Once a week I will be sharing interviews with people who are way cooler than me. People I think are doing really cool stuff in their field, inspirational people, and just people I think are really cool.
Andrea Kang is a senior at GWU. She has a really amazing blog Akangster.com. Andrea and I have never -really- met but I have followed her on Instagram since her freshman year when we joined the same sorority and always thought she was very cool. Here, she shares a little bit about her blog, her fashion, and what she is excited about in the next chapter of her life…
Andrea, I think it’s funny because when I decided I wanted to interview people virtually for my website you were one of the first people I thought of! To give you all some background; Andrea and I know -of- each other lol. Andrea got my attention for her cool website and personal style, and her denim that she designs herself. Let me get to the point! How did you cultivate such a cool sense of personal style?
Well first, thank you for reaching out to me! I feel so honored that you thought of me even though we’ve never really spoken to each other!
I would say it took me a while to really find my personal style. While I’ve loved fashion my entire life, I didn’t necessarily have a distinct personal style. It wasn’t until college that I really started to wear what I wanted and got to experiment with different outfits. I got a lot of my inspiration from fashion designers that I would follow on Instagram, mainly Alexander McQueen and AREA. Also just browsing through online shops has helped me to realize things that I liked and didn’t like. It’s really all about experimentation. A lot of my personal style came from my exploration into different styles and clothing that I never gravitated towards before.
Fashion and clothing have the power to change my mood, my confidence, and ultimately the way that I go about my life. Fashion also opens the door to endless possibilities. No one is going to stop you from wearing what you want because it’s on your body and if you feel good in it, who cares what other people think. I
When & why did you start your blog akangster.com?
Starting A Kangster was pretty intimidating at first. I knew it was something that I always wanted to start, but I felt vulnerable sharing so many personal things to the public. Like any other teenager, I was insecure and nervous about what other people would say about my blog. But in June of 2018, the summer before going into my freshman year of college, I was so bored and I wanted to start a new project. During this transition in my life, I gained more self-confidence and established goals that I wanted to accomplish in the future. I was getting ready to start a new chapter and I wanted to find meaning behind things that I was passionate about. So, I stopped worrying about what other people thought and I launched A Kangster for myself. Since then, A Kangster has pushed me out of my comfort zone and challenged my fears and insecurities. I wanted my blog to be a creative outlet for myself and to also inspire others to wear what they wanted without worrying about other people’s opinions.
Where did you grow up? Do you think that influenced your personal style?
I grew up in a small town in New Jersey. I would say the people in my neighborhood are pretty fashionable, and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that we live so close to New York City. Growing up, my family and I would go into the city almost every weekend. This definitely inspired me as a little girl who loved fashion because I would spend the whole time either shopping or people watching.
You are so young! What is the dream job of all dream jobs for you?
My absolute dream would be to start my own fashion brand. I would love to take on that female-entrepreneur role and design and curate my own collections. I just love the idea of being able to own something so creative and personal to myself. I have really thought through this idea and I think it is definitely something that I can see myself pursuing in the future! Maybe that will be my next summer project haha.
How do you stay motivated?
I love this question because I feel like everyone has such different answers. I am constantly motivated because I set goals for myself and think about those goals every single day. I know, it sounds crazy. But, when there is something that I am working towards or something that I know that I want, I believe no matter how big or small it is, I can achieve it. It’s the little things you do day by day that help you to achieve your goals and to get to the bigger picture, so just the thought of that keeps me super motivated. I know the steps that I am taking now are just going to help me get to where I want to be in the future.
I do everything you see on my blog, so from web design to the written content, everything is 100% designed and curated by me.
You are so creative. Your website is genuinely fun to scroll through! My favorite page is your Favorites”>Fashion > Favorites. I love that design and I want to steal it lol. Who did your web design?
My blog has changed so much since I first launched it. I actually just recently changed the entire layout because I got bored of the old look. To build and design it, I used a website building platform. The graphics and collages I have on my site are all designed on either Photoshop or InDesign. My junior year, I also took a web design class where I learned basic HTML and coding. This knowledge has been helpful if I want to change a small thing here and there on my website layout. I do everything you see on my blog, so from web design to the written content, everything is 100% designed and curated by me.
Your custom denim business Jeanne Bleu. Where did the name come from?
So when I was thinking of the name of my company, I remember my sister suggesting that maybe I should give it a person’s name. I liked this idea because it gave an identity to my brand. After a lot of back and forth, my sister and I came up with Jeanne Bleu, like “blue jean” reversed. Then I changed the spelling to make it sound like a real name and also added a french twist. I thought this was a fun name because my company mainly focused on denim clothing and it sounded nice when you said it out loud.
I know that you started Jeanne Bleu a few years ago, is it something you’re still passionate about or are you maybe pivoting towards something new?
To be honest, I haven’t made something for Jeanne Bleu in a while. Jeanne Bleu was a big part of my life in high school, but since starting college, the company has sort of fizzled out. In college, I have gotten some orders here and there, but definitely not as much as I got in high school. While I’d still be more than happy to customize something for someone now, I think I am starting to explore new opportunities and companies to start. As I’m getting ready to graduate college, I am definitely looking to set new goals for myself and maybe that means starting a new company?
We started our websites around the exact same time! Since then, I have gone through fazes of not posting at all, rebranding, or literal mania of posting like 3 times a day lol. How has your website and brand evolved since you started and where do you think it’s going to go in the future?
I totally agree. A Kangster has gotten a major facelift since I first started. In high school when I first started, I didn’t have much experience in graphic design and I had to teach myself how to do everything. Since then, I’ve taken my graphic design experience (I’m minoring in graphic design now) and really used that to curate the blog that I’ve always dreamed of. In the beginning, my blog mainly had fashion-related content, but now it has expanded into travel, graphic design, and lifestyle. Now I use my blog more like a self-portfolio. If someone wanted to know everything about me, I’d just show them my blog.
Who takes your pictures (blog/website/etc)? This is my favorite question because it seems silly but it literally is an ordeal for me to get good photo’s sometimes haha.
Hahaha I am finally going to reveal the secret. My older sister, Elise, has been my photographer basically since I was born. It has become routine for me to ask her to take my pictures. I don’t even have to ask. She already knows. A real trooper. She used to complain when she had to take my pictures back in high school, but now she just accepted the fact that it’s her side hustle. Also, I would say that I’m most comfortable in front of the camera with her so getting a shot is quick and easy.
Do you feel like you have a signature look?
I definitely would say I have a signature style. I love incorporating “edgy with elegant” whether that’s with chains and pearls or lace and leather. I think the contrast in the two styles is really fun to play around with. My signature look would probably be something with leather, a pearl belt, chain flats, a bunch of jewelry, and an embellished purse
What are you most excited about?
The thought of graduating is both scary and really exciting for me (mostly exciting). I am excited to move on to the next chapter and really be able to accomplish my goals. Even though some people complain about working, I personally love to work. I get excited just thinking about it. I am really curious to see where I end up 10 years from now because there is so much I want to do.
Thanks so much, Andrea!