Interview with Vanessa Hong

I discovered Vanessa many years ago. Back then, no one used the term “influencer” and Vanessa ran her own blog names Haute Pursuit. Her website was a home to the inspiring outfits, New York City lifestyle and exquisite blogging skills. She is one of the few original fashion bloggers who created a new niche in the fashion industry and established new types of partnerships in it. She constantly collaborates with brands such as Chanel, Bottega Veneta and Prada and also hosts a podcast channel VanessaWantsToKnow.
Vanessa has served as an inspiration for my blogs in the past. Today I am happy to share our interview and introduce her firsthand. So let’s dive right in!

  1. Unfortunately, we are all going through a very difficult situation with COVID-19 and lockdowns all around the world. Could you share your personal experience, including the biggest challenges and/or tips?

It’s definitely been strange living in NY, one of the busiest cities in the world & have it be still and quiet except for sirens. The lockdown has really helped me see what is important to me in my personal and work life. Hopefully people have enjoyed all the IG Lives, IG TVs and feed content I’ve created during this time. It’s come from a place of curiosity, expansion and wanting to help in whatever way I can.

My yoga community has been so important during this time. I do class every day and have tried to be consistent with my meditation practice. Slowing down in general, spending less time on my phone and reading more books has also really nourished me.

  • Everyone following you can tell that along with the exquisite style you also bring spirituality and consciousness to the table. How well do you think the brands are responding to the challenges of sustainability of the planet?

To be honest, I want to be more optimistic about the industry as a whole, but sustainability and the fashion industry are ideologically, diametrically opposed. The onus on fashion brands is to create new seasons, make more clothes, add to what has been made already. I love fashion, I consume fashion myself and this is a realization that is very hard to stomach.

Hopefully one of the outcomes of this global event is a real, intentional review of how we do business in fashion.

  • Being an influencer you probably have a large wardrobe. With the items you have accumulated, (including the gifts from the brands) is there any method/rule you approach to keep your wardrobe mindful?

One of the ways I’ve tried to counteract this is not accepting gifts but rather working with brands on a sample loan basis. So this means I’ll borrow a piece from the runway or studio, shoot it, and then return the garments. When I am gifted (and this too happens) I give most of it away. When I started my career in fashion, I had limited funds and could not afford many of the things I wanted. So i know the value of receiving a gift, no strings attached – and I try to do this as often as possible.

  • What are your thoughts about vintage and second hand shopping? If positive, what are your favorite destinations online and offline?

For me, I like to collect old Celine pieces from Phoebe Philo’s era. I find those on Vestaire and The Real Real. Alternatively, I love going to vintage stores in Europe, i feel the curation and quality is so much better. One of my favorite people and stores is in Copenhagen, a placed called ‘Paloma’s vintage’

  • Is there an outfit or just an item you can’t wait to wear once this pandemic is over?

Hmmmm. Maybe a Celine piece I’ve waited for something special to wear to. Definitely want to make a splash to celebrate this when it’s all over.

  • Vanessa, can you share 3 influencers that inspire you?

my friend and a mentor @therealphilliplim (Phillip has the best cooking stories and his content is like a breath of fresh air just like him)

food stylist @lailacooks (I love Laila’s approach to food. It’s artistic, funny & very educational)

my facialist @joannaczechofficial (Joanna is one of the funniest people I know and she’s been doing faces for 20+ years and has so many great tips)

  • You created a great platform, especially for this particular situation. Is there anything additional project/idea you can share for our readers to look forward?

Yes, you can look forward to weekly podcasts from VanessaWantsToKnow. We’ll be having fun, uplifting conversations with all sorts of people from the Creative world. Definitely a must listen.

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