Zanita Whittington is a blogger, model, and photographer based in Sydney and Stockholm, where she creates and editorializes all things fashion on Zanita.com. The world-renowned blogger posts inspiration, tips, and more, all in tune with the ever-changing fashion industry. Below, Zanita gives her take on business, brand identity, personality, and more!
What is your blogger story? How was it when you first started out, and what has your journey been?
Well, it started because I used to be a model. I started having too much free time, and discovering I like bloggers like Fashion Toast and Sea of Shoes, and I wanted to be part of the community. They were just starting to get free stuff and it was exciting. I did it for like four years, just pattering along. Sometimes I wouldn’t post for a month, but then I got signed onto this blogger network–that’s when people started taking fashion bloggers seriously in Australia. I got my first real collaboration and realized I could survive on the income I was getting. I was on that for a while, and just getting better and better jobs, and maybe for the last year or year and a half, I’ve had a lot of things that have pushed me up to the next level; I could actually make a business, and now I have a company.
How do you feel about committing to a consistent blogging style?
For the longest time, you want to kind of stick to your own aesthetic. But I learned that if you don’t adapt and change to the market, sticking to your aesthetics is just going to send you broke. Adapting to the market is really important.
Where do you think bloggers will be in five years?
I think a lot about blogging is individual identities, and a lot of girls are getting to celebrity status, it’s pretty gnarly. I think it’s a new form of media, and I predict that one day fashion bloggers in the scene will be similar to the Hollywood scene; where they’re not only bloggers, but also designers. There will be bloggers who have their own lines, some will release albums, just all of that sh*t. So I think it’s going to keep growing because this is how people consume media now.
Is celebrity status dangerous for a blogger? Do you think they become difficult to relate to?
I think becoming a celebrity is dangerous for anyone. I think only certain kinds of people can handle it. But bloggers are business people. They’re girls that are incredibly driven. You sleep and you wake up and you check your Twitter, you check your Instagram, decide what’s working and what’s not. Talking to people all the time, hundreds of hundreds of emails.
What are your thoughts on video?
Oh, it’s SO FUN. For example, I put up a video today, and I’ve got less than 2,000 subscribers because I just started, but within the first hour I had maybe 40 views and 6 comments. Like there’s such a high engagement.
How much time do you spend on your blog every day?
On average around three hours of work on the blog if I’m trying to post every day, but it depends.
What would be your dream collaboration?
I think my dream collaboration would just be with a stylist that has access to all the clothes I want. It’d be so good to go somewhere with a stylist, like Iceland or something and do a shoot. Or, something where I shoot a lot of bloggers who dress themselves and I just photograph them. Also, video diary-ing the whole thing and sharing it with everyone.
You do video and photography courses as well right? Do you want to talk about that as well?
Yeah, you don’t have to have a ton of training to create images that look like they belong in magazines. It’s really just about the eye and the subject and all the different elements. But yeah, I have these courses, one that’s a photography course, one that’s a Photoshop course, and one that’s a case study–like the start to finish of an editorial shoot. I talk about styling and about getting the model, location, and references I used. Also about what I took from each reference, and how to apply them to your own inspiration. There’s a lot of videos and a lot of talking to the computer, and somewhere I’m showing you exactly how I edit my shots.
What do you usually do on the weekends?
Uhhh, work. My mom’s like, "you better not be working this weekend!" It’s just what I do and I love my job and I would rather be working, especially if the weather’s nice. I think I’ll have more time now that Gustav is with me all the time.
How is it to move from Australia to north of the world.
I don’t know, I’ve always loved Europe. A couple years ago I kind of traveled around Europe and from that point I was like I have to live in Europe. And after that, every time I flew to Europe I felt like I was coming home I wanted to be there so much. I mean Australia does have its own particular type of culture but it’s like pop culture. I just find Europe so romantic. The cities are beautiful, the buildings are beautiful. The people just have a cultural history from all the holidays, it’s very fun. I’m super excited for Midsummer where they jump around in a frog costume. Yeah, I’m ready.
If you could take over every screen in Times Square for a day, what would you do?
I’d probably just write some message about how being a hater reflects who you are so people need to recognize it in themselves. The kind of person who does that needs to be healed or that sh*t. The kind of negativity on the internet is flabbergasting. Where are these people? I don’t know anyone who would say that nasty stuff.
Last question, what music do you listen to these days?
I listen to a lot of electronic, but really chill, house. We also have a good radio station, triple J, that supports indie artists.