SELF-confessed ‘fashion influencer’ Elise, 24, is the trend-spotting brains behind apieceofelise.com, a blog about what’s hip and hot and available for expat women in Bangkok. On the verge of launching her own brand of silk pajamas (see wearelise.com), here she reveals her dreams, fears, regrets and favourite clothes, and how she plans to make her brand a success.
Anytime I meet my readers in person is a highlight. Whether I run into them on the street or they attend an event I am hosting, it always means the world to me when people say they value my opinions in terms of fashion. After all, that’s why I started APOE – to create a community centered around the fashion that interests me. Having said that, it can be a bit overwhelming when people say they make their purchase decisions based upon what I told them – this means I really make sure to only share quality content!
Any low points?
There aren’t any low points, but I do get nervous and afraid like everyone else. At times I get overwhelmed with the fact that my life is so public and that perhaps people are judging me, but just like everyone else I choose to believe in myself and hope that no one laughs at me too hard.
How would you describe your personality?
I am very friendly and always hoping to make people happy – sometimes even to a fault. I worry a lot about those around me and I also analyze pretty much every situation I get myself into. I enjoy smiling and having fun, but I am also pretty serious about life and my ambitions. Relaxing isn’t one of my strong points.
Do you have family with you in Bangkok?
My family is all back in Canada and I miss them terribly. However, I am fortunate enough to visit them often and they also come to see me here.
How many years have you been here?
I have been here for almost six years now. For four of those years I was studying a bachelor of business administration in marketing at Mahidol University International College.
The best advice you’ve ever received?
There’s nothing specific, but the best people to give me advice have been my parents. There have only been a few times in which I have gone against their advice (on big matters, I mean – little things I do all the time) and it has never turned out in my favor, so I just need to learn that they might know me better than I do.
I have done lots of extremely stupid, and sometimes verging on dangerous, things in my life (I was not the most eloquent teenager), but I don’t really regret any of it. All the things I’ve done have shaped who I am and also allowed me to have almost 25 years or hilarious and unforgettable memories.
The only things I might regret are the times in which I hurt my parents (mentally, not physically!). Sometimes teenagers are pure evil and I will definitely admit to having been demonic at times.
Your favourite motto?
Why not? (I say yes to pretty much anything – though not in an inappropriate way).
I am a big fan of CHLOÉ – there is something about the mix of femininity, boho and modern that is so unique and timeless.
Although I don’t love the products per say, I absolutely love the branding of Kate Spade. It’s so fun, chic and different to any other brands on the market.
Favourite shops in Bangkok?
My favorite Thai brand is Jane Suda, who doesn’t have a flagship, but can be found in ThaiThai at Central Chidlom, as well as the Thai designer section of most department stores.
I also love Siwilai in Central Embassy. It’s a multiband concept store featuring luxury brands like Bangkok has never seen. Having said that, it is really bad for the bank account.
The fashion icon who has influenced you the most?
I am obsessed with Rachel Zoe. She’s hilarious and kind of a b****, but she’s a business guru and power woman while somehow remaining chic. She has a few great books and her own collection which is drool worthy.
Your worst fashion disaster?
I don’t know what it is, but I pretty much feel like each blog post I make becomes a disaster two months later. I have such a fast-paced and evolving style that I have a tendency to dislike my outfits mere days after wearing them (perhaps this is because I am still quite young and working on my personal style). If you want to see some disasters, just check last year in the archives of my blog.
If you could wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Silk pajamas. Not even a question.
The thing you’re most afraid of and why?
Never being recognized for my passion. I am not really motivated by money or your typical “fame,” but I really, really want to be respected within the fashion industry – to what extent and within what context is something I still don’t know.
The thing you can’t be without and why?
My iPhone. As a blogger, phone is life.
Best outfit you’ve ever worn?
That’s a tough one. I know I’m totally biased, but I must say silk pajamas from my collection. They’re my favourite thing in the whole wide world, which is why I’m making a company out of them. Makes sense right?
Biggest fashion myth?
That people who are into fashion simply want to look pretty. This is an endless discussion I have with people (often men), who simply say that fashion is simply about looking “hot.” Although this could apply for some, for those whom are really in love with the industry it is not about that at all. I see dressing as a creative expressions – the mood I have that day will be how I dress. Quite often, these outfits will repel the opposite sex, but I don’t care because that’s not what I’m about. If I was dressing for men then I probably wouldn’t have any clothes on.
How do you see yourself and your business in five years’ time?
I hope to have established my silk loungewear business, as well as grown my blog in a way that is a bit more mature. Although I love the content I am currently creating, it still feels a bit juvenile and undeveloped. I have goals to make my outfits just a bit more extreme, the photos more polished and then hopefully it all looks a bit more established. Does that make any sense?