Fashionista of the month: Andrea Cheong

The Haute Heel has been listed as one of Evening Standard’s 25 Top Influencers and has run since 2011. We had a chat with the fashionista behind The Haute Heel, to find out where she sources her inspiration and how she juggles a normal 9-5 and blogging. She gave us one advice: always put your health first.

Tell me about your background and what inspired you to start blogging? 
I started in 2011 during university because I knew I wanted to write and be in fashion but I was studying Art History. I just knew I had to have a portfolio. Back then there were hardly any fashion or beauty bloggers around, so much has changed since I started.

You work alongside running your blog, how do you juggle a 9-5 and blogging?
When I did both at 100% I was a miserable moody person, I didn’t like myself. I just had to learn to let the blog run naturally – if it’s a quiet week I’ll enjoy it and won’t force anything. For about a month and a half, after the Evening Standard feature, things kicked off. I was working around 12-14 hours a day, office job, blogging and two shoots during the weekend. If you love what you do enough you’ll get on with it and be professional, but health always comes first.

How would you describe your blog, how does it differentiate from others?
My blog looks at the fashion and blogging industry in an analytical way. My series on Instagram’s commercialisation and engagement patterns were really well received and it got to the first SERP (search engine results pages).

How do you prepare for new posts?
I’m inspired by questions that people have and what’s making them passionate enough to speak out – I don’t write about how I’ve styled an outfit because you can very clearly see that in a photo – so I try not to add to the noise. If people are going to spend 5 minutes reading my blog it can’t be drivel.

What is the most difficult part of blogging?
I realised I’m quite introverted and I just don’t have time for the pretentiousness. It’s very tiring and there are a lot of people that are looking for a leg up on the ladder. We’re not important just by ourselves, no matter our number, we need each other and so many people don’t get that.

And the best part? 
I am a creative, if I stop painting or writing, I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep. I was like that even as a kid, I’d be up until 5 am sketching. Blogging is a productive outlet for my ideas and I love meeting the handful of people who are on the same wavelength and want to make content that’s closer to art than OOTD.

Describe a day in your everyday life? 
Work starts around 9:30 and I’m based in East London. Sometimes I have a PR meeting during lunch hour. I love going to Trade on Commercial Street or the ‘pink cafe’ Treves and Hyde. After work, there’s usually an event on, in which case I’ll get to see some of my lovely blogger friends. On Wednesdays I have a course called Alpha, otherwise, I’ll head to the gym (I try to go three times a week). I write blog posts on commutes and finish them up at home before bedtime.

How would you describe your style, and what’s on the top of your wishlist right now?
My style fluctuates so much – the thing with social media is that aesthetic seems to trump style and I so admire girls that have both because I don’t have that consistency. I’d say my style can be a little boho but always classic, probably influenced by living in a tropical country for the last three years but having grown up in London. Top of my wish list is a pair of baby pink Gucci loafers. I avoided them for so long because they used to be my school shoes (in black obviously) and the girls found out and were so rude about it. But now, I want them back.

Images: Gucci.com

Where are you in five years and how did you get there? 
I don’t know and isn’t that just life? Hopefully living with my dog, bunny and the boyfriend. Blogging isn’t going to be my day job. If you make art about money is it really true anymore? I don’t know how easy it’ll be to maintain integrity if I do that but then again, who knows where I’ll be in five years.

How do you imagine your blog in the future? 
I’d love more campaigns with creative freedom for brands that just get it. I’m also hoping to get back into magazines via a column or as a regular contributor. I miss the deadlines and atmosphere of the editorial world.

Any tips for aspiring bloggers? 
I have a blog post on this – bloggers juggle like five different roles at the same time. We are photographers, art directors, writers, digital marketers and we model. It isn’t ‘easy’ so don’t get into it for the wrong reasons. It’s hard to say that someone’s personal reason is a ‘wrong one’ but if it has anything to do with popularity or getting free stuff then just don’t call yourself a blogger.

Want to see more of Andrea? Check out her blog HERE and Instagram HERE.


As told to Lene Hille 

Images: The Haute Heel

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