Izzy Smith @izzysmithh is a fashion blogger with a clear purpose. To build a brand based on honesty and transparency with her readers. She is passionate about using her social media account to empower and inspire other women to feel confident in their own skin. Fashion blogging is incredibly empowering in her eyes as it allows women to work towards becoming their own boss, run their own business and work from wherever they want in the world. Izzy has worked with Vamp on many campaigns to date including recently Estée Lauder and the pro-bono women’s charity Dress for Success.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
It’s a day for so many things to be brought into the limelight. One is to celebrate the achievements of the women around me and to actively acknowledge those achievements. Another would be the importance of breaking down gender stereotypes – I’m seeing this more and more thankfully! Lastly, to remember that we still have so much more to do for women’s rights not just in our society but on a global scale. You could say I find it pretty important!
Why did you opt in to be part of Vamp’s charity campaign with Dress for Success (#EmpowerHour)?
I felt as though #EmpowerHour is working towards improving education and creating opportunities for women to break out of the stereotypical ‘female roles’. This is something I’m definitely here for.
What about the campaign resonated with you?
I am personally passionate about women’s health and the positive implications that healthcare has on quality of life. Her education, lifestyle choices, everything is affected by health and access. The education provided by #EmpowerHour creates more opportunities, can influence positive life choices and provides women with an employable resume. After becoming independent without relying on a spouse or family, the quality of life for women can be dramatically improved and her choices become her own. She can create the life she wants to live.
How important is it to give back to the community with pro-bono posts and support women empowerment initiatives?
So important! Often we forget that we still have so far to come with equality and women’s rights worldwide when we’re busy in our own lives. To raise awareness and remind people, to spark that thought or action in the minds of both men and women – This is a thing we still need to work on. I think posts and support for the initiative can be incredibly effective.
How do you use Instagram to build a personal brand?
I’m experimenting at the moment with photography and style, creating a brand can be overwhelming when there are so many possibilities. I’m working on styling outfits that challenge ideas that my someone might have before stumbling across my account – eg. Pairing a contrasting blazer with a flowy white dress, a leather jacket with a lace top. There are so many ways to be feminine without following what’s expected from stereotypical ideas. I try to build my brand based on honesty and transparency with my readers and followers too, I’m just a young girl finding my way through life as well!
How can fashion blogging empower women?
Being a fashion blogger requires a kind of confidence that can’t be knocked. It radiates from your content. Seeing someone else do fashion blogging years ago made me realise it’s a real life job. I remember thinking if she can do it, I can. Fashion blogging can empower women to work towards becoming their own boss, run their own business and work from wherever they want in the world and I think that’s incredible.
Other than visually, fashion blogging can also empower women in so many other ways. I love to support Australian designers and they’re often female business owners. So many PR people I talk to are female too. Fashion blogging creates a whole new dimension of work available to women in the fashion industry and creates a gateway for those who want to enter it too.
How can social media help women to feel more body confident?
Social media exposes us to so many more different body types than our day to day life, publications and movies can. This exposure is so important because it confirms that we are normal, we’re human and we’re doing great. The body image ‘boundaries’ are definitely being pushed with the impact of social and I can’t wait to see more positive implications from it!
What advice would you give to a woman who is nervous about going for a job/promotion/pay rise/starting a business?
I remember reading somewhere recently that statistically, women will undervalue themselves when asking for a pay rise or salary expectations in general. I say do your research and ask for the price you deserve, not what you think you should have. This comes down to your level of confidence too!
Starting a business… I don’t have much experience here. I sold my artwork online after I graduated school so I can only fall back on that. I jumped feet first into it with no idea what I was doing! I think it’s always a great idea to stick with something if it works and seek out the knowledge or the services you need to keep it going.
How does being an influencer/content creator empower you?
Yes, 100%. I always enjoy that it’s my thing. It’s something I’ve personally worked on over a number of years and I find it so empowering that it’s become a small side-job for me. I can control the amount of clients I’m working with, the brands that I select to represent my personal style and eventually that filters down to moulding and bringing my own brand to life.
What and/or who inspires you?
Every other blogger, we’re all working so hard whether it’s paid or unpaid. Blogging and influencing is something that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and I love seeing others take it on. There are so many people who inspire me in my personal life, too many to name! I think inspiration comes from everywhere, a speech I heard, a book I read by Sheryl Sandberg… it’s everywhere.
Which brands do you feel are supporting women to be the best they can be?
It’s important though when a brand is conscious of where the clothes are made and the conditions involved. Rowie the Label has been on my radar recently, ensuring safe work practices, small scale production, fair pay and a number of other things.
What key challenges do you face as a woman? How do you overcome them?
I acknowledge that I live a very privileged life in Australia, we are so lucky here on so many levels. The challenges I face are minor compared to others. Although there is still stereotypes, I am easily talked over in meetings and not taken seriously because I’m a young female. I enjoyed Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In and I think it’s helping me become more proactive and stand up for myself. There are other things I could mention but even the minor inconveniences I come across highlights that we still have room for improvement as a society.
Your proudest moment?
It’s always a proud moment when I accomplish something that’s completely me. My blog, Instagram content creation and my full-time job are all things happened because of my creative passions for art and writing throughout my schooling, university degrees and afterwards too. Next best proudest moment would be learning to snowboard!
If you could say one thing to your younger self what would it be?
Look at the bigger picture. Seek out more opportunities and persevere with your passions, you DO have the ability to create your dream future. Someone probably said this to me at some point but I was definitely too naive to notice at the time!