Can you tell us a bit about when and how you started your blog? Where did your love of fashion stem from?
A: I started this blog over a year ago and recently revamped the site. I started it while I was on a journey to self search. I will never forget it. I was cat-sitting at a sick apartment in Manhattan for a celebrity hair stylist that I barely knew. Turns out, I was allergic to cats but that was another story. I was alone a lot for those two weeks. I didn't know half as many people in NYC as I do today and I had a Paul Arden book to keep me company. I had only played with the idea of starting a blog. I read a line from his small book - "An idea is always bad unless it is executed." And that week I started it. My passion for fashion stemmed from no particular place. I guess it came organically and so naturally that it's hard for me toe ay it came from any particular place. I knew in high school I was deeply into the fashion industry. I was even voted Best Dressed.
Mary Lai x Young & Able Belmont Check Bag
What excites you most about your job(s)? What's a typical day like for you?
A: I love my job at the Creative Agency because every single day is not the same. I get to see ideas come to life and then receive feedback because it is social media so feedback can easily come in forms of likes and comments. One of my clients is Almay Cosmetics. It is rewarding to be creative and make a living off of it. Neckbreakin' Style is a huge project and baby of mine. I started it to connect and filter a positive and genuine message. I get to work with people of so many walks of life to consistently create images, projects, collaborations, and friendships. As you can tell, I love to inspire and create. No day is ever very typical. I am generally running from photoshoots, my office in Flat Iron, coffee meetings with creatives, bloggers, or friends, and then events around NYC. It makes me appreciate the down days tremendously.
Photo by Pedro
Who/what are your style influences?
My style influences are not any particular person. Although if I did have a spirit animal, it would be Nicole Richie. Her fearlessness in fashion is inspiring. What I love the most about her is her fearlessness towards life and her humor. I'm a believer in the idea that who you are translates to all aspects of your life, including your wardrobe. I am inspired constantly by the streets and the people that passes by me. I am inspired by my feeds, like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. It's really what I am exposed to in a moment. My consistency totally lies in my love for making unexpected tasteful combinations and street style.
What's your NYC neighborhood? Favorite part of living and working in NYC?
I work in Flat Iron, so I love Chelsea which lies next door to it. I absolutely love being downtown, like Little Italy, Chinatown, and East Village. Maybe, it's because they all have one thing in common - great eats!
Go-to NYC spot to get inspired:
Soho is actually one of my favorite places for inspiration. Also Brooklyn. I like Soho because you can easily find cobble lined streets and then make a turn and see beautiful graffiti, I'm obsessed with walls so you'll never be short of a grew wall there. I love Brooklyn and Dumbo because, to be honest, I haven't explored it enough. The rare times that I am there, I have always enjoyed myself and seen some amazing art.
Two Hands NY, hands down. Ha, all pun intended. There's a blog post on my favorite coffee shops in Soho.
Photo by Pedro & Chris Payne
Which items are at the top of your Young & Able Series wish list?
Shana Luther's mini wallet, type.lites' nectarine mint soy candle, Ayaka Nishi's branch earrings, and Richards' wavy hem top.
What's up next? Any exciting collaborations or projects you'd like to share?
A: I am working on a fun short video with a dear friend of mind and male blogger - Jamal of Style Society Guy. I am also planning to be traveling to Vietnam in February, so I can definitely promise to share my trip and outfit choices through beautiful photos.
Interview by Jennifer Wang
December 16, 2014
7 - 10 pm
Young & Able
345 Broome St
New York, NY
Let's get cozy with Neckbreakin' Style, The Petite Principle, Tinaa Maria, and Love Fola
Drinks and sweets will be served
15% off your purchase!