Blogger Spotlight - Cheetah is the New Black
Fashion/personal blogger Alicia wanted a creative outlet to contrast the boredom she felt from her corporate job, so she started her blog Cheetah is the New Black. With two years under her belt, her site has become a stylish outlet of animal prints, delicious cocktails, DIY projects and pretty nails that reinforce our lacquer love. This month, Nicole by OPI finds out a little more about our Bay area blogger and gets inspired to find our own signature look.
So let’s dive right in. Your site is called Cheetah is the New Black, when did you develop your love for cheetah and leopard print?
I’ve always loved cheetah and leopard prints. I’ve worn them forever. My friends teased me about how often I wore cheetah print and that’s pretty much how I came up with the name for my blog.
Did you know at first that you were going to name your site Cheetah is the New Black and it would be about fashion?
At first I didn’t know what my blog was going to be about, I just knew I would call it that. I feel like I’m still figuring out the whole blogging world, but I’m having fun with it. I started my blog on a whim and it has naturally evolved into a fashion blog because I love fashion so much.
Do you consider animal print to be your signature style?
Even when animal prints weren’t popular-there was a period where it was viewed as tacky-I was still wearing it. I think it is definitely my signature, but at the same time I love a lot of different fashion trends and love experimenting. I wouldn’t just say I always wear leopard, but I do wear it a lot and love it.
So would you pair it with almost anything?
Yes, I definitely think of cheetah and leopard as a neutral. I wear it all the time and think it can be paired with just about anything.
What is one of your favorite fashion trends for this summer?
I love bold, pops of color. It’s not necessarily me, I’m usually a neutral girl, but bright pink and red goes great with leopard print.
Was there something that triggered your love of fashion?
I’ve always loved shopping and fashion, but I grew up in a small town and we didn’t have the best shopping mall. We had one boutique that I shopped at in our downtown. When I came to college, to the Bay area, I learned more about brands and noticed what girls were wearing and started following trends. I started reading up on high-end runway and it's just grown over the years.
One thing we really like about your outfits are that they are feminine, but still edgy. Do you have any advice for girls on how to create that look?
I’m definitely girly, but I love an edgy twist. I like to pair a rough piece like distressed jeans, a leather jacket, or bold accessories with and a more feminine blouse or skirt.
You have a great combination of accessories in your pictures. They never steal the thunder of your outfits; they just accent your look and nails. What is your favorite accessory trend and do you have a favorite accessory that you own?
Every girl should own an amazing pair of sunglasses. I think they make the entire look. As for the accessories I own, I’m obsessed with Dannijo jewelry right now. I have a couple pairs of earrings and bracelets of theirs that I wear all the time. Their pieces make me feel glamorous, but edgy at the same time. You can simply throw on a little Dannijo bling with a basic t-shirt to ‘up’ your look.
You make accessories too right? Have you been doing that for a while? Where do you come up with your ideas?
I’ve always been pretty creative and crafty. Ever since I was a little girl I have always made pieces of jewelry here and there. I like going to flea markets or stores and finding unique pieces, and then I have a box that is always full of numerous little projects in the making. When I have free time I’ll make a piece of jewelry. I get my inspiration from blogs for sure. I get them from magazines as well. If I see a high-end necklace that I adore but can’t afford, I’ll try to find a cheaper way to make it myself.
As far as nails, yours are really unique and polished in a lot of your posts; do you try to make those an integral part of your outfit? Or do you just wear what you want to wear?
I definitely paint my nails once a week, if not two to three times. It’s another fun part of fashion and I like switching things up. It’s a way to show off your personality. I like to try all of the latest colors like yellows, blues and green. I’ll try anything.
Do you have a current favorite shade? What are some Nicole by OPI colors you like?
I’m always drawn to black and darker shades. I like Razzle Dazzler, Girl Talk and Coco a Go Go. I do have a lot of friends sporting yellow and blue this summer, I like those shades too.
Is there a reason you usually choose to do darker hues?
I don’t know what it is. I like to experiment with bright colors, but I usually get sick of them after a day. I gravitate towards black or grey for my everyday polish.
If you do other colors, what is your favorite nail lacquer finish?
I usually like creams. I like glitter, again for a few days, but then I get over it and go back to a matte or cream finish. I work in a pretty corporate setting so I can get away with grey, but not electric blue.
Have you always been into nail lacquer?
Yes, always. My mom used to paint my nails when I was little, and I’ve done it ever since.
I know you helped launch the Glitter Guide. Can you tell me more about that?
The Glitter Guide is a lifestyle/fashion blogazine with the goal to delight our readers with daily inspiration. Taylor Sterling from Sterling Style, had the idea to start this website and asked if I wanted to be part of it. I’m one of the contributing editors for the site. I’ve been editing all of the articles and writing my own pieces as well. The website is loaded with anything we think is “glittery”-inspiring, trendy, beautiful and fashionable.
Is there a full staff? Or are you mainly getting contributors?
There are six of us, plus a group of awesome regular contributors, working on the site. It’s been a lot of fun and I’m so thrilled with the feedback we’ve received thus far from our readers!
How was blogging when you first started? Was it awkward taking pictures of your self?
Yes, it was definitely awkward when I first started, and still can be. I am not quite comfortable with the taking photos of myself part of it, although I’m getting better. And I’m getting more used to people staring at me when I’m doing it, I’m sure I look ridiculous.
So you’re moving to New York soon. Can you tell me about that?
Yes, I recently got married this past June and I’m moving to be with my husband. He will be finishing up his last year of graduate school at Cornell in Upstate New York.
What are you most excited about while in New York? How will your move affect your blog?
I think once I quit my day job I’ll have more time to focus on my blog. I’m looking forward to having more time to work on do-it-yourself projects. I love making jewelry and I would like to do more of it. I’m really excited for the move. I love Manhattan, although I won’t be living in New York City, and I’m looking forward to the fashion. I’m also looking forward to exploring the city and what it has to offer, and sharing my journey on Cheetah is the New Black.
To find out more about Cheetah is the New Black and browse her site, click here.