An inherent “love for looking fabulous” is what led Itoro Essien, StarCentral’s Fashionista of the Year for 2015, to the world of blogging. She first tried creating her own blog in 2011 but it took a backseat to her educational pursuits. She completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Media Studies from Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo State in Nigeria and then she went on to achieve a Masters of Art degree in Media and Communications Management from Middlesex University in London.
But through it all simmered her passion for fashion, styling and makeup. Her second attempt at blogging began in 2014 and last year, her blog ‘HowIStyledIt’ was born. She “wanted to show/teach people who had no clue that they could learn and grow and that it is not rocket science.”
Now based in Houston, Texas, Itoro sees “styling/fashion as one of the less challenging things to do. To be honest, I have fun while shopping and creating looks. I love the fact that fashion is a form of art, there are only a few boundaries.” But even those boundaries disappear when an eye-catching outfit is paired with unwavering confidence!
She finds inspiration from many different sources like other fashion bloggers, for example. But she finds the strength to keep going in her blossoming career in the support of her friends and family. “My siblings knew about my intentions and as soon as I started. They were like it’s something you love already, so why not go for it. When I told my parents, I wasn’t sure what their reactions would be…with my mum I knew she was going to be supportive because she is very fashionable as well. I wasn’t sure my dad would…but to my greatest surprise he said: “Go for it as long as you do what you are doing with morals, and God is involved, I support you”.
Even though she is a newcomer to the fashion industry, Itoro has already learned that “you need to bring your ‘A’ game…it has to be done correctly and professionally. This has changed my life and one of the quotes I live by is: ‘All the effort in the world won’t matter if you’re not inspired’. – Chuck Palahniuk.”
That passion for the craft and the support she has from the people she loves is an essential combination for Itoro’s future success. She dreams of one day being able to “attend fashion shows around the globe as a well acclaimed fashion blogger” as well as to be “identified with the top bloggers and valued for doing what I love most.” If winning Fashionista of the Year is anything to go by, Itoro has a long and very bright future in the fashion world!
‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:
1. What is the one beauty product you can’t live without? One beauty product that I cannot live without is my Mac Studio fix powder, I love the fact that I don’t need foundation or concealer especially when I’m in a hurry.
2. What is the most dramatic thing you’ve ever done to change your looks? I cut my hair till. I was literally bald. Everywhere I went people said that was bold of me and it suit me so I didn’t mind.
3. What is in your makeup bag when you travel? I’m not a light traveler, if I could Ild take my box set with because I always think” you never know what you would need”. But I definitely need my bronzer, powder,eyeliner, eyebrow pencil and a red lipstick.
4. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? One flaw that I wouldn’t change about myself is my eyebrows. I love how it looks naturally.
5. Your best guilty pleasure… Omg! I love watching TV shows. ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Once Upon A Time.’ Talk about Netflix, HBO and Chill.