RUMINATIONS ON FASHION: It used to be that fashion bloggers just needed a camera, Internet connection and point of view to make it big. Nowadays, they also need their own fashion line. The latest to make the jump into designing is Rumi Neely, the 31-year-old creator of Fashion Toast. Six years after launching her blog, which logs 5.5 million views a month, she’s prepping to turn on the e-commerce site for her contemporary women’s brand called Are You Am I.
“Anyone who was entrepreneurial to get really on the blogging scene and think it’s a valid idea is itching to do something and find a new plateau now,” Neely said.
As expected of someone who holds no formal design training and embodies the casual California lifestyle, skimpy tank tops, sheer T-shirts, silk camisoles and leather mini skirts form the foundation of the inaugural collection to be released Friday. Plus, the immediacy of the Internet influenced Neely’s strategy to work on a buy now-wear now calendar and handle all the manufacturing for the line, which retails for between $80 and $350 in Los Angeles. Yet, despite interest from readers who clamor for photos of new ensembles that she describes as “sloppy and casual enough but also clean,” not to mention the eagerness of clothing brands to be featured on her site, Neely might succumb to what is anathema for fashion bloggers: repeating outfits.
“It’s all I want to ever wear,” she said of her designs. “My boyfriend asks, ‘Why are you wearing that dress the third day in a row?’”