Working in the fashion industry in any form can be difficult and the process of getting your foot through the door is competitive. There are a variety of hurdles and obstacles one must go through to get their name stamped in any industry but fashion was and will always be one of the biggest cutthroat careers. Although there’s a huge difference in careers as far as being a designer and being a fashion writer, knowing your craft and chasing your passion is the same across the board. Asia Milia has been able to knock down some doors and has become of the most recognized emerging fashion editors out there. While contributing her fashion knowledge to sites such as InStyle, Fashion Bomb Daily, Essence and more, she was also building her own empire as a style maven through social media and her very own self-titled website.
Check out the interview below where Asia spoke on her sense of style, inspirations she used to build her brand, the link between the fashion and entertainment industry and more.
1 – Did you always see yourself being a part of the fashion industry?
Yes, but I was scared. I was settling for a career in teaching up until my freshman year of
college when I told myself to forget the competition and go for what I want. Fashion always fascinated me and was a passion of mine from when I was younger.
2 – What was your main source of inspiration growing up that shifted you towards the fashion world?
A lot of my inspiration came from growing up in New York City. I loved seeing women dressed to perfection. A nice strut and a hot outfit was always something that caught my eye.
3 – The fashion industry is extremely cutthroat. How do you manage to maneuver through an industry that’s so competitive?
It’s simple— by being me. In an industry where a lot of people try to be someone else, I am authentically me. Why try to be someone else? That is what has gotten me where I am today,. I don’t sugarcoat anything about my life or my journey and I don’t pay attention to the competition. I just pay attention to what I know I’m bringing to the table. With an attitude and mindset like that maneuvering through it isn’t such a hard task.
4 – How would you explain your sense of style or your sense of taste in clothing?
My sense of style is definitely chic, bold, and always a stamped with boss. I’ve always been obsessed with walking around like a boss and that starts with how you look. I am a natural born leader and I aim to be a serial entrepreneur and all around boss someday, so I try to dress for the part I want not the part I have. I have expensive taste, but I stick to my Zara, ASOS, H&M, etc. until my lifestyle can grant me the more expensive items.
5 – What got you into writing?
I’ve always been a creative writer. I took a journalism course in high school and I always wanted to grow my writing. In college, I had so many writing opportunities and it kind of just became my outlet. I love playing with words, I love engaging an audience through words— it just really intrigues me and it has since I was younger, I used to write poems in jr. high school just because I liked the alliterations, rhymes, oxymorons, and other writing themes.
6 – We live in a world today where there has been a thin line drawn between the titles blogger and journalist. In your opinion, why do you think that debate was created? Which one do you consider yourself to be? Why?
I have to disagree— as someone who is a blogger and journalist I don’t think there’s a thin line, I think it’s pretty distinct. Bloggers curate content and write, yes, and it is a craft. But, journalism is an art that requires a different type of work. I can see why the debate would be created, but being at InStyle with a number of editors who are journalists and also having my blogger friends there’s a huge difference. I’m a blogger for AsiaMilia.com, I curate blog content. However, my pieces that have been published on InStyle, ESSENCE, etc. are journalism pieces. A blogger can be a journalist, just as a journalist can be a blogger, but they’re not the same.
7 – You’ve stamped your name on some major sites such as InStyle, Fashion Bomb Daily, Essence, Hot 97 and many more. What experience did you gain from these sites that you took for yourself to build your own brand/name?
Every opportunity has taught me something different and they all contribute to my brand—InStyle and Fashion Bomb Daily both grant me more knowledge of the industry which adds value to my brand. I’m on the scene at events, I’m studying red carpets a lot more, I’m forced to level up in my work ethic, writing, and a lot more and it naturally transfers over into my brand. ESSENCE taught me so much, but I have to say the number one thing it taught me was the power of networking. That opportunity opened up so many doors because of the work I did as a college ambassador. Hot 97 was one of my most valuable lessons, always do your best work— simple. I never wanted to work in music, I actually turned down the internship at first, but I went there and showed out and was rewarded for it. All experiences have taught me one huge lesson and that is to outwork everyone around me. I’m working on that now, once I master that skill my name will speak for itself.
8 – In your opinion, do you think the fashion industry is as gender bias towards women as it is in the entertainment industry i.e. music, film etc? Why or why not?
Yes, the fashion and entertainment industry kind of meshes together. But, there is definitely some gender bias, however, it’s more racial bias in my opinion. Being a black woman in the fashion industry you have to work triple times as hard, and I’ve learned to be ok with that.
9 – You wear a lot of hats: fashion influencer, writer, fitness enthusiasts, event host, and motivator for young women. The motivator for young women hat seems to be the most important one. Can you touch on that a bit more?
I wouldn’t say I have one that’s most important because they equally make up my brand and what I represent, but I enjoy motivating young women because I know what it’s like to not have someone there to motivate me. Whether that’s going for that dream job, or simply just living with a more positive mindset. I enjoy seeing other women win and I know my energy is contagious, so why not pass that on through motivating/inspiring other women?! I have a story that’s personable and women like me are attracted to that because my goal is that they see a little piece of themselves in me.
10 – You’ve stated that you don’t really know what your dream job is but you wear so many hats that you’re basically creating your own reality. That’s a very interesting statement but can you elaborate on that.
It simply means my dream job doesn’t exist how I thought it did so I have to create it. One of my favorite people, Myleik once said that we look up to all these people and say, “Oh, I want to do that,” but, the world already has one of them. The world needs you. And, that’s so true— for so long I said I want to be just like x, y, and z, when all along I can be Asia, walk my own path and create my dreams.
11 – As a young woman who has learned so many trades, what was one piece of valuable advice that was given you?
Always be teachable. Whenever you feel like you know everything and you don’t allow yourself to learn more is when you stop growing. I always go in every situation with an open mind and ready to be a sponge— that’s the best advice I received.
12 – What’re your plans and/or goals for the rest of 2018? What can we your followers look forward to seeing from you?
I don’t want to spill too much, but definitely, some more amazing content and I will hopefully be able to share a big part of me with the world by the end of the year. Again, I can’t speak on too much because of the nature of the confidentiality, but definitely, expect huge things from Asia Milia!