So yesterday, Oxygen published a wonderful interview I did with their Very Real Website!
Though The Fashion Bomb Daily focuses on style, Sulmers definitely doesn’t see herself as a stylist. Much of her time is now spent traveling and maintaining relationships with celebrities and designers, and she identifies first and foremost as a writer. She has kept journals since she was nine years old, and has a wall of them filled with childhood observations about clothes and shopping plans. The influence of fashion in her family was a big part of her development.
“My maternal grandfather was a tailor in the Bahamas,” she says. “He used to make all the suits for government officials, for anyone political, all the well dressed men on the island went to my grandfather. My mother learned how to sew from him and I grew up with her making my clothes. Even now, when I need something tailored, I go to my mom.”
Claire Sulmers’ first experience in print media was writing fashion and beauty captions at an internship at Upscale Magazine in Atlanta. She moved to New York and began working at Real Simple, but found it hard to get assigned to shows.
“Fashion is really the beat I wanted to focus on, but I just got a lot of ‘nos’ and ‘fashion isn’t for you’ and ‘no, you can’t go to this fashion show.’ I was kind of a dork. For a long time J. Crew was the only place I shopped!”
My J. Crew Days
Sulmers draws a comparison between herself and Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who is well-dressed, but not at the expense of her work. She explains, “There are women who love style and know how to write about it intelligently. That doesn’t mean you’re looking at them and seeing six inch stilettos. But I think people were looking at me and they just weren’t seeing it for me. I’m thankful for the digital age, because I was able to pursue my passion and make a job for myself.”
Not all her work has been at her blog. She worked for Paris Vogue and Italian Vogue, all while writing in her own voice at The Fashion Bomb Daily. On her staff, Sulmers tries to cultivate the voices of young women of color who want a place in the fashion industry. She describes receiving an email from a stranger, who said her goal was to be the “first black Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue” and who now works for Sulmers as one of her highest paid writers. Sulmers says she loves the mentor/mentee relationship, and is inspired by the support she received from her community.
“Coming up, I don’t have anybody that I can pinpoint as my one mentor, but there were so many women in the industry who were always willing to meet with me if I had a question, who I could bounce ideas off of… I’ve been lucky in that I’ve always been proactive and seeking out relationships with women I admire and they’ve always been gracious enough to give me their time.”
She has also expanded her work to include the beginnings of a charity, still in development, called Claire Cares. The organization is intended to function as a place to develop mentorships and funding for designers of color.
Read the rest here.
Let me tell you, I’ve been interviewed for many websites before, but this is one of the best articles I’ve read about me in a while! The writer just got me. All facts are accurate. I think it was just well written!
At any rate, read it here and let me know your thoughts!
Love & Light
*Thanks to the team at Oxygen for the feature.