Throughout COVID businesses—specifically small businesses—and the people running the businesses have struggled. Since I mostly work with middle to higher end brands, seeing businesses and friends struggle has been difficult to watch. Watching shopping habits change significantly, I’ve found my own shopping habits and values when shopping changing as well.
One of the most recent small businesses I’ve become obsessed with is Instance, with their items featured in some of the photos in this blog. To me, this brand is a perfect example of where more people are putting their money. Being female run, having high quality and sustainable items that are effortlessly classic, it’s where the future of fashion and spending will go.
COVID has taught everyone a lot about themselves and their values, at least it has for myself and people in my circle. Shopping directly from people I can connect with and get to know has been a huge shift from me. I’ve already been a huge “second hand but grand” shopper (so buying directly from individuals) and buying directly from small businesses, it’s changing the luxury game.
While focusing more and more on buying from small businesses, the quality has gone up and the price has gone down when compared to common luxury items (I’m talking to you $2,500 uncomfortable Gucci sweater). The big department stores don’t care if an item is uncomfortable or how you spend your money. While the rise of small businesses showcase how much they care about their customers and the people that support them (whether that’s just liking and/or following them on social media). You see directly who and where that money is going.
You’re also buying more sustainably and are more likely to focus on places with beautiful craftsmanship and natural materials (like silk or cotton). Through this, you’re changing the waste of the fashion industry and showing who it’s important to support—the people within your community.
And with that, here are my top brands I’ve been supporting during COVID and will continue to support long after:
Little High Little Low (female owned and local Chicago)
Instance (female owned)
Dear Frances (female owned and charitable)
The Curated (female owned)
Local Eclectic (female owned and local Chicago)
All images by: Sabrina Kennelly
Dress: Lauren Manoogian Pocket Dress
Shoes: Dear Frances (Elle Boot)
Cozy, but make it fashion. That's the objective for me. Especially with the long and unforeseen lockdowns, sweater dresses and comfy clothing has become my new priority. That in combination with some knee high boots, instantly ups my cozy game.
Day-to-Day Casual Work:
Blazer: Pendelton (vintage)
Jeans: Citizens of Humanity (Rocket)
Boots: Dear Frances (Elle Boot) (pink discontinued)
Everything from the bold red lip to the classic blazer is a staple in my wardrobe. One of my favorite things to do is take a simple jeans and t-shirt outfit and make it more dynamic. Adding texture, for example the wool blazer and the suede boots, with a little color (the light pink in the jacket and the boots), makes the outfit way less basic.
Images by 606 Photo
Over quarantine I've been busier than ever! One of my favorite photographers I've ever worked with Jennee Johnson and I got to shoot these beauties!
Here is a bit of what I've been doing and working on during quarantine:
Reselling clothes as a side business, including luxury bags
Shooting more cool content than ever, there are a lot of great shoots coming soon
Shooting e-commerce, I've been blessed enough to do it at my house
Expanded my collection of Harley t-shirts
Oh yeah, and I got engaged and booked all of the vendors, engagement photos to be released
So many positive things happened during quarantine and, while it's been tough, this time has been so fulfilling and I'm so blessed to be able to do what I do.
Photos by Jennee Johnson
It's the first blog post of the year and this shoot was one of my favorites all 2019. Why? Because I finally had the opportunity to shoot with my amazing friend Karl again! If you saw my shoot for SoHo House, he was the incredible photographer that shot that set. To view those photos, click HERE! All images today are by Karl Schmid.
Dress: Self Portrait
Shoes: Dear Frances
Blazer: Vintage Pendelton
Necklace: Local Eclectic
Jeans: Citizens of Humanity
Once again, a special thank you to Karl Schmid for all the gorgeous images that I love so much!
Part I of IV is here! I'm so excited to introduce you to the series I'm testing out on my blog of recreating your favorite bloggers looks! The inspiration for this shoot really came from my love of fashion and looking towards bloggers for my everyday go-to looks.
I decided to start out with Aimee Song, a.k.a. Song of Style, because to me she captures the best qualities of a fashion blogger. Not only is she stylish, she vlogs and runs a successful YouTube channel which I'm obsessed with watching, I find her to be the nicest blogger I follow. She lets her sweet personality shine through in all of her images, posts and videos.
Her looks are always elegant and fashion forward with a classic element and is what got me into following fashion bloggers in the first place.
Song of Style Looks:
Look One: "Self Portrait Red Polka Dot Maxi Dress with Matching Red Eyeshadow look"
Look Two: "How I Styled a Faux Fur Coat for Winter"
Look Three: "Rixo London Has Dropped the Best Mini Dress for Summer"
Chicago, I would argue, is one of the best city's to shoot in. Why? The diversity, walkability and architecture makes any photoshoot spectacular and unique.
One of my favorite places to shoot, that's right by the train, is Printers Row. It's a convenient place to get to that has older architecture for street style, parks for a whimsical lewk, elevated trains for sophisticated city shots and less crowded than most places in the city.
What is now Colombia College Chicago, was called Printers Row (it's still known as that, but most people know it as Columbia's neighborhood).
All of these images were taken in Printers Row. This shoot has a city/street style vibe, but just steps away are family friendly parks that would make any dress look sweet and simple.
Some highlights of Printers Row (for your next photoshoot) include:
Images by Jack Soltysik
Authenticity in Your Brand: Incorporating your personality and lifestyle into everything you do
Representing yourself as a brand is so important. For me as a model, it's always important to show the side of yourself you need to in every shoot. If you're meant to be fierce, even if you don't feel it, you have to dig down and pull out that feeling to make the images look authentic. That process of bringing out what you need to, while making it authentic, is so important with whatever you shoot for your brand.
Showcasing a range of emotions, from e-commerce blank but fierce stare to soft like this shoot is a great way to connect with yourself, communicating your true emotions shine through the images tells your client and those viewing the photo a story. This story, to land, needs to be authentic and true to yourself.
Photography: Audrey Simper Photography
This shoot needs no introduction, but I've cut back on modeling except for my clients, but I am so excited to post this shoot with one of my favorite photographers!
Here's what I wore for this awesome shoot!
Dress: Tanya Taylor
Tights: Fogal of Switzerland
Shirt: Vintage Chanel
Images by Jack Soltysik
As a model for almost ten years, I find myself learning new things everyday. This blog is a way to share my stories, images that may not be on my main board, and interesting things abut modeling and my life.