Australian fashion blogger Connie Cao of K is for Kani is heading to New Zealand Fashion Week this year. We chatted to her about why she started her blog and, most importantly, how she stuck with it.
Why did you start K is for Kani?
I started my blog at university. I had always been interested in fashion, it was something I wanted to pursue but at the same time, I also wanted to study Commerce and Law. It was an after class hobby at first and I would post images of my personal outfits which often included headpieces I used to make for myself. I confess, I went through a major Gossip Girl phase in high school. I wasn’t sure what would eventuate from it or who would see it but somehow, people started taking notice. In my second year of university, I had so many readers asking to purchase my headbands that I started an Etsy store to accommodate for the demand. Things grew from there and fast forward to now, I’ve been busier than ever before and extremely thankful for the support I’ve received.
What is an average day like for you?
I start every day off with a quick date with my inbox. Then I move onto answering any customer queries through my shop’s messaging system, followed with packing the day’s shop orders and taking them to the post office. After that it’s a mix of whatever needs to be done so I’m either going to class, catching up on studying or drafting/planning/editing posts, answering more emails, making floral headpieces and updating my social media. I suppose one of the things I just love about running my own blog is that not every day is the same. Whilst it can be stressful and there’s a lot more admin work than you might expect, I love working under pressure and doing the best with the time I have!
How do you juggle blogging and being a university student?
I’m studying a Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in marketing at Monash University here in Melbourne. Thankfully, my degree is one of those degrees where there’s a bit of flexibility in attending lectures. Whilst I would love to attend every class, provided it’s not a week I have an assignment, presentation or exam, I’m able to slip away for work and stream my classes online when I’m back. Being able to juggle both worlds is definitely challenging and in the end, it’s all about prioritising. I take on what I believe I can handle but at the same time, I am focused on finishing my uni studies and maintaining my GPA!
How would you describe your signature style?
My style has definitely grown with my blog however I think it’s safe to say that you will always catch me in colour, print or both. It’s very wearable, feminine and a little bit quirky.
Are there any bloggers you look up to?
I think the blogger I will always adore most is Rumi Neely. Though we have very different approaches to dressing, it was through her, many years back, that I discovered the world of fashion blogging and I really appreciate and admire how she’s maintained her signature style and voice through all these years.
Who are your favourite designers?
I love designers who are not afraid to experiment with colour, texture and print so my favourite designers at the moment include Alice McCall, Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu, Karla Spetic and Three Floor.
Which item of clothing could you not live without?
Right now, I most definitely could not live without my turtlenecks. They say you come to Australia for the sun, but Melbourne most definitely hasn’t been getting much of that this winter!
What’s the most exotic location you’ve been to for work?
Being a full time student, it’s sometimes hard to book in work outside of the city, however the most exciting location I’ve visited was when I took a week off the middle of the semester to visit London as part of the ASOS Future Stylist competition which I won. It was my first time in Europe at the time and everything was so new to me. Travelling by myself allowed me to immerse myself in the city, it was like stepping into a whole new world for me!
Which New Zealand designers do you have your eye on?
I’m excited to see Kate Sylvester (I saw her show in MBFWA last year which was super), Stolen Girlfriends Club and Juliette Hogan, as well as discovering lots of new designers.
How do you think Australian and NZ designers are different?
I think Australian fashion is very wearable but unique in its tailoring and prints. I’ve never been to New Zealand before so I’m excited to see it in the flesh. From what I’ve seen and heard, New Zealand fashion seems quite individual and modern, but with a laidback twist.
What advice would you give someone wanting to start a fashion blog?
My advice would be to blog about what you’re passionate about and spend some time in finding your unique voice and style. Engage with your readers and update consistently with quality posts that will encourage your readers to come back for more.