04/16/14

Farissa Knox Wants To Know What You’re Wearing

Welcome to BYOB: Be Your Own Boss, a feature series highlighting the stylish self-starters we love. 

Farissa Knox of What R U Wearing

In today’s world of instant gratification and overnight fame, it’s rare that you’ll find someone who is detail-oriented enough to work on a product for years before launching it for public consumption – but that’s exactly what Chicago-based entreprenuer Farissa Knox did.

Farissa is no stranger to starting a company from the ground up, but her most recent venture, a fashion-focused social media platform, is new territory for her. What R U Wearing is a space for what Farissa describes as a specific “conversation” about personal style. I caught up with Farissa at her office to talk about the challenges that come with starting a digital company, her vision WRUW’s future and her completely relatable penchant for people-watching on public transportation.

 

Statement Scene: First of all, give me a bit of background. What were you doing before starting What R U Wearing?

Farissa Knox: My degree is in Communications and Marketing and when I finished school I was selling advertising. I did that for a number of years before the company I was working with went bankrupt. I’m from New York but they had moved me out here to Chicago with my then boyfriend, now husband.

I decided I didn’t want to just sit and wait with this bankrupt company and see who would come buy us or if I had to just find a job – so I decided to text a couple of my clients and see if they would keep using me if I kept servicing them from my house. They said yes; that was 2008 when I started my own company – it’s called RLM Media and we’re a media buying company. I think that was the spark that got me started in terms of being an entrepreneur and starting companies.

My passion has always been style and fashion, dressing up and really letting your outfit reflect how you feel that day. A couple of years after starting RLM, I decided ‘why isn’t there a web site that you can go to and see what everyone is wearing that day?’ Back then there weren’t so many personal style blogs; it was more like the Perez Hiltons of the world. You could see what Beyonce was wearing that day – that’s cool but it isn’t really attainable. I don’t have Beyoncé’s money or Beyonce’s stylist or any of those things. That’s really where the conception happened. I decided to put a site together where I could have people adding to it. I want to see what girls in Paris are wearing, what girls in New York are wearing; what girls in LA are wearing. Ohio, all over the place. I can just use that as inspiration. This was before Instagram was even alive. Twitter was just getting off the ground and Facebook was the place where everyone was.

 

SS: What was the process of getting started like?

FK: Being self-funded, it took me some time to get it off the ground and then get it to look attractive enough for people to use. Now people aren’t on their laptops posting pictures on Facebook, they’re on their phones. Now we’re at the place where we have our app, we have our site, we have really cool functions on both. We’re in a perfect spot right now to just let as many people know that we exist.

 

SS: When Twitter and Instagram came up were you thrown for a loop? Did you feel like you needed to do something different?

FK: It did influence the structure and the functionality of the site. It allowed me to structure the site in a way that users are able to like posts and comment and do all the things that we’re used to doing on social media. The difference is we’re having a specific conversation on what you’re wearing. On Facebook people are posting about everything, but with What R U Wearing we’re having a conversation about style and we’re saying ‘please join in.’

Continue reading

04/14/14

Mint Condition

Mint green trend bloggerWell, I know what color I’ll be wearing this season (Hint: It’s the same color I wear everyseason. Second hint: I starts with a ‘B’ and rhymes with ‘crack’), but the sartorial powers that be have spoken. The color of Spring 2014 is…pastel.

Yup, pastel. As in not an actual color. As in, a group of colors. Does this mean the color of Fall ’14 will be ‘jewel tone?’ Will this summer’s color be ‘neon?’ (Sidenote: I hope not.)

That answer is a bit too vague and undefined for my taste – especially since ‘pastel’ is sort of the color scheme of every spring. I’m going to go over the fashion experts’ head on this one. I’ll narrow it down a bit and say that my color of spring 2014 will be mint green. Agree with me? Then shop some of my favorite mint green picks here. This first item you’ll see is currently hanging in my closet, just waiting for a chance to come out to play. It’s a great way for someone who doesn’t love the idea of wearing a pastel shade to incorporate some of this trend.

 

BCBG Malisa dress 14282350_121023235415 img-thing image1xl Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 8.11.07 PM hmprod

Want to feature your products here? I accept sponsored product posts on a case-by-case basis. Email me at contact@statementscene.com for details! 




 

04/9/14

What The Olsen Twins Can Teach Us All About Style.

578x709-mary-kate-and-ashley-_zpsf7100f03You may not be into their aesthetic, which admittedly borders on bizarre sometimes, but Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen have some pretty serious fashion cred. They’ve been hailed as fashion icons, not necessarily because they always look fabulous – because let’s face it, sometimes they don’t – but because they’ve cultivated signature styles that are both daring and recognizable.

