(Featured image above is courtesy of Jinna Yang) When I say fashion blog, you probably envision a girl or guy posing in front of a camera to capture his or her latest outfit creation. Rachel Schwartzmann of The Style Line has a different approach that involves “bringing storytelling with style back to the web.” Instead of creating posts around what she wears, she focuses on highlighting the people behind the brands by interviewing & writing about the product makers themselves – giving a voice to those who are behind the scenes. At the age of 21, Rachel is already making a name for herself as she amasses a wide readership for The Style Line, in addition to working with companies like Tumblr, Teen Vogue & IBM, as well as contributing for publications such as The Huffington Post and Nylon Mexico. If she’s doing this at 21, imagine the kind of fierce BOSS lady she’ll be at 30! Join as we chat with the stylish and savvy digital entrepreneur, Rachel Schwartzmann.
Q: When and why did you get into blogging?
A: I created The Style Line on tumblr in January of 2011, during my senior year of high school. Street style was really booming and having grown up in New York, I was in the center of it all! At the time, I thought it would be something extra to provide in my college applications… Little did I know, it was going to blossom into something much more.
Q: What is the mission behind The Style Line and what makes it different from other fashion blogs?
A: It’s been an interesting evolution – I think now more than anything The Style Line is now a lifestyle website that focuses on storytelling. I relaunched the brand by building an entirely new freestanding website in August of 2013 with the idea of taking our original interview-based approach and street-style focus and expanding on it. Our slogan is “Bringing storytelling with style back to the web” and what I hope to achieve is a real marriage between showing what’s relevant through style (whether that means clothing, or lifestyle, etc.) but really getting to the core of what people are thinking and doing. Pushing products are important, but it’s essential our priority are the people behind them.
Q: Describe your personal style.
A: It’s gotten much more mature and refined over the years. As of now I would say it’s tailored with a twist.
Q: You’ve amassed an impressive fan base. How did you connect with your audience and what steps did you take to make that happen?
A: Tumblr has really been a powerful tool in growing and maintaining my audience. I’m fortunate enough to be a part of their incredible fashion community. Through this medium alone, I’ve gotten to participate in some incredible and unique projects and it’s provided immense exposure. I think for the most part I’ve tried to really let my readers know that I’m an advocate of style rather than fashion which I think really broadens the palette as far as content goes. We’re still evolving, but my hope is that through our voice and editorial themes, our readers feel comfortable and a part of the conversation.
Q: What do you look for when working with a brand?
A: I look to make sure the brand has researched what we’re about. Often times, brands send mass emails without having any knowledge about the mission behind The Style Line. There’s a lot to it, and if a brand has reached out I want to assume that they align with our vision and approach to fashion and style. But this process is really case-by-case.
Q: What are some of your favorite projects or collaborations in The Style Line?
A: I’ve been a participant in Tumblr’s NYFW creator program, which has been amazing – The second season I worked with them was great, as it introduced me to the CFDA. SONY sponsored the project and provided equipment for me to document my experience at the CFDA offices, I then submitted a photo which was on display at MILK Studios as a part of the first ever Tumblr fashion photo exhibition/kick-off event for the NYFW S/S2014 season. I’ve also worked with Teen Vogue in various capacities, the first and probably most humbling was participating as a Digital Media Influencer/Panelist at the MAGIC Trade-Show in January 2012. And last year I spoke to students at Colombia University on entrepreneurship and fashion in the digital space…. Those are some highlights, but every project we take on is humbling and another step in the journey!
Q: Which brands do you want to work with that you haven’t?
A: I’m a huge fan of BaubleBar’s Guest Bartender partnership series – That would be a personal milestone if The Style Line were to be chosen to do this particular collaboration. I’m also really hoping to work on more sustainability/eco-friendly fashion ventures… I’m seeing this niche develop within our content and it’s an issue I’m learning more about everyday and it’s a conversation that needs to happen.
Q: Tell us where you ultimately The Style Line and yourself in the future.
A: Ultimately I want people to see The Style Line as a resource for “timeless news.” Meaning, if someone were to look back at one of our stories 10 years from now, they would still have the ability to feel something or take something away from what that person was saying at that point in time. In a more practical sense, I’m doing this full-time so for now I’m taking things day by day and working extremely hard to grow The Style Line and create a real solid community- I believe in it so much.
And as for me? Well that story is still being written.