Kerry Curl meets with Jordan Wake to discuss fashion, venturing into vlogging and influences... and take a few fabulous original portraits of Jordan himself.
We first met Jordan in 2015 and since then not only have we been following him as an emerging blogger and writer, we’ve also helped Jordan gain an insight into fashion media through inviting him to join the Norwich Fashion Week (NFW) team on photoshoots and backstage at shows. From the Frow to the photographers pit, Jordan has pretty much had access all areas at NFW in his quest to establish himself as a writer of all things style related.
Two years on and with a blog that has covered fashion weeks and events across cities and countries, we thought we’d sit down with Jordan and have a chat about how things have been going so far. It turns out being based in Norfolk has helped him get started as a creative and has given him the confidence and a springboard to explore working in London.
Q) Hi Jordan. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
A) I'm a 21 year old fashion blogger, writer and Visual Merchandiser based in Norwich.
Q) You were clearly fashion curious a few years ago. What inspired you to make contact with the Norwich fashion Week team and say hello?
A) Two years ago when I came out of a career working with competition horses, which surprises many people when I tell them that, I felt very lost in what I wanted to do with my life. Fashion has always been very present in my life in various forms, at this point my objective was to find something I would enjoy. After some research and coming across the NFW website, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to reach out and engage with other creatives who were local to me - I've never looked back since!
Q) What inspired you to create a blog?
A) Once I had decided I wanted a career in fashion and having no qualifications, experience or contacts, I knew a blog would be the most logical thing to do to help me break into the industry.
Q) Who are your biggest influences? Who do you admire most? Who or what inspired you to do what you're doing now?
A) My biggest influences and those I admire probably come under the same category for me personally. I'm always influenced by and admire those that have originality, are true to themselves and dare to be different regardless of the rules society sets for us. What inspired me to do what I do (other than using it to help break into the fashion industry) is because throughout my life I've witnessed a range of people share their own voice in the world. Whether it's talking about my favourite pair of shoes or gender equality, I wanted to create my own platform to which I could share my own voice.
Q) How would you describe your own sense of style?
A) Simple city chic! My style usually consists of a printed shirt paired with some suit trousers, I like the classic and traditional look which just so happens to suit me. However I do like to mix my usual attire up with the occasional metallic bag, pink faux fur coat or studded boots, variety is the spice of life as they say.
Q) You seem to enjoy attending shows - which designers have been your favourite so far and why?
A) I love attending fashion week, there's just something about the adrenaline rush you get when you see a collection coming down the catwalk you've been waiting months to see. Last year at LFW SS18 I attended the John Herrera show which was phenomenal, I adored the structured silhouettes and printed fabrics he used in his collection. Another favourite of mine is the collections shown at Graduate Fashion Week by student designers. It's so reassuring to see the talent and creativity from students and be able to showcase it on the catwalk which GFW enables them to do.
Q) Any designers on your wish list you'd love to get to see?
A) As you can imagine I have quite a long list of designers I'd love to see in the future. The ones that are at the top and stand out the most are Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. I believe they are both timeless in their own rights that will continue to captivate and inspire future generations.
Q) You've recently started vlogging? Is this something you can see becoming part of your repertoire and do you have any tips and advice you can share?
A) I started vlogging last summer after deciding I wanted a new platform to expand onto and grow my blog. I wanted to do it to help put a more personal approach to my work which sometimes can be hard to do through writing. It's not something I ever set out to do on a frequent basis but it's a perfect place to talk and discuss something from a more in depth and personal perspective. My best piece of advice would be try no to be an over perfectionist about it, the more natural the better because it's real life.
Q) What's been the best highlight of blogging so far?
A) There's been multiple highlights for me, from attending Paris Fashion Week to getting my work published in magazines. The best highlight would have to be the people I've met and friendships I have made through my blog, I've been really lucky to meet some amazing and talented individuals which I owe to blogging.
Q) What's the best piece of advice you've received so far about blogging?
A) Be yourself.
Q) What would you say is the biggest challenge about fashion blogging is?
A) Fashion blogging is extremely crowded, as are all types and genres of blogging, everyone and anyone can do it. I think in order to overcome this it's the ability to be authentic and have self expression in your work which people are really looking for at the moment.
Q) How do you balance work and blogging?
A) The truth is my work and blogging take up so much of my time that I find it difficult to balance both. Everybody and their blogs are different, so we all have to find our own balance, but what works for me is keeping the two separate. Also I have to tell myself now and again to stop putting so much pressure on myself because it doesn't do you any favours. We all put so much time and energy into our blogs only to not enjoy it from overthinking irrelevant details, just relax and have fun because there's more to blogging than the perfect Instagram filter.
Q) Where and how do you work best?
A) Locked in my bedroom with no noise or distractions!
Q) As part of this interview we got you in the studio of NFW's Kerry Curl for a fashion portrait shoot. How did you find being a subject in the studio instead of the more typical street style shoots bloggers have become renowned for?
A) I've been on multiple sets where fashion portrait shoots have taken place but being the subject of one was a completely different experience. I liked creating the structure of a set and almost manipulating the theme of the shoot in the studio which you can't do with street style shoots. I think bloggers have been renowned for street style shoots because it's an everyday thing. Blogging and street style shoots are made up of everyday life so they both go hand in hand which make them a successful collaboration.
Q) What's next for you? Do you have any goals, dreams or ambitions you can tell us about?
A) Now 2018 has officially arrived I plan on starting the year as I mean to go on with some exciting events and projects coming up. Starting in January I will be attending London Fashion Week Men's for the first time which I'm really looking forward to. This will shortly be followed by an internship at the New Look head office in London and some other internships throughout the year. My dreams and ambitions are still very much focused on working at a fashion magazine such as Vogue or Elle, cliché I know! One of my main goals is to make the move to London, I feel in this industry if you want to be taken seriously then London is the place to be.
Q) Are there any others blogs or Instagram accounts you think our readers would enjoy checking out?
A) There's so many amazing blogs/Instagram's out there that it's difficult to narrow it down, so I thought I'd list my top 5:
*Bryan Boy (@bryanboycom)
*Alicia Roddy (@lissyroddyy)
*Ellen Brockbank (@ellenbrockygirl)
*Sophie Milner (@sophiemilner_fs)
*Tina Leung (@tinaleung)
Whether it's their style, the way they write or the influence they've had on me, these are the bloggers I would recommend everyone is following.
Q) When you're in Norwich what's your perfect day? Where do you like to shop, eat and relax?
A) Norwich is such a beautiful city that has so much to offer, I truly love living here. My favourite places to eat would be Cote or East Twenty Six which are conveniently opposite eachother. There's some amazing shopping centres here such as Intu Chapelfield and Castle Mall that houses everything from H&M to New Look, so you're always spoilt for choice. Norwich also has some fabulous cocktail bars like Bar One and Vodka Revolution which I love relaxing at with my friends.