College: University of North Texas
Current City: Los Angeles
I caught up with Sazan Barzani, the super-sweet and stylish lady behind the fashion blog Sazan. I got to pick this digital influencer’s brain for her thoughts on trends, the state of fashion blogging and how to pose for the most flattering picture. For even more insight, check out her blog for tons of beauty and fashion inspiration (plus a healthy dose of envy ’cause this girl is gorg).
Did you start your blog while you were in college?
Sazan: Yeah. I was studying radio, television and film and I knew I wanted to move to LA but I didn’t want to go there empty-handed. I started just a little fun blog where I talked about trends and fashion and when I moved to LA the digital space was evolving and fashion bloggers where really stepping up to the plate and becoming digital influencers and getting paid for it. I decided to give it a go and see if I could take my blog to a professional level. It transitioned from a fun blog to my income. It’s a business now.
Where you always into fashion growing up or was it something you discovered later in life?
Sazan: I’ve always been into fashion. My parents were a little more strict – I come from a traditional Middle Eastern household so there were rules. I couldn’t even wear makeup until I was 16 or 17 years old…but that didn’t mean I didn’t sneak into my mom’s closet and play dress up and raid her makeup! I love makeup, I love beauty. I would definitely say it’s been something I wanted to do from a young age.
How was your style when you were in college compared to what it’s like now? Have you always had an eye for fashionable pieces?
Sazan: I think I’ve always had that eye for statement pieces. I’ve never shied away from bold colors. I was in college so I wasn’t going to classes in sequined shirts; I tried to dress more comfortably during the week because I was in school. I wanted to be more relaxed, whether it was my little fedora hat – that was my trademark – or a bold lip. I always like to add a little something something. I dress up a lot more but I think that relaxed style is still there.
What are some of your favorite places to shop?
Sazan: I love shopping at Nordstrom. I like that you can get everything there, especially since here in LA I don’t have time to go to a million different stores. I’ll even shop at Target, honestly, just finding different pieces I can wear over and over again. I’m still a Forever 21 girl. H&M, Zara, Topshop – places you can get that runway style for less. That’s kind of how I’ve always been. I’ve never liked to spend a fortune on clothes. If I’m investing in a good pair of sunglasses or a handbag I’ll spend the extra dollar, but I love those mainstream places. If I had to choose a favorite it would be Zara. I absolutely love Zara. They have so many different styles and are affordable.
What are some tips you have for girls who want to build an amazing wardrobe on a college girl’s budget?
Sazan: Definitely look to the affordable stores around you. Not only just going to the mall and shopping at Forever 21 and H&M. When I was in college I used to shop at some local thrift stores. You can find so many pieces for less than $10 and suddenly it becomes that ‘OMG where did you get that?’ piece.
Has your style changed a lot since you started blogging?
Sazan: It’s just evolved. When you get older your style changes, your makeup changes, your hair changes. I think that whole passion for prints, vibrant colors and statement pieces is always going to be there. The older I get the more open I am certain pieces of clothing. I don’t like to completely follow trends but in the fashion industry things are in and out of style all the time.
Since you’re always posing for outfit pictures (and you always look great!) what advice would you give girls who want to know how to take a more flattering picture?
Sazan: You’re always trying to figure out how to make yourself look presentable on camera because the camera will translate things a little bit differently. Maybe in real life your pose or posture or the way you stand looks totally normal but on camera it’s like ‘oh my gosh, why did I do that?’ I think just figuring out your angles and your good side and working that to the best of your ability and not being afraid to change it up. You’ve got to feel confident. You’ve got to wear the clothes instead of the clothes wearing you. When you feel like you’re rocking it in this outfit, it feels good and it shows on camera.
What about the outfits themselves – what have you learned about putting together a flattering outfit?
It’s a trial and error thing. It’s also really important to know what your body type is. Sometimes you have to alter a look to make it work for your body type, maybe you’re more curvy, maybe you’re more slender, maybe you have a bigger chest, whatever the case may be. Research your body type. Also choosing an outfit ahead of time. When you just throw together an outfit sometimes it works but sometimes it’s a hot mess….like, if Joan Rivers saw me in this she’d kill me. Plan your outfits ahead of time if you have an event, a wedding or are even just hanging out with friends on the weekend. If you plan ahead of time you don’t stress out.
What advice would you give a girl who wants to be a fashion blogger?
I would say now is the time to do it for sure. Five years ago it wasn’t. Know that it isn’t as easy as it looks. It’s not just posing for a picture and looking pretty in it and posting it on the web site. There’s so much that goes into it. Do your research and learn as much as you can about the blogging industry before doing it. Know your brand. Don’t be afraid to shine, even if you have flaws. It’s actually a really beautiful thing.
Image via Sazan.me