We’re a pretty fashionable bunch at DIY, we even know what colour blocking is, but when it comes to fashion in Durban, one blogger is ahead of the curve. We chatted to Melissa Kieser about the dos and don’ts of blogging and staying fashionable in Durban.
DIY: First off, can we get a little background info on who are you and what you do?
Melissa: My name is Melissa Kieser, recently married, happy girl living in Durban. I spend my days running the ladies wear department at a clothing supplying agency. In between that I blog as Miss Molly.
The people who care about what is ahead of the curve have probably also already spotted it and don’t actually need to be told
DIY: How did Miss Molly come about? In what way has the focus of your blog changed since you first launched?
Melissa: Originally Miss Molly started as a little clothing label. I wanted to set up a website for it, but decided to go with a blog instead. Its slowly shifted from selling/advertising clothes, to talking about the latest happenings in the fashion world, outfit posts and is now a combination of all of these..
DIY: How did your love for fashion start? Was it a series of events or can you remember a specific inspiration?
Melissa: It started way back. I would say I was about 5 years old when I first found myself raiding my mother’s and grandmother’s wardrobes. Clothing interested me and I wanted to look different.
DIY: What sparked your foray into the blog world? Any tips or ‘do’s and don’ts’ you have for others interested in fashion blogging?
Melissa: Pretty much started as I mentioned above. I think the really cool thing about a blog is that it will be whatever you want it to be, if you want to just keep it as your own personal little piece of internet real estate then you can do that and just do whatever you want. If you care about having readers etc. then the only advice I can give is to keep your blog fresh and updated regularly. People don’t want to log onto to your blog every day for a week and see the exact same thing every day, eventually they will stop coming back. Also blog about what you love and know, if you love fashion – do fashion, if you love food and cooking – do food, if you love travel – do travel etc.. It’s very hard to keep happy writing and posting about something you don’t like..
DIY: What do you think is more important to your online audience, showcasing current trends or keeping them ahead of the pack with (as Die Antwoord would say) ‘futurista’ gear?
Melissa: Current trends to the majority is probably more important as most people want to wear what is currently popular and accepted. As far as ‘futurista’ or spotting a trend before it actually becomes a trend, the people who care about what is ahead of the curve have probably also already spotted it and don’t actually need to be told.
DIY: How do you cope with juggling the running of your site with your day job? Would you consider Miss Molly a passion project?
Melissa: Yes I would call Miss Molly a passion project, I post when I want to and when I feel like it. My day job is very hectic so I fit the blogging in between when I can. My blog content mainly consists of outfit posts, so if I wake up in the morning and I’m liking what I’ve got on, then we will go take some pics, and that’s it!
DIY: The blogosphere world is cut throat and associating with brands that represent what you stand for can be a tricky process. How do you decide who you want to work with and why?
Melissa: Yes, the blogosphere is quite a weird and wonderful place! I don’t think it’s too difficult to be honest when choosing what brands to align yourself with or work with. If that brand is relevant to you and your site then it’s a go, if it’s not then it’s a no go. So for me if it’s a clothing or fashion label that I like and would wear then I’m happy, if it’s not really my vibe then I have to politely decline.
DIY: Everyone has one, so what’s your fashion rule that you never break.
Melissa: Don’t mix black and brown leather… sounds weird but it’s literally my pet hate. You will never see me wearing tan leather brogues and a black leather bag.
DIY: With the arrival of some big named and very current brands, is Durban starting to keep up with the rest of the world with regards to fashion and dress sense? Or do you think we’ll eternally be known as the baggies, slops & summer dress town?
Melissa: I think it’s hard to escape the baggies, slops and summer dresses because you have to dress to your climate and as I’m typing this it is 37 degrees outside. Aside from that it looks like most people in Durban are starting to give more thought to what they are wearing and not too fazed by what others might think of them for wearing something outlandish, I mean we’re not London, Paris or Seoul by any means but yeah I think people are definitely giving it more thought nowadays. I think this also goes hand in hand with what is availablMre, Mr Price have been very on trend lately and with the arrival of Zara, Topshop and Cotton On there is a lot more on offer. I think the internet in the last couple years has also contributed. Before, you needed to somehow get your hands on exclusive fashion magazines from overseas to see what was happening or actually travel! Now you have it all in front of you on your computer screen.
DIY: 2013 has just arrived, what goals have you set yourself for the year? What’s the next big step in your career?
Melissa: This year I am getting back into design and I am currently working on a new range. I am super excited about this because it’s been a while since I last designed and I can’t wait to see how the range comes together.
You can keep up to date with what Mel’s got going on over at missmollyfashions.com