From the Lookbook.com to a Worldwide Recognition: Lua on the Importance of Bloggers Being Vocal
"We are all affected by this and now working for a change. I’ve been pausing my content to be able to raise voices of people that have been oppressed. It's definitely different now and we must be careful with what we share, we just need to use our platform to help." - Luanna Perez-Garreaud
You started posting your fashion looks on Lookbook since 2009 with photos, where you never glance directly at the camera, but sideways. This has become your signature feature making you even more recognizable than your outfits. And you are still true to yourself. Have you actually thought about the way you look at the pictures, or it appeared accidentally?
Lua: I actually just wanted to share the outfits and not make it about my face. It was more of a styling and creative outlet. I also felt it distracted the point of sharing ideas of how I like to combine things. Eventually little by little I started showing my face but always looking to the side (I prefer my profile too haha) and my followers kept asking me why I didn’t show my face! And now I just do it sideways. It was never on purpose or my intention to make it a signature feature but I guess that’s how it went.
"I know trends exist and sometimes I introduce some that I truly like, but I’m not driven by them at all."
How did you start your blog? Was it created on purpose, or you just posted pics for yourself?
Lua: I started as an outlet to share photos of outfits I styled. I lived in Peru, it was 2007. I was studying literature at that time but styling and fashion were one of my passions. So I started my blog as a hobby to be able to practice that as well. Posting pictures just to help inspire others while I followed a lot of girls that did the same. Back then it was just a creative platform (almost like a photo diary) , influencers and the business part was not even a thing back then.
Did someone help you to develop your blog, or was it something natural that was about to happen following your intuition?
Lua: It was just me and a camera! I learned the whole decoding and html on my own so I created my blog from scratch. I felt it was growing fast and the visits kept coming so I followed my intuition and kept posting constantly.
How would you describe your style? Do you believe in fashion trends?
Lua: My style depends on my mood. It’s very eclectic and a mix of everything. I’m very drawn to a darker aesthetic because I wear a lot of black. I get a lot of inspiration from the 80s, 90s and punk and goth but also get inspired by renaissance art, old movies. It’s just a mix of everything. I know trends exist and sometimes I introduce some that I truly like, but I’m not driven by them at all.
Who or what inspires you? Who do you think influenced you the most, or defined your way to dress up?
Lua: Well, I just answered that! My inspiration comes from the streets, old movies, music, Japanese street style too. See, I literally absorb inspiration from everything.
What is it like to be an influencer nowadays (it is a big responsibility as well), when there is a high level of competition for the audience’s attention? Has the global pandemic influenced the type of content you produce, in order to stand out amongst the variety of other digital media?
Lua: Right now the world is changing at a very fast pace. People are more sensitive and perceptive. We are all affected by this and now working for a change. I’ve been pausing my content to be able to raise voices of people that have been oppressed. Its definitely different now and we must be careful with what we share, we just need to use our platform to help. Everything will fall into place. I don’t feel any type of competition, we are all on this together and every one is unique.
Is blogging your constant work? If yes, how hard is it actually and how do you manage yourself? Describe your typical day, please.
Lua: Yes, it’s my full-time job. Its a lot of work that people don’t see behind the scenes. I film my videos, edit and also take my pictures myself or have to find photographers to do so. I answer emails all day and have to meet brands and go to showrooms and events. It’s a lot of networking and planning too. Sometimes there is no schedule so you never stop. I have a manager too who would make sure I’m not taken advantage of.
How did you make it to New York? Was it your dream to move there?
Lua: I moved to NYC because I wanted to study fashion. I did so in 2011 and had my blog as a parallel hobby. Eventually, I graduated (bachelor's degree) and just continued with the blog, social media and YouTube.
"... don’t try to become an influencer for the hype or deals. Show the world that you have something to bring to the table, be yourself!"
Do you have any tips for the upcoming fashion influencers? How the profession of an influencer is changing following the COVID-19 pandemic?
Lua: I think right now things are going to be slower. Just be patient. I can’t speak to people that want to begin from scratch since I started my platform as a literal creative outlet and took over. I would recommend to be unique, be yourself, and don’t try to become an influencer for the hype or deals. Show the world that you have something to bring to the table, be yourself! Share consistently and try to build a community with your followers. It’s not about numbers but about relationships and engagement.
What are your future plans? Are there any projects you are taking part in?
Lua: Currently working on some projects but I can’t disclose! Soon will do :) I want to travel soon but right now it’s going to take a while to do so. So I’ve been focusing on myself too staying in NYC.
Understanding the current worldwide emergency, what changes do you think may appear in the fashion industry, and where they could bring the whole system in the future?
Lua: I think these are hard times and so many things happening at once. We just have to go with the wave and do our best to help others. I think businesses worldwide will definitely be affected but we will go through this. It’s slow and fast st the same time. Work is slower, but everything else is just a lot of information to process. We needed a pause to actually face things that weren’t been taken seriously and take accountability for what is happening. I think the workspace is going to be slow for a while, but it will get better.