Picture this: You're 20. A student at FIT, Pratt, or Parsons. You're obsessed with fashion. So obsessed, in fact, that you've started a Tumblr dedicated to your favorite corner of the fashion world: models, photography, or menswear. You've gained a bit of recognition in the Tumblr community. And you're sitting in Lela Rose's TriBeCa loft, in her gorgeous wood-paneled dining room, eating a meal she's cooked herself off of mix-and-match plating she's picked up here and there over the years.
Sounds like dream come true, right? Well, Monday morning it became a reality for several of Tumblr's biggest fashion users. The blogging platform—whose fashion evangelist Valentine Uhovski uses his extensive industry contacts to ensure his top users get access to exclusive runway shows (Rodarte) and cool events (the Met Ball)—has teamed up with the CFDA to launch a series of designer house visits, starting with Monday's breakfast in Rose's oft-photographed home. (Yes, she really does have a dog elevator. And a tequila room.) The CFDA's Steven Kolb co-hosted the event, where bloggers including Ryan Charchian of the Fashionisto Diaries, Freddy Rodriguez of Blue Perk and Arushi Khosla of Bohemian Like You got to chat with Rose and eat her homemade biscuits. (The designer cooks dinner for her family every single night.)
"Lela is so humble," said Rodriguez, a junior at FIT who is also doing work with Giles & Brother. "It makes you believe that that if I work really hard, I could have a place like this some day." Rodriguez, who has been dreaming of the fashion industry since he was in middle school, says his relationship with Tumblr has been incredibly advantageous. "Valentine is a mentor—he's been super supportive," he said.
"It's how the world is turning now," said Rose, who launched her own Tumblr a few months ago. "It was fascinating and fun to meet with them."
Guests were given a box of Kusmi tea at the end of the breakfast, nestled in a bag handmade by Lela. Not a bad way to start a Monday morning. Good thing Tumblr plans on hosting another "inside the designer's home" event very soon.