear, and how we wear it. South Africans are vibrant people and I think the fashion industry reflects that, with a plethora of mixed styles and silhouettes etc. it is a very exciting time to be coming into the industry because there is so much energy and passion from within.
12. Upcoming projects?
I don’t have any upcoming projects planned, other than a collaboration with one of my very good friends and fellow bloggers The Valley Diaries. I would love to get involved with other bloggers or brands but for the time being I am just focusing on evolving Haute Hoodlum and getting it to a place that really means something. I have put some structures in place to ensure that the new year sees some growth for the blog and I am really excited to share the journey with everyone that follows it so far – I genuinely value your support and feedback on HH.
Thank you very much for agreeing to do the interview Miss Brown, I appreciate all the best of luck with your future plans 🙂