Who is Stephanie (aka FAIIINT)?
A girl who’s always felt like a bit of an outsider, obsessed with the darker things in life, and always drawn to anything disturbing or a bit morbid. Horror and sci-fi film addict, lover of live music, travel & chunky boots, adrenaline junkie and crazy dog lady. You’ll never see me without my eyeliner & eyebrows done, it’s a bit of a phobia, left over from my school days. I unwind by reading comics, non-fiction, spending hours on my xbox & watching science & ancient history documentaries. I can never turn down the offer of good rum, or a cuppa.
When did you start your blog FAIIINT and what was the reasoning behind it?
I started the blog on November 1st 2011, I had just finished my fashion design degree & felt completely burned out by it. It had sucked all of the enjoyment out of what I thought was my passion & I needed a break, I think it’s fair to say it had broken me by the end. I decided to take a year out, do some easy, low responsibility jobs before deciding if I still wanted a career in fashion or not. The blog began as a way for me to still be a little involved with the fashion world during this time & I hoped it would reignite my passion for it too.
How would you describe your own personal style?
Dark and full of contradictions, I love pairing sharp tailoring & structured pieces with more fluid, drapey fabrics, it’s somewhere between elegant & a sort of Gothic grunge, and almost always head to toe black.
My beaten up Rick Owens Wedges, because they are by far the comfiest shoes I’ve ever owned & I wear them almost every day. My Balenciaga city bag, it was my first real designer purchase & I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get rid of it, even when it’s totally ruined! My Todd Lynn for Topshop jackets, because they can make even the scruffiest outfit look put together and like I’ve made some kind of an effort & my Belstaff waxed jacket for doing the total opposite.
Where are your favourite places to shop and who are some of your favourite brands that you continue to revisit?
I adore all of the typical brands people tend to associate with my style, Rick Owens, Haider Ackermann, Ann Demeulemeester, Helmut Lang, Nicolas Andreas Taralis .etc - I do treat myself occasionally, but I definitely don’t have the money to dress head to toe in them, so a lot of my wardrobe is from AllSaints, Topshop, Vero Moda, ASOS and a large chunk from eBay too. The things I tend to splurge on are shoes, jackets & accessories. Finsk is my favourite shoe brand, though I would love to add a few more pairs of Rick Owens & Vivienne Westwoods to the collection too and I was never a handbag person until I got introduced to Bracher Emden & their incredible pieces!
Who are some of your style icons?
I wouldn’t really say I have style icons as such, I’m a big fan of street style blogs & people watching, I love seeing the way random girls on the street put things together. I do love Nico though, I even named my dog after her!
Where do you draw your influences and inspirations from?
I’m a huge art nerd, so that has always been a massive influence on me. Music, movies & books, I could get lost in forever & often find myself getting a bit obsessed with certain people or characters & being subconsciously influenced by them in my day to day. Nature & science play a huge part too, I have a very curious mind so I’m always learning & reading about things I probably don’t need to know, like evolutionary biology, cosmology & genetics! I am constantly finding myself awed by things like this, and I think that’s the best kind of inspiration. If I hadn’t taken a creative path I would definitely have chosen science instead.
What are some of the key things to remember when putting together winning 'outfits' or looks?
I think the key when dressing mostly in black is to play with textures, finishes & fabrics. The muted colour also lets you play around with more daring silhouettes and really have fun with layering too, you can get away with a lot more because it’s not as obnoxious as if you were doing so with all sorts of colours & patterns. All-black doesn’t have to fall into the trap of being boring, like most people assume.
Black, leather, killer shoes and hats are all frequent features on your blog. Your personal style on the site is very sleek, dark and edgy whist still being subtle. What is it you love so much about fashion and aesthetics? And how do you decide what is worthy of FAIIINT?
When deciding what to post or feature, I pretty much just ask myself "Do I love this, would I wear it & would I buy it myself." I never post anything I don’t love myself, that is too removed from the usual aesthetics, or that I don’t agree with personally (real fur for example) even if I think my readers would like it. I guess it’s a pretty selfish way of doing it, but I like to keep it consistent.
As a style blogger you are quite respected by fashionaries and bloggers alike. Have you thought about doing work with specific sites and/or brands and has FAIIINT opened up new opportunities to you professionally and if so how?
It has definitely opened up a huge number of opportunities I would never have had otherwise, it helped me become re-inspired by fashion design & realise that it was something I was actually good at (despite what my tutors made me believe) thanks to all of the overwhelming love & support I’ve received every time I post one of my own pieces. I love working with others, and I’m always so grateful that I get to work with some seriously amazing people & some of my favourite brands too, a few of who have become great friends in the process. I’m always open to ideas for collaborations & I’m looking forward to hopefully doing a lot more next year!
When I asked this question when I first started, everyone told me to get myself out there, reach out to people, brands, magazines & be relentless about it. It felt totally wrong to me though, I’m naturally very shy & I just couldn’t be that person. I think the main thing is to find a way to stand out, make your blog unique & memorable, do it well & similarly minded people will find you & keep coming back. Sharing posts & outfits on social media; Tumblr, Instagram & Twitter in particular, has been a huge part of the blogs success for me too I think, there’s a real community around these platforms & getting involved in a genuine way really pays off.
I’m a little addicted to Pinterest & Tumblr, I could literally lose hours browsing through them! Melissa Araujo, Thrift & Thread, The Animal Orchestra, ODYSSEY, Define Delirium & The Rosenrot are a few of my favourite blogs that focus more on a dark or minimal aesthetic and Bleaq for my art fix, Jantine always finds the most incredible artists to feature. I also love Le 21ème for street style.
What can we expect from you and FAIIINT in the next twelve months?
I’m currently working on launching an independent label under the FAIIINT name, starting off with a small collection of leather jackets & dresses. It should be ready by the new year, though, I’m a huge perfectionist, so I don’t want to rush it or unveil it until I’m totally happy! It’s scary taking such a big & expensive risk, but all the best things in life are a gamble I think. I’m hoping that it will take off & continue to grow over the next year, as it feels like I’ve finally found my calling.