Swedish Style Maven Elin Kling on Designing for H&M & Her Advice to New Fashion Bloggers
When news broke that H&M was teaming up with a fashion blogger to design a capsule collection, everyone in the blogosphere lost their minds. Up until then, the cool kid of fast-fashion had only collaborated with established designers like Lanvin and Sonia Rykiel to create limited edition wares, so for a mere fashion enthusiast to land such a coveted with the brand was unheard of. But the Swedish company didn’t just select anyone for the gig — they tapped Elin Kling, their country’s top fashion personality and blogger behind Style by Kling. The 11-piece collection (featuring the showstopping dress above and more here) is set to launch in Sweden at select stores this week, which means all of us stateside will have to rely on eBay to score any of it. And while there’s no doubt that H&M made the right pick, just who is this international fashion phenom that we’re dubbing the Chosen One?
Being the first fashion blogger ever to collaborate on a line with H&M is a pretty big deal. What do you think this means for the blogger community? I think it means a lot for the fashion blog industry. It’s a huge business, but not fully accepted yet. In Sweden, fashion bloggers get more respect today than they did two years ago, and this collaboration is another big step. The industry has a way of seeing fashion bloggers as one product, but that’s like comparing daily, weekly and monthly magazines. It’s up to each individual to create their own blog, and that’s actually also what I like about it — that there aren’t any rules. But it’s also important to remind yourself that your blog is a very strong CV, so don´t waste it.
How were you approached to work with H&M? We had a lunch and they presented the idea of having me as a guest designer, so we talked through the details. When I got back home I made few mood boards about the feeling, materials, and colors, and I showed it to them the next day. They told me that they were surprised in a good way, thank god.
Every piece in your capsule collection is insanely chic and we can’t wait to see what you design next. Who would you like to collaborate with in the future? Wow. I mean, H&M was my dream, but now that I’ve actually worked with them, I guess I would like to do something with someone else that I admire. Right now, I´m a big fan of Swedish designer Ann-Sofie Back. She’s a very cool chick.
Were you always interested in the fashion industry? I never actually had a plan to work in fashion, but I guess I’ve always been involved without knowing it. I mean, when I was a kid I dressed very different — I colored my hair green, I sewed old clothes in new ways, and so on. I started my blog four years ago, and since then I´ve been working for Sweden’s largest TV network and Sweden’s next largest daily newspaper. I run three different companies and now I´m working on my new fashion magazine under Sweden’s largest media house, Bonnier. I’ve also been working on some business for a while that will come up in the states this spring.
Besides your style, everyone wants to know about your beauty routine. Any tried-and-true secrets? Sleep, drink a lot of water, and be happy. I know we’ve all heard that before, but that’s really what it’s all about. Also always be clean and fresh, and don’t forget to take good care of your hands! They’ll get old very fast otherwise. After your face, your hands are what people always see first.
What are your top five fashion rules? 1. Invest in the perfect bag and perfect base wardrobe. 2. Don´t cheat with t-shirts. I’m a big fan of James Perse. 3. Accessorize yourself. I don’t buy accessories that often, but the ones I buy I carry every day. 4. Don´t buy clothes only because they look good on someone else. Before you buy something ask yourself, “Does this color and style really fit me?” 5. Build a good shoe collection. I typically dress very basic and minimalistic, so I like to change my shoes rather than my outfit. They always play an important role in my look.
What advice would you give to new fashion bloggers looking to make an impact? I’d say do your own thing and remember that what you put on the internet will stay on the internet. And although fashion blogging is a hobby, it’s also a job and takes a lot of work. Always keep your site updated with new content. The most popular blogs are big for a reason.
Are there any established fashion bloggers out there that you admire? I’m very impressed by the way that Bryanboy really lives for fashion 24 hours a day.