You also need to take into account that these aren’t girls who are wearing the same stuff that everyone else is. You won’t see a bandage dress or Louboutin Biancas (although guilty, I totally just splurged on the latter) on these girls. They march to the beat of their own proverbial drums, and that’s what separates the fashionphiles from the fashion icons. My take on Olsen style? They do a lot of things that are very fashionable, they just maybe do a little too much of it. Still, I believe that embracing your inner Olsen will make you an edgier, more sophisticated dresser. Get started with these tips:

Continue reading

04/2/14

SANDALust.

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 1.41.42 PMThis is not exactly a newsflash to anyone but I am craving summer weather HARD.

I got a little fix of it during my recent trip to the West Coast but I’d be lying if I said that I’m not looking forward to warmer temps in Chicago…and let’s be be honest, wanting to wear dresses/shorts/rompers/skirts/wedges/tank tops/bathing suits is very much a part of the excitement.

I’ve got a closet packed with outfits that require a little sunlight but I do feel like I’m missing a good pair of summer sandals that I can wear on a day-to-day basis. I love the Miss Sixty cage sandals I ‘borrowed’ from my mom’s shoe closet and wore pretty much nonstop on my trip (see them here) but they ‘re black. Never a bad thing, especially not in my world, but summer is the one time I actually sort of succeed in wearing color and if there’s nothing else black in the outfit, I absolutely refuse to wear black shoes. It just looks so abrupt and poorly thought out – I much prefer the subtlety of nude sandals if I’m wearing, say, jeans and a white tee.

Another reason I’m in need of a new pair of sandals? Because nothing kills an outfit like a pair of rubber flip flops. Woof.

I’ve been scouring the Internet for good pairs of sandals and while I haven’t decided on a pair yet, I have found tons of good options. I prefer to get something in a shade of nude, tan, beige or gold but I’m open to suggestions (so drop me some in the comments?) Of course, there are a few pairs of brighter shoes that found their way on to this list as well. Simply click on the picture to purchase any of these.

Continue reading

03/28/14

You Need To Know About: The Outnet

The Outnet sale picks

Confession: I am an online shopping addict.

It’s funny because I was never much of an Internet shopper but working as a fashion writer has completely changed that. I spend so much time scouring trends and collections that it gets very hard to resist clicking that ‘add to bag’ button.

One of my absolute favorite sites is one that not everyone knows about since it’s based in the UK – but trust me, if you’re a fan of high-end goods you will fall madly in love with this gem. The Outnet stocks designer pieces for way less than their original prices – I once even snagged a T by Alexander Wang leather jacket for just over $100! I ended up returning it, but that’s beside the point.

This is perfect time to spotlight this site because right now they’re offering an extra 30% off on select items – keep in mind that everything is already reduced, so you’re getting some serious discounts. You can find everything from luxe gowns from Oscar de la Renta to more contemporary stuff from the likes of Clover Canyon (a brand I’m slightly obsessed with now. More on that later.)

Continue reading

03/25/14

Escape From Chiberia Day 4: Shopping Around Town

IMG_0423Mirror selflies are okay when you take them with a DLSR, right?

I’ll be recapping my last full day in LA here, which means this is the end of the “Escape From Chiberia” series is coming to an end. I’ve had so much fun waxing nostalgic about this trip – it’s made being back in snowy (yes, snowy even at the end of March) a bit more bearable.

On our last day we headed to Robertson Boulevard for some shopping and lunch. We stopped by stores you can’t find in Chicago –  like Kitson and Zimmermann (if you’re not familiar with this Aussie brand, google it!) Lunch was at The Ivy, which was an experience. Everyone suggested this LA institution and I was so excited to see what this celebrity favorite was all about. I had lobster tacos which sounded amazing… but I would have to say that this was not one of the best meals of the trip. Still, I’m happy I was able to experience a meal here.

After a bit of shopping we went back to the hotel for pool time. We walked around West Hollywood for a little while after that before heading home to get ready for dinner at Laurel Hardware. I would absolutely recommend stopping here for drinks or a meal – it’s a hardware store-turned-LA hotspot where you’re likely to catch a celeb or two. We really wanted to sit on the patio for dinner and we had to wait for around 40 minutes for something to open up – the restaurant was so apologetic about it and actually sent over a few complimentary items to make up for it. Everything from the service to the atmosphere to the food was great.

I wore my Forever 21 crop-top-and-skirt combo during the day – you can get it here and here for a seriously amazing price! I wore my new Madewell maxi dress for dinner – unfortunately I didn’t get a picture but this item is so flattering and comfortable – I love it! It’s pretty new but already sold out, which is not surprising at all.

