Aniekeme Umoh of TFLA
In May 2013, Aniekeme Umoh started TFLA: This Fashion Love Affair. She created the fashion blog in order to share her ideas about fashion and write about her own personal style. Her background as a Nigerian student living in New York City gives her a solid edge and unique standing amongst other fashion bloggers. She is very hardworking and attentive to her ever-growing fan base. Ayiba’s Nike Ilaka was fortunate enough to interview the successful fashion blogger to learn more about TFLA.
What inspired you to start your blog, TFLA: This Fashion Love Affair?
TFLA was born out of a desire to have a platform to share and write about my personal style. It initially was a fashion journal of some sorts but it has since grown to incorporate travel and lifestyle.
What inspires you when choosing an outfit for a blog post? Describe your process.
It’s a different process for every outfit. I’m mostly influenced by the images I expose myself to on Instagram, Lookbook, and on other fashion blogs. I’d often pick an outfit for the blog by occasion—for example if I were going to a music festival or if I were transitioning a work outfit to an evening cocktails outfit. Sometimes, I’d pick a clothing article as a centerpiece and style an outfit around it.
What is the most challenging part of running a fashion blog?
Consistency. It’s very important for a blog, particularly a fashion blog, to consistently put out quality content for its readers. This means well-thought out outfits, great images, and well-written prose on a regular basis. It takes a lot of work to get that and for me,that has been the most challenging thing.
How do you balance managing your blog with school/work?
Scheduling and a little foresight helped me balance managing my blog and keeping up with school. Time management has not been a real issue for me but I found that having a schedule made things even easier. I was lucky to have friends who were happy to help me take pictures and assist with other things related to the blog. We tried to get shoots done over the weekend, since those take up the most time. And then I would write up blog posts once or twice during the week using the pictures from over the weekend. It also helped to plan themed content in advance of events like Valentines’ Day, Spring Break, and July Fourth.
Who are your style icons? How have they influenced your work as a fashion blogger?
Oh dear, I have a ton of style icons—Solange, Aimee Song (of Song of Style), Pharrell, and Micah Gianneli are my tops. Solange’s style is daring; it encourages me to try new styles and daring combinations. Aimee’s style is classic, timeless; her outfits change the way I look at basic pieces. Pharrell’s style is consistent; he makes me want to be consistent as well. Micah’s style is focused—she’s the nude/neutral queen; she influences me to define my brand and be focused on it. Beyond the fashion, I am inspired by the attitude Aimee and Micah seem to have towards their blogs and their brand. It’s more than being just a fashion blogger, it’s also being able to market yourself as different from other people within the same creative space as you.
What sets your style apart from other personal style bloggers?
I definitely feel like my personal style is a reflection of where I am, where I came from, and where I’m going. There’s a street style easiness to it, a strong Nigerian influence, and a corporate put-togetherness.
What is your favorite outfit that you’ve posted so far?
In what ways has your background as a Nigerian living in New York City affected your fashion style and blog?
Being Nigerian has directly influenced my style in the instances where I incorporate ankara pieces and Nigerian styles like the iro and buba into my outfit posts. My style has also been influenced by up and coming Nigerian designers I’ve had the opportunity to work with. New York City has a certain character that I think has rubbed off on me. I credit that character for the street style influences on my blog.
What advice would you give to an aspiring fashion blogger?
Once you’ve decided that you’re passionate enough about fashion to want to start a blog, I’d advise drafting a game plan. Take time to decide what you want your blog to be like—what you want it to achieve, what platform you want to use, how often you want to post. Take advantage of social media to grow your readership and connect with other bloggers. Get quality images and post consistently.
What fashion tips are you willing to share for the upcoming fall season (especially for fashionistas on a budget)?
- Go thrift shopping! Some of my favorite pieces were thrift store finds.
- Shop for the fall in the summer. A lot of online shops have discounts and sales on scarves, jackets, and hats in the summer.
- Transition your pieces. Some summer clothes don’t need to be tucked away in storage as fall approaches. Layering is a great way to stay warm and fashionable in the fall and some summer pieces will help do that.