BY AMARA HOWE
It’s a well-known fact that the coolest girls are from up North. Maybe that’s because most of them identify as part-time fashion bloggers or maybe it’s because Manchester’s Trafford Centre just opened the second biggest Topshop outside of London. With the likes of Megan Ellaby, Sara Luxe and Lizzy Hadfield overtaking the bloggersphere it’s no surprise new bloggers are popping up from every corner following in their footsteps.
One of those up-and-coming bloggers includes Holly Olivia Stephenson, 19, from Newcastle upon Tyne, who I recently spoke to about her fashion blog bisoushollyolivia and her up-coming work with the children’s charity Barnado’s.
At first glance of her blog you get a vibe only the bravest of ladies can pull off. A mixture of current high street trends with sixties and seventies pieces often found on EBay – a “modern vintage” vibe as Stephenson dubbed it. With a penchant for leopard print and a knack for layering, Stephenson’s clothing combinations are a perfect mixture of casual meets cool.
Currently taking a gap year after finishing college in 2017 before starting a degree in Fashion Communication and Promotion at the University of Huddersfield in September, Stephenson has since been focussing on her fashion blog as well as guest-posting for various blogs including the Barnardo’s blog.
Stephenson, who was approached by Barnado’s to write for their blog said: “I love charity shopping and the Barnado’s stores are actually some of my favourites. Writing for them is something I have actually wanted to do since I found out about their blog.”
Posting weekly outfit posts, Stephenson’s street-style pictures depict her favour for combining in-trend fashion pieces and vintage charity-shop finds. “I have started to struggle buying from the high street. One reason is the ethics behind it… I know a lot of shops use cheap labour to make their clothes.”
Stephenson’s enthusiasm for ethical fashion is what gives her blog such a unique selling point. “I think fashion has become really disposable… it’s actually the second worst industry for the environment after oil, so buying second-hand is so important to me.” Stephenson said.
After launching her blog in August 2014, Stephenson has been working actively for the past three years collaborating with different companies and sharing her passion for both writing and styling. Stephenson said “Being able to combine my passions and write about what I love is so fun. It’s humbling to find brands who love what I do and I always push myself to create the best content for collaborations.”
Collaborating with various brands since starting her blog, Stephenson was ecstatic to have worked with her favourite British fashion brand Dahlia in October. “I’ve admired them for years so for them to like my blog enough to want to collaborate with me was amazing.”
Working with other brands including Shein, KoKo Couture and James Viana London, it’s no surprise Stephenson won the Best Student Blog award for the North East Blogger awards. “It was amazing to be shortlisted, and even more amazing to win… I really didn’t expect to.”
Stephensons best friend Beka Theaker, 23, a mental health nurse at Bupa said: “Holy is such a down to earth girl who is able to make basically every single work look. I think she’s going to be someone to watch out for. Her blog is just on the rise and it’s because of her ability to make a piece work in so many different ways and she pushes charity shopping so much.”
Despite a social media status which is rapidly increasing, Stephenson is still undecided about her future. What she does know, however, is she wants to work within the fashion industry. “I am interested in being a fashion stylist, a fashion writer or maybe a photographer.” With her unique style and passion for ethical fashion, Stephenson is certainly making a stance this season.
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