We’ve been lucky enough to interview a number of established bloggers from all over the world, but in this case, we caught up with a newly formed pair (the first blogging pair we’ve ever interviewed!) in NYC, Sana and Saman. Both are well established in their respective fields, neither of which are in fashion (Saman’s job is more closely related to fashion), but that hasn’t stopped them from building up impressive wardrobes and great sense of style. Between them, they’ve grown up in the Middle East and the USA, but now call NYC home. We met up with them in NYC just before they launched their blog, New York it Girls, to find out how they’ve managed to keep up with their love for fashion whilst managing demanding careers in the corporate world. Less than six months old as a blog, but they’ve already worked with brands like Yves Saint Laurent, so read on to find out more about how they’ve gotten off to such a successful start.
What are both of your day jobs?
Sana: I’m a Management Consultant for Fortune 500 organisations.
Saman: I’m a Social Media Director for lifestyle and fashion brands.
What’s your ideal Friday night out?
Sana: Hanging out with Saman! 🙂 Generally, I love exploring the ever changing NYC dining scene and going to trendy spots for people watching and fashion inspiration.
Saman: What Sana said! We also love staying in and making Indian/Pakistani food and Snapchatting them to each other haha!
If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of our life, what would it be?
Sana: Black ripped jeans, white tee, Saint Laurent leather jacket and some Saint Laurent kicks.
Saman: That’s a tough one! But, if it has to be just one, it has to be fab, so I would say: a beaded and sequin embellished crepe jacket from Saint Laurent which I’ve had my eye on for months. It’s a little over the top, so I would keep the pants and top a bit more low key, maybe a simple black tee and soft black pants from Alexander Wang with a slip on pair of loafers.
SHOP MY LOOK
What’s the most precious/sentimental thing in your wardrobe?
Sana: My Celine tote. It was the first real investment piece I was able to purchase on my own after I started working. I bought it in Paris, which makes it even more special.
Saman: I would say my Cartier love rings. My mom gifted them to my sisters and I, so they hold sentiment. We live in different cities for the most part, so it’s nice to wear something that reminds me of them on a daily basis.
Who/what are your fashion inspirations?
Sana: I definitely get my inspiration from the NYC street style scene. I have a photographic memory, so I’m able to combine different looks in my mind and really visualise what the end result will look like.
Saman: I have a background in fashion and live on social media, so keeping up with the trends is the easy part. The hard part is figuring out how to make them work for you, and how to make them more personal to your individual style without just following the herd. Like Sana said, we live in Soho, in NYC, and Soho street style is as inspirational as it gets.
What’s the best piece of advice you have for someone wanting to get into fashion/blogging? Or, since you’re just starting out, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Sana: Less is more, and keep it simple.
Saman: It is a huge time commitment, so make sure you do it for the right reason. Passion first, money and perks later.
How easy/difficult is it to balance your jobs with the blog, thus far?
Sana: I travel every week (Monday through Thursday) cross-country for work, so it can be difficult at times. However, Saman and I do a great job at balancing the workload. That’s the best part about blogging with your BFF!
Saman: Totally agree with Sana. The only con is having to constantly manage our schedules, but we’re good at balancing.
Assuming the blog becomes a massive success (which we think it will), would you ever consider going full time?
Sana: YES! Is that even a question?!
Saman: What she said!
What’s the ultimate goal/aim for the blog? Become a brand?
Sana: We just want to share our journey and showcase what our true passion is with others, so whatever else happens along the way is just a bonus 🙂
What’s the target demographic of New York It Girls, and what did you start it?
Sana and Saman: We are all over the map. Sana is of Indian origin, but grew up in Texas, and I’m Pakistani but grew up in the Middle East. That being said, we are Americans and truly identify as New Yorkers more than anything else. Growing up in a beauty and fashion crazed culture, we never really identified or looked like any of the ‘it’ girls we looked up to on TV, or in the magazines. We want our demographic to know that we are proud of our ethnic heritage and that it empowers us. We want to make sure young women know that no matter where they are from, or what colour their skin is, they can be whoever they want to be. It is time to change the ‘it’ girl status quo! We hope other women find inspiration from our journey.
What made you decide to go into blogging together, as opposed to individually?
Sana and Saman: Sana and I are lucky because we truly enjoy each others’ company, have similar taste, goals and we work really well together. It was sort of a no brainer, to be honest!
What challenges, if any, are there with blogging as a pair?
Sana and Saman: We are both perfectionists when it comes to our work. We want to make sure our audience is receiving valuable content. With our different work schedules, it can be challenging to make sure we meet our standards with the limited time we have together. We are committed to making this work, so we are happy to take on the challenge.
What advice do you have for anyone wanting to get into blogging with a friend/family member, or as a pair?
Sana and Saman: You can only work on something like this with someone whose opinion you truly value and respect. You must be willing to compromise and listen to one another, without taking things too personally.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Saman: I am a sucker for sample sales. I always end up buying things I do not need, because everything is ‘such a good deal’.
Sana: Ditto what Saman said!
If you could be successful in another profession, what would it be?
Sana and Saman: We have already seen degrees of success in both of our current professions, so our focus is solely geared toward ‘New York It Girls’ at the moment.
Tell us the most surprising thing that people may not know about you:
Sana: I love being in the outdoors.
Saman: Before I started working in fashion, I was a social worker. I love giving back to the community, and hope that my two passions can overlap through this blog, in some way, shape or form.
Have you always had an interest in fashion?
Sana: Always. I started designing my own traditional clothes from a young age and was always particular about my look. After moving to NYC, I was able to really refine my aesthetic and share my style with others.
Saman: Always. Contrary to what most people thing, the Middle East is extremely fashion forward. I grew up with satellite TV in Saudi Arabia (which means limited channels), so from a very young age (around 13/14), I was glued to FTV (a European fashion channel that showcased designers and models from all over the world). I always dreamed of being a designer, but life took me down a similar, yet slightly different path. Blogging is such a perfect profession for someone who loves tech, city lifestyle, emerging social trends and fashion.
How/why did you get into blogging?
Sana and Saman: I work in content creation and with social bloggers, and always asked myself why I didn’t have my own blog. Sana and I have very similar interests, and I knew she would be a perfect ‘co-founder’. you can imagine I was thrilled when I mentioned the idea, and she was already thinking the same thing. The rest is history!
What interests you most about fashion?
Sana: I love how fashion is a seasonal process. I adapt my style to the weather and the environment that I am in. I can look and feel like a new person, just by changing my clothes.
Saman: I agree with Sana. I also love textiles and textures, and can appreciate a well tailored garment. It’s important to step back and really appreciate fashion on the runway for what it is, which is a designer’s vision and perspective brought to life.
Describe your style in three words:
Sana: Minimal, BLACK and edgy.
Saman: Neutral, downtown and evolving.
What emoji are you?
Sana: Definitely the sunglasses emoji.
Saman: Definitely the cry/laugh emoji. I try not to take myself too seriously.
Would you rather walk around fashion week in a black bin liner and have everyone think you’re serious, or delete your Instagram?
Sana: I’d own the bin liner look and would rock it with some heels and oversized sunnies.
Saman: I’ll leave that one to her, she would rock it (insert laugh/cry emoji).
What’s the staple item in your wardrobe right now?
Sana: Currently loving my Saint Laurent Babies Boots, which I have in gold and silver metallic.
Saman: Currently obsessed with my black Zimmerman slip on loafers (easy access).