Meet one of my favourite bloggers of the moment: Aliya Armorer of Aesthetic.Li. Her bold and unique style takes you straight to the heart of Oakland. Not only do we find ourselves coveting over her authentic taste, but that of those around her too, as she takes us readers around the streets of California, capturing the style and fashion that passes her by. Blogging for a creative outlet, and to bring something new to the online fashion world, Aliya is no less than the real thing. She tells us to dress for ourselves, and ourselves only. It is clear that she has mastered it down to a fine art.
How did you begin blogging?
I began about a year and a half ago. I had recently moved to a new town with my boyfriend who was going back to grad school and wanted something to keep me occupied creatively since the move was a little tough for me. I initially started the Marant Philes, which was a blog dedicated to Isabel Marant, but I ended up stopping that one to focus on Aesthetic.Li, which was a more personal blog.
What do you look for in the blogs that you read?
I used to look at a lot of blogs, but now I only look at a few. I look for some sort of distinct voice in a blog, and I have to really like the blogger’s personality. I like reading Garance Doré’s blog, Stop It Right Now & We The People. I also follow blogs from people who have supported me from the start like Theresa from The Habit and Marlene from Chocolate Cookies, & Candies.
Where do you get ideas for blog posts?
I usually have certain types of posts I like to do so photos of my own outfits, editorials that I’m really into, new labels or models that i want to highlight and then street style photos of women I’ve photographed in my area. I really try to create more original content so it stays in line with the overall style and feel of my blog.
What in your opinion, makes your blog different from others?
I try to bring more diversity to the blogging world by highlighting women of all races because I feel like that’s lacking online. It’s important to me to reshape my own views of fashion and who can be viewed as fashionably worthy/acceptable if that makes sense.
What is the most important thing about being a blogger to you?
Just to really express my own voice, my style and what inspires me. Blogging has become so big and I think everyone can be seduced by what they think it takes to get big or make a living by doing it. I’d love to make a living by just blogging, but I’m more invested in realizing my own voice than just trying to post what I think will drive more traffic to my blog.
What brings you back to blogging, even when you’re busy or going through writer’s block?
When I have writer’s block, I don’t try to force it. Ideally, I’d like to post new content 4-5 times a week, but that doesn’t always happen, and I’d rather wait for something truly inspiring to hit me than to just throw something on the blog because I want to keep up with some posting expectation I’ve placed on myself. I think what brings me back to blogging is that I can really have my own voice, and I don’t have to compromise anything. I can be my own editor, photographer, stylist, graphic designer, etc. and fulfill that creative need without worrying if I have formal education or actual experience in the fashion world.
Who inspires you most at this time in your life?
For blogging, Garance Doré is at the top of inspiring people, and I’ve been obsessed and extremely inspired by Simone Rocha.
In what way does your career get you up in the morning?
To be honest, fashion gets me up in the morning, and I write that because my career is not fashion-related. I’m always fascinated by the way clothing can communicate who you are as a person. Whether you’re trying to make a statement or not or even value fashion, it will always be communicated through what you wear.
What’s your go-to outfit?
Definitely a neutral palette, but it’s changing what my go-to is now. I used to wear skinny jeans and neutral tops with ankle boots, but now I’ve been gravitating towards brogues, pencil skirts and neutral sweaters.
What trend do you consider yourself a master of? An amateur of?
I guess I could say I’ve mastered the neutral world because I’ve never met a gray, black, navy, or nude item that I did not like. I can easily put together a neutral look more than one with print so I am VERY amateur at mixing prints.
Sum up your style in three words.
Minimal, (slightly) masculine, interesting (hopefully)
You’re just about to run the fashion show of your career. Pick three people to be front row, and justify.
I don’t think I would want the usual suspects like editors-in-chief, celebrities or online sale moguls. Maybe people who were there from the start supporting me like other bloggers whose opinions I value and my family.
Where is your favourite travel location and why?
Right now, it’s New York because the shopping is sooooo good. Plus, I feel like you can do anything and get everything in that city. I really, really want to visit Paris again because the first time I went I didn’t do it justice with exploring. I tend to get more energy and inspiration from cities when traveling versus relaxing, beach destinations.
Share your favourite quote.
I read this somewhere, “If you want the world to change, change your thoughts.” I can’t remember who said it, but I think that’s such a true statement. And hard to do.