We met Fabiola Zefi, the charming Canadian founder of www.fabfoodandthecity.com, to learn more about her sophisticated style, her tips for having a successful blog and all things bags.
Tell us what made you take the decision to start your blog.
All my life I’ve been told I’m a character and the world needs to see more of me, but specifically one night, I was talking with a friend about having a sexy, Coffee Table Book with with all my delicious food creations while also incorporating my style, she said the first step in getting myself seen is to start a blog. That night I went home and bought the domain to what is now my blog, www.fabfoodandthecity.com.
What’s the most rewarding and the most challenging aspect of being a fashion blogger?
The most rewarding would be people that truly connect with my style, whether it being the sweet messages I receive when someone gets inspired by my outfit or my blog. my goal is to always be myself and convey my character through my words, so when people email me saying they feel like they know me just by the way I write, that makes me feel like I’ve done what I set out to achieve. Challenging for me would be photo shoots, I can’t stand them, truly. They are long and take a good amount of the day, and they can be quite overwhelming. Setting up the camera and waiting around while my partner (which, bless his heart for having way more patience than I do) finds the correct setting, etc. I’d rather be in my comfortable home. But nothing great ever came from comfort zones, so I am ok with freezing my butt off to capture an outfit I love.
What piece of advice could you give to someone who is about to start her/his own blog?
Not to copy Nike, but I’d say Just Do It! Most people are afraid about it not being successful, wondering how will others perceive them. Don't worry about that, focus on the message you want to get out there and just do it. We've all started somewhere, keep that in mind. Do it, be consistent, be authentic and true to what you like and don’t try to fit in. For example, there are many fashion trends I do not like, just because every blogger is taking photos with their colourful pom pom outfits, (they were a big trend this last summer) doesn’t mean you have to just to fit in. Stick to your true self, what you think looks great, and be consistent.
What’s the best compliment you got from a follower?
‘You’re like a modern day Jackie O, but with a fierce personality.’ And I loved it because it hits so close to home. I love Jackie’s style, but I also like cussing, speaking up and not always acting like what the mainstream idea of a “lady” might be. You can be poised and graceful yet full of personality. No one looks at a well dressed man that also has a potty mouth and thinks "how unclassy of him to swear so much" they find it fearless and gutsy. Why can't that be the case for women? Get what I'm saying? YES to being a fierce Jackie O!
How would you define your style?
Timeless, classic, sharp, powerful. Anything that will withstand time and doesn’t just look nice or interesting in photos. For example, chances of seeing me in an oversized sweater are slim to none, it looks shapeless and frumpy in person, no matter how good it looks in photos. There’s a difference between a loose fit and something you can fit two people in. People often are surprised of how small my closet is, and often comment how I have less clothes and shoes than they imagined I would. That's because nowadays I focus more on buying quality items that I will wear for years to come, versus something that will be out of style by next season. Funny enough, I have less of the "I have nothing to wear" problem than I ever did.
Who is your style icon?
I have two, Jackie O and Sophia Loren. I love that both women were/are into dresses and wore clothes that truly complemented their bodies. However, I must mention Carrie Bradshaw, as well. She pulls together clothes and colours not many can.
What are your daily essentials in your bag?
My Laura Mercier lipstick, a pair of sunglasses, wallet. I like a clean bag with not much clutter in it.
And when you travel?
All of the above, as well as my mini bag of small facial brushes, (I use the leftover makeup on my brushes to freshen up when I get off the plane), my sleeping kit from Saje Naturals, and SPF facial moisturizer.
What would you throw in your bag if your house caught fire?
My phone, wallet, passport and my Something Blue pumps from Manolo Blahnik! Yes, I know exactly where everything is located just for that reason, ha!
Your tip to perfectly style a colorful bag.
Keep your outfit neutral and/or one colour. A bag is an accessory, unless colour blocking looks great on you, keeping your outfit all black or neutral allows your bag to do the talking.
What’s the aspect a bag should never lack to convince you to buy?
Shape. I like structured bags. I have one slouchy bag I don’t wear too often but the rest of my bags are clean lines and structured. It looks classic when it has a nice shape, no matter what the colour.
If you could only have one bag in your closet, which would it be? A mini bag, a satchel bag, a tote bag or a bucket bag?
Definitely a satchel bag. Big enough for daytime and business meetings, and small enough for evening wear.
What’s the most stupid thing you ever did in your life?
Honestly, I have no idea. I’ve done things I might have slightly regretted after, but nothing too bad! Oh wait! Speaking of bags, this is fitting, I purchased a Givenchy Antigona bag on E-Bay which turned out to be counterfeit. Needless to say, my biggest mistake was doing the transaction outside of E-Bay so I could save money on shipping! I had to write to the CEO of Paypal to get my money back! HA. Lesson learned. But really, point of the story, I’ve never done something so bad where I felt was stupid, it was all a lesson.
Do you regret it or would you do it again?
I don’t regret it, I definitely learned something from it. As per doing it again, I might have just done it recently, but all went smooth. Haha! I like learning from my mistakes, but sometimes I also like trusting my gut!