NINA HU we heart U
There’s no denying our style crush on Nina Hu of @citizensrunway, so we decided to kick off our new #paperdolls blog series with the Los Angeles-based style influencer. We caught up with Nina over eggs at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles last week. We learned her latest life goals, to her favorite places to visit, and so much more!
What inspired you to start your blog? - An urge to break the mould of fashion bloggers. I had the good (or bad) luck to personally know a very predominate fashion blogger in the game. We were very good friends, and I had the chance to see her operate up close and personal. Even though we were friends (we clearly are no longer friends. that’s a story for another day), nothing she did seemed real to me. It was all fake, the pictures, the captions, even her voice seems to change when in front of the camera. I mean, I get it. There was a reason for it. She did research and polled that her audience is younger. And i realized that probably all fashion bloggers do that. On Snapchat, I noticed a lot of them only talk using the pretty filter. On boomerang, it is the exact same dance pose, hand twirl in the air. So mundane, so done, so basic. I’m want to be raw, real, authentic. I am who I am, across every medium and every sound. Well, of course I edit my instagram pictures (i’m not an animal), but I want my overall brand to be real, to be approachable. I don’t want to be staged, because life is not staged. I laugh hysterically, I fight with my husband, I drink like a fish.. but I’m real.
"I want this blog/ brand to inspire women/men everywhere to wear clothes differently. I like adding edge to dressy styles, styling street wear with 6inch pumps. Be different, and be comfortable doing it. I want to create content that (wo)men look at and think, ‘shit, I never thought to wear that this way, i like it."
What sets your style apart from other personal style bloggers? - I’m a firm believer that you are all you can be. Be the best possible you, but always be you. What sets me apart is exactly that, me. I also have the ability to not take myself so seriously. Make fun of myself once in awhile. Let loose. Live a little. Laugh it off.
What is a typical day in the life of Nina Hu? - First and foremost, I’m not a fan of mornings. If my day has to start at around 7 in the am, I'm probably not very happy. BUT, with that being said, a typical day always starts with coffee. my oversized golden retriever and I will take a walk to the coffee shop, where I sometimes will stay and work for a bit. Working consists of editing, emailing, surfing, linking (clothes), blogging, designing... crying… (kidding), instagramming, social media-ing. I go on a lot of lunch meetings, meeting are always better with food.. and sometimes, depending on the day, wine. I also shoot 3-4 times a week, that time varies depending on the hub’s schedule. Then i wait for the husband to come home, and we eat dinner together. That’s just a typical day though… I also have a lot of non-typical days. You’re gonna have to follow my Snapchat to see that. ;) I’m lucky enough to do something, well, strive to do something, that allows me to have the flexibility and freedom to work anywhere in the world, and on my own schedule. That’s the dream, right?
If you could swap wardrobes with anyone in the world living today, who would it be? - Margaret Zhang. I only recently learned that she is 23. I’ve been following her for quite sometime now, she’s a blogger, photographer, creative director out in Australia. I’m a huge fan of her work, her writing, her editorials, her photoshoots. Her pictures are just so interesting, she gives clothing a whole new meaning, a new flavour. Her eye for design is on a totally new level, and she was recently on the cover of Vogue China. Oh, she’s also in the middle of completing her law degree. yeah, 23. RIGHT?!
What do you think will be the big hits fashion wise for next season & which ones are you most excited for? - OTK boots. Stuart Weitzman Highlands, to be exact. They are just the perfect fall to winter wardrobe piece. I would also like to see velvet come back. I played with it a little last season, but i want more. Colour wise, I think the olive, the deep reds, the mustard yellow will make an appearance again. And of course, if all else fails, we still have black.
What are some of your favorite boutiques to visit in L.A.? - I’m actually ashamed at how little in person shopping I do anymore. I probably purchase 80% of my clothing online. I feel that in person is so hectic.. with the change rooms, and the line-ups. OH MY GOD. what is happening to us… here’s my list of my fav brands/stores:
Aritzia, Zara, Vince, Revolve Clothing, Nasty Gal, Net-a Porter (window shopping, mostly), ASOS, Rag and Bone, Marissa Webb, Intermix Online, the occasional flea market & of course Paper Machine!
What is your favorite outfit that you've posted so far? - Long tunic and leather moto pants. channelling my inner matrix.
Do you have any specific goals for the rest of this year? - For the remainder of this year, I want to keep growing my blog/brand. The bigger picture for this blog is eventually to be an all round ecommerce store. I’m going to start with t-shirts and hats. Citizen’s Runway- cool clothes for cool people. You like?
Who was your first style icon? and how does that influence your style today? - Coco. I have to give credit where credit. I only use one perfume.. coco Mademoiselle. So, you can imagine if she wasn’t around, what a mess that would be. Eu De Citizen’s Runway. Not the same. She is the ultimate style icon, and embodies feminine elegance. My style is influenced by feminine elegance, but a touch of edge.
What was the best place you ever visited in the world & why? - My best friend of over 15 years and I travelled to Aruba one summer for a week. It hardly rains in Aruba, but one night, it started pouring. We ended up drunk, dancing our asses off on the beach in the pouring rain. It was the most freeing moment of my life, thus far…. But I still have a lot of life to live.
What's your superpower, or what's your spirit animal? - I can make wine disappear, quickly.
What's the best advice you've ever received? and who gave it to you? - My father of 31 years, and counting: always be honest.