Fashion Blogger Q&A: Sandy Joe Karpetz of The Pretty Secrets
Educated at Toronto’s Ryerson University, Sandy Joe Karpetz of The Pretty Secrets has interned abroad at British Vogue and Lula, and now calls Edmonton her home. Her blog is full of quirky outfit photos (A crop top for a wedding? Heck yes!), awesome beauty buys, and in a rare turning of the tables, the occasional giveaway open to us Canadians only. Sandy studied fashion in university, so you know you’re getting styling tips straight from an expert.
Pink Martini: What made you decide to start a blog?
Sandy Joe Karpetz: I originally started my blog as a travel diary so my sister could keep tabs on me while I was away at school in England on a university exchange; this was pre-Skype. I was in the fashion communication program at Ryerson so my blog naturally evolved into a style diary once I returned back to Toronto.
SJK: With such a saturated industry I think it’s very difficult to be completely unique. With that said, I like to think that my voice and perspective is what sets my blog apart from the rest. Coming from Edmonton, where we’re under snow for roughly 6-8 months out of the year, you have to be slightly insane and goofy to go outside in -30 weather to take outfit photos.
SJK: There are so many things I wish I would have known when I first started, but many people have taken the time to compose a multitude of blog posts on the topic. My advice for an aspiring fashion blogger is find a photographer you’re comfortable working with and who understands what your vision is. Your photographs are the first impression a new reader will have and the last thing you want is for your style to be ignored due to bad lighting or worse, a small pixelated file – unless that’s your vibe. For a long time my mother was my photographer and she has had zero formal training so you never know who will capture your essence the best. Also, Blog, Inc. is a great book if you’re interested in the business aspect of the industry.
SJK: My personal style is all over the map, I would go so far as to say it is mood-based. I do pull a lot of sartorial inspiration from popular culture over the past century and I love to thrift. My style definitely goes in phases.
PM: What movies or TV shows inspire your sense of style?
SJK: I could write an entire essay about all the movies and TV shows that have inspired my sense of style, but if we’re going with as of late, Go Ask Alice and Party Girl are the two movies that have really been speaking to me. For TV shows, Twin Peaks and Lena Dunham’s Girls.
SJK: I try to limit my blog reading as I think it helps keep my eyes fresh and more focused on what my site is about. But when I do indulge, my favourites are Fashion Toast, Making Magique, Rookie Mag (does that count as a blog?), Beckerman Blog and Kayture.
SJK: Three celebrities? That is quite the curated list. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and Kim Gordon [of Sonic Youth].
SJK: Wear what you like.
SJK: Most of my missteps have been when I’ve taken the advice of someone else rather than gone with what I was feeling. I can’t think of anything specific but I usually try to stay away from neon; it’s just not me. At all. And I almost always regret wearing it when I see it in photographs.
PM: Which spring trend are you loving right now?
SJK: Everyone’s enthusiasm over the ’70s is really making my heart sing these days. It’s one of those near perfect decades to me.