While sitting in my Doctor’s office thumbing through Essence Magazine, I saw an article on an extraordinary young blogger named Gabi Gregg. I think what impressed me most was what she has managed to accomplished at such a young age; Gabi has been featured in Glamour, Teen Vogue, InStyle, The New York Times, Seventeen, Time Out New York and Cosmopolitan. She has also contributed to Vogue.it, Refinery29, xoJane, Glamour.com and Essence.com and now is style contributor for InStyle magazine! Gregg has successfully challenged the style full figure women can rock! Her blog Gabi Fresh is definitely a style blog to check out.
How old are you? Where are you from?
I’m 25. I was born and raised in Detroit, went to college in Massachusetts, lived in New York for two years and currently live in Chicago.
What was your major in college?
I went to Mount Holyoke College and majored in International Relations and African American Studies. The beauty of blogging (and the internet) is that there are no degrees required!
Where do you shop?
Generally I do my clothes shopping online at the following websites: ASOS, Dorothy Perkins, Forever21+, Style369, Very.com, SimplyBe, and New Look (but really…mostly ASOS). If I shop at a brick and mortar store for clothing it’s usually H&M, Forever21, TopShop or thrift stores. Occasionally I will splurge on designer items from Saks, Barneys etc but those purchases are very few and far between!
I’m looking for an outfit for ________, can you help me?
Unfortunately I don’t have the time, but I can tell you that what I would do in that situation is browse the websites listed above and look for items that fit the description you’d want. If you’re looking for one specific product (e.g. polka dot shorts), you can tweet me and I’ll let you know if I’ve seen any around!
Where can I find stylish plus size swimwear/bikinis?
Monif C, Evans, Figleaves, Bare Necessities, Sorella Swim, Domino Dollhouse, Gisela Ramirez, NakiMuli, Everything But Water, SimplyBe, Forever21+
What size do you wear?
In my adult life I’ve been everything from size 10/12-20/22. Right now I’m technically an 18 but I try on lots of different sizes! You never know what you can make work for you. Check out my video here for more on that.
Who takes your outfit pictures?
It depends. Usually whoever I happen to be out with: friends, family members, boyfriend etc. Sometimes I work with professional photographers and in those cases it’s always noted at the end of the post.
How did you get your start in the fashion industry?
I actually don’t consider myself ‘in the fashion industry’ (and those who are in the industry would most likely agree). I started this blog with no experience or contacts or help and was lucky enough to have it grow via word of mouth. Eventually, it brought me fun opportunities like styling and writing. If you’re interested in being a fashion journalist, stylist, designer etc, I would highly recommend going to school/majoring in that field and making sure you land internships during your summers. ed2010.com is a great resource for up and coming fashion journalists.
I just started blogging! What advice do you have?
First, join Independent Fashion Bloggers and make sure you look through their archives; they have the best info when it comes to starting and maintaining a great blog. My best advice is to figure out your niche and what new point of view you can bring to the table–try to do something that’s not already being done. A minimalist design and nice, clear photos are really helpful too. You don’t have to be perfect–especially in the beginning–none of us are! Be patient and stay true to yourself. Don’t get caught up in the competitive nature of things. Lastly, check out the book Blogging Your Way to the Front Row by Yuli Ziv, it’s filled with really helpful tips!
Some people say you’re promoting obesity!
No, I promote fashion for all bodies. I think all too often our culture tells us that the only people allowed to participate in fashion are thin, which is completely untrue. Women can look great regardless of their weight, and they deserve to feel great too. I am all for people striving to be happy, healthy, and comfortable in their skin.
What are your favorite blogs?
Where did you get _________?
I always list where I purchased each item in a post at the bottom beneath the photos! The bright pink lipstick I wear a lot is called Blue Valentine by Manic Panic.
Do you get free products?
Yes. As a blogger, I do receive gifts from brands. If I decide to post an item that I received for free, I always make sure it’s marked c/o (courtesy of) or it’s made clear in the post itself. Please know that I’m very selective and always stay true to my personal style; I do not accept or blog about items that I don’t love and wouldn’t otherwise purchase.
What is your blog policy on reviewing brand items?
My blog policy is that all items I receive are for consideration only, meaning they may not end up actually featured on the blog. If you’d like to discuss sponsorship/partnership with me, please email firstname.lastname@example.org – I only feature things I love; usually this means I come across them organically. I do not promote events unless I happen to attend them by choice and decide to post about it.
What do you say to people who think your blog is about promoting women have curves and slamming skinny women?
That is not what my blog or message is about at all! I believe women of all shapes and sizes are beautiful and that of course includes thin women. All women are real women and no one body type is better than any other.
What do you say to full figured women lacking confidence in what to wear?
Firstly, be more selective with your media intake. Stop reading tabloids and other magazines that are filled with judgment and body talk. Instead, fill up on body positive blogs and websites dedicated to illustrating bodies of all shapes and sizes. Join tumblr and follow people who have bodies that look like yours. Stop judging other women–challenge yourself to think positively about others, once you accomplish that, you will stop being so harsh on yourself too. Don’t participate when friends or colleagues make fun of another woman’s body, celebrity or otherwise. Do not participate in diet talk. Wear clothes that you feel good in and that express your personality. Pamper yourself with a spa day. Take a long bath, read a good book, and focus on being grateful for all the absolutely amazing things your body is able to do. Many people aren’t so lucky! Remember that cultivating your inner beauty is so much more important than anything you can buy at a store or any number on a scale.
I felt a lot of pressure and like I was being boxed into a very specific category. It was fine for a while, but as I started to grow up and evolve, I felt like my blog couldn’t evolve with me. I decided a title with my name in it would be more flexible and lend itself to be whatever I wanted it to be as I continue to get older and have different passions and interests.