I am so excited to have had the opportunity to interview Asha Isabella, the editor in chief for The Boston Bazaar’s newest publication, TOSSER Magazine. As a recent college graduate, young business owner, and art enthusiast the editor-in-chief, Asha Isabella found herself surrounded by and in contact with many others with similar interests, which led to the creation of Tosser. Tosser Magazine is, at its basis, a fashion magazine but geared toward curators, artists, designers, bloggers, business owners, and visionaries; the futures of their industries. Asha’s fierce style and ambition is truly inspiring. Check out Asha’s thoughts on Uggs, tips for bloggers, and her inspirations. Enjoy!
What inspired you to start Tosser Magazine?
I was fulfilling my first wholesale order for my clothing line and I just kept getting beat down with a million different complications. You know, everything from finances, physical pain from stabbing myself with needles and studs, life barking at me, people frustrating me, family troubles… just the whole lot. A real pain in the ass moment and I was literally ready to throw in the towel and just get a “real job.” It wasn’t the first time it’s happened and probably won’t be the last but in that moment and every other moment like it my mom was there to be my backbone. She picked me out of that, inspired me to keep going, lit the fire under my ass, and just showed me unconditional support. Where are you going with this, right?
But it was seriously at that point where my heart almost broke for any other type of artist out there that was in that moment and just didn’t have that person to pull them out. They could be walking away from their dreams! Forget that. I wanted to create something for them. Something that could inspire them, show them that there are so many others in the same struggle, so many others that are finding great success, and then, of course, celebrating them. So, I already had The Boston Bazaar and we were heading in the direction of a magazine so I decided it was time for Tosser. And things just fell into place.
Who is your biggest fashion icon?
Hmm… fashion icon. I should probably have one of those, right? I really admire Grace Coddington. I’m a big Kesh (the artist, not Kesha) fan. Olivier Rousteing is doing incredible things with Balmain.
What advice do you have for other women looking to start a career in journalism or in business?
Just start doing it. Throw yourself into the culture, start meeting people… read my magazine (wink). Seek out a mentor that’s already in the game. I’m still trying to do that, but it seems like it would be really helpful. Go to places by yourself. You know, networking events, trade shows – don’t bring friends. I can’t put my finger on it but it makes a difference. Build yourself up, have a good website, just ask for exactly what you want – you’ll be surprised how much you get from that. Be bold. Take notes. Listen to people. Do a couple of favors for people everyone once in a while. It’s nice when people owe you – I’m not supposed to say that, am I? Well, this is all advice I have to remind myself of daily. I’m still learning but that’s what I’m taking out of it.
How would you describe your style?
Prima Donna. My style… not my personality. I feel the need to say that.
You have a clothing line, congratulations! How did you get started in designing?
I was coordinating a fashion show for my college every year so my junior year I decided I could totally make a collection. You know, piece of cake. So I went home that summer, taught myself to sew then spent the next few months procrastinating until a week before the show and I produced something pretty solid. People wanted to buy it so I started letting them.
What is your favorite trend this summer?
Monochromed out to the fullest. All black everything. Or white or blue or red. With gold accessories. Light fabrics, no one has time for this heat.
What advice do you have for fashion bloggers to increase their visibility?
As a fashion blogger you should really consider yourself a brand. Join blogger groups and cross promote. Get your numbers up, don’t meet one single person in life without telling them about your blog. Try to work it in there smoothly. Ergo, you’ll need business cards. Don’t be silly and spend millions – Vistaprint is the business. Need a design? Reach out to Tosser, keep it in the fam. Once you have decent numbers and good content start reaching out to brands – even if it’s small etsy shops to start off with. Review products, offer your readers giveaways and discounts and connect with them. Photo quality is going to matter so have a good camera or at least have really good lighting whilst using your iPad for photos.
Bloggers are the product endorsers of the fashion industry. So think of yourself like an athlete… like a Nascar driver or something. You may not have a team [or do they? Do Nascar drivers have teams? Hmm. Sports.] so get brands excited about you and convince them that you have some influence over your following.
Where is your favorite place to shop?
My atelier. Fabric store, I guess I should say the fabric store.
What is your biggest fashion or beauty pet peeve?
Uggs and Longchamp… like seriously? Still… this is still going on? Regardless of what they look like, I guess Longchamp was pretty solid before the masses bit on to it, I’m just a little peeved when people want something just because everyone has it. And I’m over people screaming about Uggs being “just super comfortable.” I don’t care. I don’t need to feel like I’m walking on llama fluff. I’m not crying in little leopard flats. They’re comfortable and it doesn’t look like I’m outside in bedroom slippers. Sorry if I’ve offended anyone, but stop it.