We made our way to the airport the next morning and saw Queen Latifa driving a Rolls Royce while en route – pretty exciting way to end the trip! I’ll leave you with a few last photos and a intense longing for an iced coffee (and iced coffee weather.)

Continue reading

03/24/14

Escape From Chiberia Day 3: By The Water

Zara Husaini Fashion Blog …And the ‘Escape From Chiberia‘ series continues! My third day on the West Coast was a good one. We headed to Venice in the morning and walked up the pier for a bit (great photo opps!) After that we wandered over to Abbot Kinney, a boulevard with lots of tiny stores and cafes – lots of small, local stuff, but of court there was a Starbucks smack dab in the middle of it all.

We met a college friend of mine for a fabulous lunch at Gjelina, which was probably the best meal of my entire trip. We had carrots with burrata, kale salad, roasted cauliflower,  a pizza with lamb sausage and a butterscotch pot de creme – add some salted caramel to the top of the last item and it becomes the single best thing I ate during the entire vacation.

After lunch we headed to the Mondrian for some much-needed pool time. Dinner that night was at Katsuya (sadly there was not a Kardashian to be seen), followed by a stop into Beso, which is Eva Longoria’s restaurant.

I wore my Peter Pilotto for Target dress for the day (the only item I picked up from his collection) along with my staple accessories – Marc by Marc Jacobs handbag, Miss Sixty cage sandals and round Tom Ford sunglasses (shocker, right?) I’m not really one for planning outfits ahead of time; I just like to throw all the pieces I’m excited about into a suitcase every time I travel and mix and match them. The Edun leather shorts ended up being totally valuable pieces in the sartorial equation of my trip. I paired them with a gold sequin tee for a dressier dinner look. Click through for some images from the day.

Continue reading

03/21/14

Escape From Chiberia Day 2: The Road Trip

IMG_1336

If you’re just tuning into my “Escape From Chiberia” series, welcome! Part 1 appears here. If you’ve already read that, let’s discuss my West Coast road trip, the journey from the bright lights of Vegas to the gluten free vegan juice cleanse that is LA.

We set out pretty early on Sunday morning and drove through lots of dessert before hitting LA. We broke up the drive and did the thing you absolutely must do when on the West Coast: stop at In n’ Out for some burgers and fries (animal style, of course!)

I’m pretty sure part of In n’ Out’s appeal comes from its novelty value – I can’t exactly grab food from there regularly, what with living in Chicago and all – but whatever it is, I thoroughly enjoyed my meal there (in case that isn’t really obvious from the photo.)

IMG_1334

Continue reading

03/20/14

Escape From Chiberia Day 1: The Strip.

IMG_1305

I’m back from my West Coast adventure (#sadface) and as promised, I’ll be blogging about the trip. It was amazing and a bit of a whirlwind – I wasn’t in the same hotel for more than two nights and the five days I was there were jam packed with food, pool time, sightseeing and shopping. Surprisingly, they were still the most relaxing days I’ve had in a while.

So now that I’m back in Chicago, city of cold, I’m indulging my nostalgia by recapping the entire trip here. The first night was spent in Vegas at the Planet Hollywood hotel. I’ve never really been to Vegas with friends before and I was pretty thrown by how incredibly saturated the area is. Every hotel is just insane and I’m pretty sure no one would ever need to actually leave the premises of whichever hotel they choose….but I don’t play that way. I wandered a bit while I was there.

Continue reading

03/14/14

Escape from Chiberia – The Preview

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 11.05.55 PM

I couldn’t be more excited today because today is the day I leave cold Chicago and head to the West Coast! I will be in Vegas for two days and LA for three. I can’t wait.

I’ve actually never been to Vegas with friends so I’m curious to see what it’ll be like. I’m not a gambler but I know there will be plenty of other cool things to see and do – shows, restaurants, lounges, shopping, etc. I’ve been LA a few times and I LOVE it there. The weather is perfect, the city is beautiful, people are surprisingly nice, there are tons of cool places to eat, shop and play. I would  move there but there’s really no way to get around driving everywhere if you live in LA (I hate driving – urbanite to the core.) LA is also very far from so many people I love. It’s all the way across the country from my parents, who are my life. I hate the idea of having to fly for hours every time I want to see them.

Regardless, this trip couldn’t come at a better time. I have a lot of clothes I haven’t been able to wear in cold, snowy Chicago that went right into my suitcase. I’m so excited to finally take them for a spin. A little taste of what I’ll be taking with me:

Continue reading