Like many blogs, Kelly Framel‘s wildly popular The Glamourai began as a lark. While working as an assistant designer at Naeem Khan in 2008, Ms. Framel launched her (then anonymous) site as a creative outlet, a way to explore her personal aesthetic without identifying herself.
Ms. Framel’s sharp eye and stylish site quickly gained a following, and once she was outed as the beauty behind the blog, the offers started rolling in. Since then, she has designed a bag for Coach, styled the windows of Dolce & Gabbana‘s Milan store, modeled for Forever 21, and been recognized as one today’s most influential fashion bloggers.
For the 27-year-old Austin native, what began as a creative foray has become a full-time career. And as with many of the upstart bloggers who have firmly established themselves as influential members of the fashion elite, the journey is just beginning.
We recently tracked her down to talk pajamas, Dries van Noten, and a little bit of leopard.
Barneys New York: What motivated you to start your blog?
Kelly Framel: I was designing clothes at the time, getting a lot of inspiration from other blogs, and simply thought it would be fun to join in on the conversation. When I began, I had no expectations of it going anywhere, or having anyone but my closest friends read it.
BNY: Before you got bitten by the blogging bug, what did you want to be?
KF: As a tyke, I planned to be a fine artist (I always loved oil painting) or interior designer. I feel like I’ve gotten to become the creative dynamo I always wanted to be, but in a way I could never have expected. Today it amazes me to hear little girls say they want to be fashion bloggers when they grow up! I’m still shocked that it’s a job.
BNY: What has been the most exhilarating moment in your fashion career to date?
KF: Most recently, getting to design the window displays for Dolce & Gabbana during Milan Fashion Week was especially fun. Naturally, I took the opportunity to use every leopard print and floral pattern in the shop!
BNY: Do you prefer modeling or styling?
KF: Being in front of the camera is something I’ve had to become more comfortable with for the sake of my blog. Readers kept asking for more costume posts, so slowly I acquiesced. It’s gotten a lot easier, but now everyone wants video and that’s really a stretch of my comfort level. However, anything that allows me to spend more time styling and designing is a worthwhile compromise.
BNY: The photos on your site really captivate. Who’s your go-to photographer?
KF: Recently, I’ve been collaborating with Jeremy James, a friend I met while in school at the University of Texas. He loves to experiment with lighting and filters, and thus has brought a lot of great visual ideas to the site.
BNY: If you were accidentally locked in Barneys New York overnight, what would we find you wearing in the morning?
BNY: Who’s your runway designer of choice?
KF: Dries Van Noten is my favorite without a doubt. Every season he shows exactly what I wish I was wearing, and yet the clothes themselves manage never to look dated.
BNY: How would you size up your personal aesthetic?
KF: I really love playing dress up, and feel like my style is constantly evolving. I would say if there is any unifying link, it would be that I usually take classic pieces (with a twist!) and combine them in unexpected ways. I can never stop mixing prints, and there’s always a bit of leopard in there. However, the more blogging I do, the less I want to wear something that will cause me to cringe in horror in a year or two—once posted online, a picture is forever!
BNY: What does the future hold for The Glamourai?
KF: Because I had no expectations for what the blog has become, I am loathe to predict where it is going. Truth be told, this journey has offered nothing but surprises so far. I’m just enjoying the day-to-day work—reading, writing, making photos, designing, styling, decorating—and I am excited to see what the future has in store!
– Photos courtesy of The Glamourai