If you're into fashion and into the Internet (and come on, who isn't?), chances are you've come across the cheeky new Tumblr "Shit Bloggers Wear." On the site, 24-year-old Cecilia Doan--who daylights as a digital creative strategist in Portland, Oregon--posts her minimalist sketches of those ubiquitous items that seem to pop up on every single fashion blog, disguised as something unique. The drawings poke fun at the way so many bloggers just "happen" to have the same pieces, and Doan herself admits, "we're all guilty." (She also makes it clear that the blog's title "by no means refers to the quality of items represented here.")
Shit Bloggers Wear, whose name derives from the viral "Shit Girls Say" video series, has been garnering attention since it started, with no signs of slowing down. Earlier this month, menswear site Four Pins even had Doan illustrate "Shit #Menswear Bloggers Wear" to let fashion-obsessed dudes in on the fun.
We talked to Doan about how she came up with the site, her hopes that the site might help bloggers second-guess their choices, and how this side-project actually informs her day job.
How did the idea for Shit Bloggers Wear come about? During lunch on May 14th a co-worker was talking about wanting a pair of shoes she'd seen on Sincerely Jules. I told her a lot of bloggers have them and quite literally blurted "shit bloggers wear" out loud. I laughed at my own joke because it was sticky, and made me think of all the "Shit Girls Say" memes of course. I was stoked on the idea and knew I had to do something before I lost interest. In two hours the first item was illustrated and scanned, a logo and template created, Tumblr theme customized and Shit Bloggers Wear was launched.
At a deeper level, I think there are many people like me who've noticed mainstream fashion bloggers are starting to rep the same brands and styles. The endorsements are becoming more obvious. Everyday people choosing hype and status over cultivating their own sense of style. If SBW serves a higher purpose beyond comedy (I get lots of LOL messages), I hope it acts as a reminder to choose wisely.
Which item prompted you to finally start the blog? The Chanel espadrilles. They were the ones my co-worker (hi Jessie) wanted.
You write on SBW that you aren’t an illustrator and don’t normally sketch, but the sketches don’t seem amateur. What is your artistic background? Has it always been a hobby? I took a handful of drawing classes in college along with other design and visual foundation classes. They were requirements for my degree in Design Management. My favorite class, Rapid Visualization—which is pretty much napkin drawing, taught me how to put my ideas down on paper quickly. I whiteboard at work all the time and if it weren't for that I probably wouldn't have touched a writing utensil in ages. Now with the blog, I draw two to three times a week.
What has been the most challenging aspect of the project for you? Making time for it, because no one can hold me accountable except for me. And wanting to draw more complex things—some textures and patterns are hard to capture in black and white for me. Hey, fake it 'til you make it.
What is your day job and how does it influence the blog? My day job influences the blog quite a bit. As a strategist at a digital creative agency, I spend a lot of time observing and internalizing what's happening in the digital and mobile space, especially in the lifestyle and pop culture realm. This also means I have to be an active participant to have a grasp for user behavior, motivations and functionality. All of this results in helping me concept creative and strategic social campaigns for our clients. I actually have over a dozen Tumblr blogs and Instagram accounts as a way to experiment and prototype some of my ideas. If Shit Bloggers Wear didn't take off within the first couple months I would have tabled it and moved on to the next. But now that it's here I monitor it like I would any real campaign from a social media and PR standpoint. This includes tracking metrics, media coverage, and taking note of potential opportunities or learnings. I wish it was just for fun and games, but for me there's definitely a science and just how my brain wants to work.
How do you choose which items to draw? Naturally it starts with browsing blogs (RIP Google Reader) and noticing repetition or trends. I did this for years before SBW, of course. Now I also get help from the requests people submit. I still fact-check and seek the items out on multiple fashion blogs, avoiding requests for items that are from too many seasons back.
Have you gotten any strange requests? Nothing too strange, but I hope people read this message and stop requesting the Isabel Marant Bekkets and the Acne Atacoma. I won't draw them because they're too obvious. Don't make me!
What feedback have you gotten from fashion bloggers? Designers? Many of the fashion bloggers who've talked about it have expressed positive sentiment. Some designers (i.e. Brian Lichtenberg and Dimepiece) see it as a status to envy which is pretty cool. The blog may come off as a diss for some, but I commend fashion bloggers first and foremost for continually putting themselves out there for millions of people to enjoy/be inspired by ... and secondly to make parodies of.
What are your plans for the future of the blog? Collaborations and new features are definitely in the works. I know menswear has been on the brain recently but I want to think it through a little more considering my first followers know it to be women's fashion focused. I'm trying to manage the growth a little bit and not try to do everything for everyone.
Do you think any of the pieces you feature will stand the test of time? I guess time is relative in the fashion sense. Sometimes three seasons is a long time. And some things will definitely continue to be produced, but will be low key until it reemerges in a few years or decade.
However, I hope the Balenciaga cutout boots stay relevant for a long time because I still want those really bad no matter what anyone says, even my own blog.