Stephi LaReine is a fashion and lifestyle blogger, and a student from Liverpool, studying photography and graphic design. With over 17k followers on her Twitter and almost 40K on Instagram, it’s fair to say she’s making a big impact. Her blog covers beauty, fashion and travel, celebrating individuality and creativity. She stands out with her colourful, vintage looks and masses of curly rainbow hair.

Can you give a brief description of what your blog is about and the types of things that you post?

StephiLaReine.com is a lifestyle blog that explores a variety of categories such as fashion, lifestyle, beauty and travel. The essence behind the blog is to inspire people to be individual, and see that there’s another alternative way of things than what we see in mainstream society, and more importantly individuality is celebrated. Each day is totally different to the next but it means my content stays fresh. An example of a ‘typical’ post is usually a day out for me, what I wore, where I went, and why exploring hidden gems in places or going to a festival are my absolute favourites!

What inspired you to start blogging and how did you get going?

My initial inspiration for blogging was quite literally inspiration, I opened up a website one day to vent all my inspiration as a fine artist, graphic designer and photographer. As a practitioner it’s incredibly important to find new approaches and harness good ideas so a blog was my answer. I just do things with no real intention to begin with and it definitely was one of those choices I’m glad I made!

I realised I loved talking about my experiences and it became very therapeutic so every day I’d post what happened (quite like a diary, but incredibly openly!) and people were drawn into what I had to say.

Are there any general themes to your blog other than fashion?

Feeding in from the way I photograph things in my style, I’d like to think colour is my theme, but I contrastively wear extremely bright and vibrant clothing or total black, there’s never a middle point!

It’s amazing how much attention to detail goes into the colour schemes as its very easy to clash against my hair and clothes. To put it simplistically vibrant colours sums up stephilareine.com you’ll never catch me doing minimalism and washed out whites!
Stephi LaReine interview

Where do you go to university and what subject do you study?

I’m at the University Of Chester in my final year of Graphic Design & Photography. I found declining my University placements in London very hard, but I’m a northerner born and bred, with a few handfuls of people very close to me so Chester seemed the best option, also it’s a gorgeous town and the benefits of not being as half as expensive as the south!

Is it hard balancing blogging with uni life? Does your course ever help to inspire what you blog about or the other way round?

I find it an exciting challenge to tackle both, blogging is my full time job and I find that my experiences and trips around the world from blogging inform a lot of my ideas and inspiration for uni! My latest gallery exhibition was inspired by spending the week on the front row of London Fashion Week.

There are some days where 24 hours never seems enough as I frequently meet up with clients and that can clash with studies, but after a year and a half of having this blog you do learn how to time manage efficiently! I’m just thankful I’m still getting 1sts throughout!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time? Does your blog relate to this?

In 10 years’ time I want to still be blogging, I’m in such a happy bubble of independency running a one woman show and achieving so much that I don’t want it to end. The goal is to be working with inspirational people on incredible projects and jetting across the world. Despite going to university and people thinking it’s been a total waste of time (which it definitely hasn’t!) it’s made be blossom so much as a person and I can’t wait to see what the next few years will bring as I tackle each adventure!

Stephi LaReine interview

What is one essential clothing item you would splash out on?

Jackets for sure! They keep you warm and I find them the most noticeable item of clothing on a person. An incredibly well selected leather jacket or faux fur coat will carry you through decades as trends recycle themselves. They also be the ultimate go-to to dress up any plain outfit from day to night!

How would you describe your sense of style?

I’m colourful rock’n’roll! All my clothes have nostalgic throwbacks to the 1960’s and 70’s channelling cuts used decades ago with modern prints and fabrics. Never shy of fur, metallics and sequins!

What inspired your colourful hair and what products do you use to keep it healthy?

Strangely enough it was the fashion designer Zandra Rhodes back when I was about 12. I got the opportunity to interview her last week and told her what a profound effect she’s had on my very early career. Funny how life brings you back in a circle sometimes.

I saw her as a role model of someone who’s so artistically tuned to their own melody that they don’t care about outside judgement of their expressionism and I truly digged that. Rainbow hair feels just right, after endless experimentation I’m happy with peacocking my hair as it’s something that speaks volumes about me as a person! I’m a big fan of organic coconut oil, couldn’t get enough of the stuff it works miracles! I try to use as many natural remedies as possible like honey, avocado and olive oil to keep the shine and curls bouncing healthy. A major decision to never use heat on my hair, not even a hairdryer has kept the mane massive and healthy too!

If you had to pick an overall favourite clothing store, what would it be and why?

ASOS by far is my favourite, it’s got everything I could ever want from high street to designer to vintage. Style to me is anything you make it, so it’s cool to break boundaries and mix up the three, hence why I find it so alluring as they keep their concepts fresh, snazzy and tuned into the minds of what their customers want.

What tips would you give to anyone who also wanted to start a blog?

Blogging speaks so much truth about people so my one bit of advice is to start with passion. You don’t have to know what you want to write about as that’s okay that comes with time but if you start because you’re passionate about writing, photography, layouts and giving the world a slice of you and what you’re about then go for it. To the people who want freebies, nice event invites and to ease through a hard working career with minimal effort (because it does take a hell of a lot of work!) then I’d suggest blogging is not for you.

Stephi LaReine interview

What has been the most exciting thing you’ve done or that has happened to you this year because of your blog?

I couldn’t possibly nail one moment where it hasn’t been as enjoyable as the next. A string of moments like doing the social media for the NME awards and sitting down with the best bands in the world, to the next day sitting front row all week at London Fashion Week, going backstage and going to all my favourite festivals around the world and interviewing incredible bands and people. 2015 has been the most exciting thing that’s happened to me, words cannot describe how much this massive fleeting moment has shaped me into a much better person, and I owe it all to my blog. More importantly it’s affected so many people and brought me to tears when people approach me telling me how after years they got back into a bikini because of my motivational posts, more than my experiences, the smile on my face I get from meeting the people who read my blog is the most exciting thing!

Check out Stephi’s blog www.stephilareine.com and follow her on Instagram and Twitter @stephilareine

Text by Katherine Frances Skippon, images borrowed from Stephi’s instagram