The Fashionista’s Diary
MIAMI FASHION BLOGGER LAUREN ASHLEY PATAO GIVES FASHION BLOGGING NEW MEANING
By Katie Jackson
Photography by IMANI OGDEN
Update: Patao is no longer moving to Pittsburgh and will continue to live and blog in Miami.
Miami fashion blogger Lauren Ashley Patao has certainly accomplished a lot in her short twenty years. After launching her personal style and beauty blog “The Fashionista’s Diary” a little under a year ago, Patao quickly became one of the most popular fashion bloggers in Miami. Now with high-profile collaborations, the creation of her Instagram-based boutique “TFD Closet,”(@tfdcloset) –where she sells her highly coveted clothes and accessories at discounted prices— and her digital book “Tips from TFD,” Patao’s blog has become a bona- fide brand. While she is certainly a force to be reckoned with in the blogging community, perhaps what makes Patao so unique is her drive to inspire others. Patao uses her blog as a platform to share a message with her followers—a message of anti-bullying, self-love, and overall genuine positivity.
After admiring popular fashion blogs like “The Blonde Salad” and “Sincerely, Jules,” Patao knew that she wanted to start a blog of her own.“I’ve always loved fashion and writing, so it was a way to do the two things that I love the most,” says Patao. While nervous to enter into such a competitive industry, Patao knew that she had to follow her passion and take the plunge. “I decided that I was just going to go for it.” With the help of her mother, Patao came up with the perfect name that she felt represented her and her vision. “We knew it was going to be an outfit diary, an evolution of my style. And we also talked about how my friends and family have always called me ‘the fashionista.’ It just sort of clicked for both of us—it was ‘The Fashionista’s Diary.’”
Just last January, Patao launched her blog and began sharing her flirty and feminine style. “I’m very colorful. I wear a lot of colors and a lot of girly prints. And I really like to do affordable looks so that people can recreate the outfits without spending a lot of money.” Patao’s trendy and budget-friendly blog quickly skyrocketed into massive popularity, accumulating over thirteen thousand followers on Instagram alone. Patao attributes her immediate success to hard work and endless dedication. “I really just hustled and worked my butt off. I think when you really want something you can make it happen, and for me, it’s my number one, it’s my baby. If it’s not doing well, I work even harder.”
The success of her blog led to an Instagram-based boutique and a digital book—“Tips from TFD”—that Patao wrote to help other aspiring bloggers achieve the same success. “It’s forty pages of great tips that can really help other bloggers grow. It’s what I did to help myself grow.” But Patao’s desire to guide and inspire doesn’t end there. Through collaborations with Le Motto by She She Bon Bon—a clothing company that promotes positivity and anti- bullying through the use of unique inspirational quotes on stylish ‘Tees—Patao has taken an active stance against bullying. “So many people that I’ve known have been bullied. I was bullied in high school. We can’t change it, but we can help spread the word and hopefully make it disappear one day.” In addition, Patao hosts numerous clothing drives and events with local boutiques that benefit Miami charities. “I won’t do an event unless it’s benefiting something greater than myself,” says Patao.
Sadly for the Miami blogosphere, Patao will be relocating to Pittsburgh in the spring for school, but promises that she will not leave her Miami roots behind. “I’m from Miami and my family is in Miami, so I’ll definitely be back and forth.” Patao is excited for the new journey and for all the changes that it will bring to her fall wardrobe. “It’ll be really great for my style because I’ll be able to sport lighter fall items in Miami, and the heavy fall and winter trends in Pittsburgh.”
Though Patao’s success is quite evident, she remains humble, kind, and most importantly, extremely passionate—even going as far as taking over a spare room in her parents’ home and creating what she calls her blog office. “The way I look at it is, that in order for me to inspire, I have to be inspired. So I need to have a space where I can sit and say, ‘I can get this blog post done.’” With an entire wall containing numerous uplifting quotes and fashion prints and illustrations including sunglasses, shoes, and purses, Patao gets all the inspiration she needs. “I always say, if you can’t buy the purse, you might as well put it on your wall in a print!”
Click here to view post on November/December 2014 issue.