Fashion blogger Laurence Li’s style has been recognized by the critical eyes of Vogue and American Apparel alike. A graduate from Emily Carr University of Art and Design majoring in animation, Laurence manages his blog, atomshell, while working to pursue his passion for art and fashion by exploring visual merchandising, mixed-media illustrations, digital art, and animation. Jing Daily recently interviewed Li about how he started blogging and his opinions on Chinese bloggers’ role in the fashion industry. Look below to read his insights.
How and why did you start blogging?
I have always loved fashion ever since I was little. I started blogging two years ago when I was able to financially support myself and buy clothes I wanted. Blogging was a personal thing for me at first, which is [where] the blog name, atomshell, came from. Everyone is an atom and I am an atom carrying a shell.
Can you list a few of your favorite bloggers and the reasons you like them?
Two of my favorite bloggers are Susie Bubble from Style Bubble and Rumi Neely from Fashiontoast. I love Susie’s eyes for new talents in the fashion industry, especially in print and textural designs. I like Fashiontoast because of the aesthetics of her photos.
How important is blogging in the fashion industry and do you see the importance changing? If yes, in what way or what direction?
Blogging becomes more important every season. Bloggers have a voice now; the public [doesn’t] only follow the legit celebrities and pop stars. Bloggers are part of the media now, and popular bloggers become a form of celebrity. It is good because street style is as important as the haute couture evening dresses celebrities walk down the red carpet in.
What’s your perception for Chinese bloggers or the blogging industry in China?
Chinese bloggers are becoming more and more innovative. I see bloggers trying many different things. Some of them are so stunning and interesting that I just want to fly back to China to party with them. The Chinese blog industry now definitely has a good vibe.
What are the differences between blogging in China and that in the United States?
Blogging itself does not have any differences between the two countries; it is the responses [to] blogging that are different. When I started blogging two years ago, China was relatively conservative, so when people saw my androgynous looks there, they [were] shocked and commented negatively. There are also those positive souls who support me however I change, both in China and United States.
How do you see blogging in China developing in the long-term? What might be possible ways for fashion brands to collaborate with Chinese bloggers?
There are fashion brands already collaborating with bloggers in China. They send them free samples to promote the brand. Blogging in China is booming because I see interesting stuff coming up every other day from Chinese sites.
Any Chinese bloggers you think are influencing the future of blogging in China?
Personally, like Filxiaobai’s blogs. Love the way she uses colors and textures. She is very bold. I also enjoy looking at the blog of Leaf Greener, the editor at Elle China. She always dresses so unique, stylish, and fun.
Do you think blogging can be a lifetime career? How important is blogging to you?
Blogging can be a lifetime career but not for me. I am interested in so much more than just blogging, but I will definitely not give blogging up because it is very enjoyable. It sort of feels like a fashion diary for me.
How do you define the theme and content of your blog? In other words, how do you create a story and express it in your own way?
I like pictures and not so much words. Therefore, I only have photos on my blog and no text. I want to let the photos speak for themselves. I am happy about whatever the viewers think and respond.
Do you know who your readers are? What do they like about your blog?
I don’t know all of the reasons why they read my blog. I got an interview once by a Taiwanese online magazine. They told me they read my blog because they were drawn by my ways of mixing vintage pieces with fast-fashion pieces (H&M and Zara) and making the whole outfit look unique and sophisticated.