Issue 12  •  Spring 2013

Interview: Emma Orlow

Written by Sophie Rae

This is a repost from the site Grrrl Beat.
Emma Orlow is a seventeen-year-old blogger living in New York City. Her blog is called The Emma Edition. She also writes for other publications, such as Refinery29, Bust Magazine, and the Huffington Post

Sophie: How did you become interested in fashion and in fashion journalism?

Emma: I’ve always been interested in fashion. My grandmother used to take me to the windows at Macy’s—she went to fashion school—so I think that was always ingrained in me. But in terms of fashion writing, I think I first got into it in fifth grade. That’s the first time I remember loving fashion magazines and actually wanting to turn that love into a career. If you could see my collage walls, they’re filled with my favorite moments from fashion magazines past.

Sophie: When and why did you start your blog?

Emma: I started my blog in middle school. One of my friends had one, and she got me into the idea of expressing my ideas and style. I started it February 2009. I did it because my middle school experience was not great. I was not the most popular girl. It was a great way for me to express my love of fashion and my love of New York. I wanted to be able to talk about New York from a teenage perspective.

Sophie: What is the goal of your blog?

Emma: The goal of my blog is to highlight different parts of New York through style, culture, and art. I like to call it a love letter to New York. Ultimately what I want to achieve with my blog is for people to see a different side of New York through it, and also a different side of me through it. Feminism is a huge part of it, and so is nostalgia. I love to collect things like old pins and dresses that I get from vintage stores. What I love are not only the places I get things but the stories of the people there. Tying in all my interests through the blog is really cool.

Sophie: What has the response to the blog been like?

Emma: One of the greatest parts of being online is that I’ve been able to write for a lot of different outlets, different magazines, and Web sites. I don’t think a teenager would have gotten to do that before the Internet. Even more exciting is that I’ve been able to meet people that I’ve [corresponded with] on the Internet through Twitter or through my blog. A few months ago was the first time that I spent a lot of time with people that I met online. A while ago people would have thought it was creepy that I hung out with people I met online, but that’s so indicative of the Internet now. You have all these people that have similar interests to you, and you can really connect with them in person.

Sophie: Can you talk about your new project, the "Do Not Enter Diaries"?

Emma: I started the project with my best friend Emily in January 2012. As a blogger and writer and artist, I spend a lot of time in my bedroom. I collage my walls. I keep different collections and have tons of choker necklaces and art. There are lots of different things that I love about my room, I’ve created this hideout for myself where I can write and [make] art. I know a lot of my friends have really cool bedrooms too. So, Emily came up with this idea of a project called the "Do Not Enter Diaries," in which we would highlight teenagers’ rooms through video. And I just thought it was such a good idea because teenagers’ bedrooms are so interesting because it’s the one place in your house that’s really yours.

So we’re launching in January 2013 and we have a backlog of all these rooms we filmed when we went to India and when we went to LA. It’s so cool that no matter where we go there are these themes in people’s rooms like feminism and collections. Another thing we’re exploring is, if kids have divorced parents, how that works out in terms of their rooms and how they cultivate their style.

Sophie: What other projects are you involved in?

Emma: I’ve been consulting with some clothing companies, and I’ve been working a lot with Bust Magazine. I’ve been blogging for their Web site, which is really exciting. I think that Bust is one of the few places that established early on that you can be a feminist and be interested in fashion, that they’re not mutually exclusive. I think people forget that a lot of the time and think that a feminist has to have hairy armpits and not wear a bra. But a feminist can be anyone. A feminist can be male too. So I’m excited that Bust is trying to redefine that.

Sophie: What are your three favorite things right now? Music, fashion, art, anything.

Emma: I really like the '60s right now. I love the Kinks. As far as fashion, I recently came from a school trip to India where I got to learn about the different types of bindis so I have all these packs of bindis I brought back. The most inspiring film for me right now is Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion!

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