This week, VF’s spotlight lands on Sarah Mendelsohn of the hit blog A Hit of Sarah (pun intended). Her six year old blog has a little something for the aesthete in everyone: fashion, art, music, design, culture, beauty. What’s more, A Hit of Sarah isn’t just links and images but in-depth articles written from a true journalist’s perspective. Fun fact? This fashion upstart is only 22. We wanted to know more about her blog, what it’s like being an independent fashion journalist, and her many artistic endeavors and inspirations. Read on to find out what we learned and visit her blog to keep up to date with this young fashion fixture.
When and why did you start blogging?
I started blogging in 2007, when I was sixteen years old. I collected fashion magazines and loved everything about them- the editorials, the advertisements, the features. My favorite parts, of course, were the articles. I read them and after some time realized that I wanted to be one of the people writing them. Around that time I discovered a few blogs online. It amazed me that girls around the world were writing about fashion without actually have a professional place in the industry. I figured if they can do it- why can’t I? So I started my blog as a means for me to share my opinions and inspirations as well as my knack for writing. It began as primarily fashion but now I write about much more.
When did you know you really had something with A Hit of Sarah?
I never saw my blog as something other than a way for me to express myself. So for me, it was always something. Any time I garner something from it- whether it’s an insightful comment on a post or a trip to an international fashion week, I am always grateful and happy that people appreciate my work. It’s always meant something to me at every stage.
Your website is much more than a fashion blog. What would you consider it?
I hope that others see it as an online destination that fills a void in fashion media- long form writing, honest opinion pieces, inspiring interviews and projects. More recently I geared my content towards promoting young designers and fashion industry persona. That’s something I’ve always been interested in and don’t really see much of in mainstream fashion publications.
You had a recent post that was picked up and commented on by Susie Bubble. How do you feel fashion blogging has changed and what measures are you taking on your own platform to keep it honest and informative?
When I started there was no such thing as a career blogger. I think it’s really great that people can now make a living this way, but that also has its down sides. There is a lack of authenticity and honesty on most websites. A lot is re-blogged and reiterated; I’ve been guilty of that myself. There are also a lot of bloggers who only write about certain brands because they’re getting paid to. So, it’s now somewhat hard to trust some blogs whereas, in the past, it was a more honest form of writing because it wasn’t connected to anything monetary, it was just what some people did as a hobby. It was a more honest realm back then. I’m trying to keep it real on my blog too, although I do get sponsored here and there. I always let me readers know when I am. I don’t necessarily like doing that, but of course I have bills to pay!
What blogs would you recommend?
The HY.GEN.IC is a great source for artistic inspiration. They interview many up and coming and established creatives who are all passionate about what they do. They also are involved in a lot of cool, unique projects. It’s a great read. Miss Moss and Style Bubble are also great fashion and lifestyle blogs. They both have really excellent taste. I check those out daily.
You’re just as passionate about art, music (your Spotify playlists are must-listens), design, and culture as you are about fashion. What creatives are inspiring you right now?
Thank you so much! Right now I’m inspired by creatives of a lot of different mediums; sculptor Adeline de Monseignat, jewelry designer Pamela Love, hip-hop artist Theo Martins, DJ and MC G*LEE, Noelly Sam, the founder of Fashion Unfold, fashion designer Shantal Lacayo, My colleagues at the HY.GEN.IC and Metal Magazine, and the founders of online art gallery Gerson Zevi.
We love that your content contains lengthy pieces made with real journalism. What writers fill your bookcase (or tablet) and who has most influenced your own work?
I would say that Cathy Horyn, Suzy Menkes, and Robin Givhan have inspired my writing the most. They are amazing fashion journalists and have kept it honest from the very start. They’re not afraid to be real in their writing even if it may offend some people or close off opportunities for them. I have a book that I go to often that is a massive book of fashion essays written in the New Yorker over the past 20 years. It’s my favorite and always reminds me of why I wanted to get into fashion writing. I also love the classics- F. Scott Fitzgerald, Kurt Vonnegut, and J.D. Salinger. I really like Ned Vizzini and Dave Eggers for more laidback contemporary writing.
Now let’s get girly. What beauty products are mainstays in your medicine cabinet?
I always have Smashbox concealer, Bare Minerals powder foundation, and Nars Orgasm blush. I wear those regularly and they make my skin look flawless. Givenchy Rouge lipstick is my favorite for sexy red lips. Morroccanoil is wonderful for curly haired girls. I also use a lot of skin care products from The Body Shop- they work amazingly and are also cruelty free!
Everyone has one; what is the piece you didn’t purchase that will haunt your fashionable dreams.
There are many, but the most recent was a vintage waist length black fur coat. I wanted to think on it a day and when I came back the next day to buy it, it was already sold. L
Are there any apps or gadgets that make the hectic life of a blogger, publicist, photographer, and creative director that much simpler?
That’s a good question. I don’t use that many, but always use VSCO and Afterlight for photo editing. Fashion GPS is great for fashion week invitation management. I use Tape A Call to record phone interviews and obviously am very active on Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for iPhone.
You recently graduated from Pace University. What are your plans now for the blog and your career? Or do you want A Hit of Sarah to be your career?
A Hit of Sarah will always be a part of my career because it leads to other opportunities. I do a lot of projects as a result of my blog, so I guess I would be considered a full-time blogger or freelancer. I write for some other publications and also do public relations for smaller brands. At the moment I’m on a month long writing residency for HY.GEN.IC. I’m road tripping through America’s southwest organized by Art Gallery, Gerson Zevi, and writing a daily blog about it. When I get back I’m working on an exciting public relations campaign for an up and coming hip-hop artist I’m a fan of and also going to the Middle East at the end of the fall. So, it’s an exciting season, but I really never know what’s coming next!
Photo c/o A Hit of Sarah