12 Questions with Laura Hadlow

BY SOPHIE CHUNG

This one's for the fashionistas and aspiring content creators.

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31 JUL - 2021

She’s the ultimate girl next door who’s got the effortless look, down pat.

If you live in Auckland and are plugged in on the gram, you’re bound to know Laura Hadlow. From the perfectly free-flowing hair to natural makeup and chic style, she’s got the wow-factor that we all desperately desire.

Not only is beauty and style her God-given blessing, Laura has developed her platform into a business in which she collaborates with covetable brands - a dream for most Gen Z’s.

To find the fashion facts, we’ve lined up ten questions to get the know-how on dressing to trends and the things you need to know to be a successful Instagrammer.

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What and where did you study? What were your dream goals at this point in your life?

I studied a Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Communications double degree at AUT in Auckland. I knew that I loved fashion and wanted to work in fashion, so my goals were to do everything I could do to immerse myself in the industry. I worked part-time at Sass & Bide and took an internship with the Fashion PR Agency, Showroom 22.

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When did you start your Instagram page? How did it evolve into the platform that it is now and at what point did you decide it would be your main job?

I started my fashion Instagram in high school, largely just posting outfits I thought were cool (at the time haha). I was never too concerned about who was following me or how many ‘likes’ I was getting - I just loved having an outlet to share my creative side. As I became more well known as a fashion blogger and got invited to work with different brands, my following grew and the ability for me to turn this hobby into something more serious became a reality.

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Where and who do you get your inspiration from?

Magazines, blogs, movies and websites! Pinterest is my favourite source of inspiration, I am forever pinning to boards in all categories of my life: fashion, interiors and gastronomy. When we could travel, I also found I got a lot of inspiration from different cultures and cities I visited.

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With social media, it’s no secret that high fashion has become fast fashion. How do you choose which pieces to invest in with the overwhelming abundance of options out there?

Bags, shoes and jewellery are always worth investing in, as you can wear them with any outfit and even if they fall out of fashion for a while, they’ll always come back around. In respect of clothes, I know my style and I know what I wear everyday. If there are more trendy pieces that I know I won’t wear more than a few seasons, then I will tend to look for a more affordable alternative.

A recent investment purchase I made was a pair of Prada loafers for Winter. I know that I'll love and wear them for years! and a few of my go-to designers at the moment are Christopher Esber, Maggie Marilyn, Frankie Shop, Caitlin Crisp and BLANCA.

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It seems that there’s a new trend that comes out every minute - how do you decipher whether to adopt it or drop it?

I know what suits me, what I feel comfortable in and what I like. I use a combination of those elements to decide whether or not I adopt new trends. Fabric quality is also something I look into as I'm quite picky and don't like wearing anything scratchy/stiff as it's uncomfortable!

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What are your styling tips when it comes to looking good on a budget? How do you mix your high/low pieces to create a full outfit?

Often, more affordable brands have taken inspiration from big labels and famous designers. I tend to keep an eye on what my favourite brands are producing and if I don’t think that I can afford their full-price item, I will find something similar in my price range.

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What do you look for when purchasing different types of items?

We’re lucky in NZ that we have local designers producing garments that are affordable, fashionable and local. In respect to what I look for in clothing, I love local designers where possible! I tend to invest into classic designer handbags that go with multiple outfits and can take me from day to night. Similarly with shoes, I look for comfort and quality - I love a good sneaker, sandal or loafer.

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For the aspiring content creators, what are the trials and tribulations that you’ve experienced as an influencer that people wouldn’t be able to predict?

Negotiating contracts and dealing with the accounting side of the business was a learning curve! It's also easy to put pressure on yourself to create new and un-seen content, which is when I struggle the most. I have always tried to keep my content very 'relaxed' and 'in the moment'... I find this translates best with my audience and also allows me to be myself.

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How do you make the judgement call on whether a brand aligns with you and if you should take the job or turn it down?

I follow my gut instinct a lot! I have a strong vision and ethos for my platforms and often, it is clear to me whether the brand aligns. As a result, I’ve been lucky to work with some incredible local and international brands and have some amazing relationships with them.

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How did you transition from being an influencer to doing marketing work and content creation for brands?

By the time I started marketing and content creation for other brands, I had a lot of experience. Not only was this what I studied at university, but also what I’d spent many years doing it for myself. I also know the NZ market well, so can provide specific, tailored advice to brands in order to help promote them in this space.

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Even with influencer agencies, the social media scene is still like the Wild West. What advice would you give to content creators on deciding their value and rates?

It’s something I found hard to work out when I was first starting, because no one talked about it. I have always charged what I thought was reasonable and meant that both the brand and myself were getting value out of the relationship. Like all forms of art, some people will place different values on different things, but there are definitely more industry standards around at present, in respect of influencer rates, that you can rely on to ensure you are on the right track.

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If your Instagram page was never reactivated, what would you have done? Has the experience of getting deactivated opened your eyes to work down other avenues?

What a time! Honestly, ever since COVID and lockdown last year, I’ve tried to diversify my job a bit more than normal. I realised how temperamental the tech and social media world can be - and also how isolating! I love working in team environments and discussing my “passion for fashion” with others. So, in addition to my Instagram and marketing work, I started working at Caitlin Crisp as her PR, Sales and Marketing Manager last year. Thankfully, this meant when my Instagram was down, I had other things to focus on. I still think Instagram is a great platform (but could do with improved Customer Support! Haha).

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