UCL’s Fashion Bloggers: Stella Kattermann

Our Fashion Editor, Sabina Trojanova, talks to fashion blogging legend, Stella Kattermann.

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Following the successful launch of our UCL’s Fashion Bloggers series, Sabina Trojanova brings you an exclusive interview with Stella Kattermann. The final year SSEES History student and author of “Stella’s Wardrobe” has collaborated with the likes of Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins, and her style has been featured on the websites of the Daily Mail, Grazia, Elle, Vogue China and many others. How does she do it? Read on to find out!

When did your obsession with fashion begin?

When I was eight, I had Barbie dolls like many other kids, but instead of playing with them I just dressed them up and then photographed them. I would also refuse to put on the clothes my mom picked out for me – I am still very much a perfectionist when it comes to clothes and would never wear something that did not feel right. My mom also used to keep Vogue magazines at home, so that was probably my first exposure to the glamorous side of fashion.

What made you decide to start a blog?

It just started off as a diary of my outfits five years ago, an online fashion portfolio if you will. I never approached anyone asking for exposure though – I didn’t plan for the website to become as big as it has.

Let’s talk a little more about your success – how did your blog gain such prominence?

It was a very gradual, organic process. In 2011, I made it onto Grazia Magazine’s list of Top Ten bloggers. Then in mid-2012, Diglee, a prominent French digital artist, did my header and wrote about me on her website, which was a real turning point. That’s the thing with British fashion bloggers – once you’re in, you’re in. There are about fifteen to twenty of us and we all get invited to the same events and hang out in the same circles. Aside from blogging about fashion, I also write restaurant reviews and was really flattered when TimeOut asked me to write an article about my five favourite spots to eat in London.

How did you get to cooperate with Miss Selfridge?

I did a campaign for Dorothy Perkins before that and Miss Selfridge contacted me, asking if I’d like to be the face of their Project #3 collection alongside two other bloggers, Amy and Jazmine. I had already worked with Phill Taylor [the photographer] before and he is incredibly talented so I knew I’d be in good hands. The campaign was only meant to be a little side project, but the photos turned out well, so Miss Selfridge ended up using them internationally, which was a surprise.

Miss Selfridge Campaign

Coming from Germany to London and all, how does your cultural background affect your style?

I am actually a quarter German, Finnish, Czech and Russian – quite an eclectic mix and I suppose that comes through in my outfits. I’ve been living in England since I was twelve and people are more accepting of looks that are out of the ordinary here. It inspired me to do my thing.

Have you had negative reactions from people because of your extravagant style?

Not really. I do feel like I stand out a lot in central London though and prefer to get away from the swarms of students and go out in Hackney. I can hardly imagine going to Sports Nite on Wednesday – my look is just too different, it’s not for me.

Has doing a degree in History at UCL benefited you or would you choose a different course in retrospect?

I would never consider doing a degree in fashion; it would just get me into debt for nothing. You can’t learn fashion! I’m glad I got a degree from an influential university, because it gave me an opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the people who are the future masterminds of our generation. And the fact that it’s located in London has made it easier to keep up my blog. But at this point I just want to get my 2.1 and run.

Congratulations! How have you managed to reconcile your studies and your blogging responsibilities?

You have to develop a routine and really stick to it. Students just need to get over procrastinating – once you manage that, you get so much more out of life. You can always sleep when you’re old! It isn’t always easy though – coffee is probably my best friend at UCL.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Do you want to pursue a career in fashion?

I would like to start off as a stylist and then eventually work my way up to the position of a fashion editor of a magazine. I’ve already interned for Elle, Grazia and Asos.

You probably won’t bump into Stella in the Loop anytime soon (although you might just meet our Fashion Editor there this Wednesday and be spotted for our upcoming Loop Style feature!), but you can have a look at her blog and follow her on Facebook.