How Claire Sulmers Went From Crashing Designer Parties to Hosting Her Own Fashion Show

Derek Blanks

In’s monthly series Office Hours, we ask people in powerful positions to take us through their first jobs, worst jobs, and every thing in between. This month we spoke to Claire Sulmers, the founding father of Fashion Bomb Day by day, a go-to source for celebrity style and fashion intel. What began as Sulmers’ online diary has transformed right into a multi-pronged business, including the Fashion Bomb Day by day Shop, an e-commerce store focused on diverse, emerging designers, and The Bomb Fashion Show. “Going from being an outsider—crashing fashion shows and literally having anxiety attacks when fashion week got here around, because I desired to go so badly and didn’t know how one can get in—to having a sold-out fashion show and giving opportunities to people is some of the fulfilling things I’ve ever done,” Sulmers told Below, the blogger-turned-businesswoman shares how she charted her own path into the style world—and the way you may do the identical.

My first job

My first salaried job was as a researcher/reporter at Real Easy magazine. I graduated from Harvard in 2003 and desired to work in media, but I didn’t have plenty of experience, so I used to be doing plenty of unpaid or poorly paid internships. I used to be really thrilled to work at Real Easy, since it was a full-time job, so I had regular hours, I had medical insurance. Nevertheless it really wasn’t the place I desired to be. I wanted to write down about fashion, and so they only had a gap within the research and reporting department. But I used to be in a position to learn a lot that has carried over to my profession today. I’m such a stickler for us ensuring things are spelled accurately, that the worth is correct. It made me very detail-oriented.

from the desk of claire sulmers my dream job i haven't done yet i want to be the executive producer of a tv show based on my life kind of like emily in paris, but it'll be claire in brooklyn or something go to email sign off best regards my open tabs four gmails, shopify, the bomb life, and fashion bomb daily logins also a tab for my facebook column called the state of fashion my go to snack i love popcorners white cheddar chips

Derek Blanks

The largest profession risk I ever took

I worked at Real Easy for 4 years. But I had this degree in French and African American studies that I hadn’t really used, and I at all times had this dream of living in Paris. So I believed to myself, how am I going to make it occur? I made a decision to quit my job with the goal of working at Vogue in Paris. I used to be 28, and I moved. I knew one person there; I hadn’t saved up any money. It was probably one among the craziest things I’ve ever done in my life, and it took me a yr and a half before I used to be in a position to get an internship at Vogue. But after I moved, I became more courageous and really began to go for what I would like.

Why there’s never an ideal time to make a daring move

If you’ve gotten something in your heart and in your mind, I at all times say it’s an project from God. There’s a reason you are feeling this tugging, and you may give you so many various excuses as to why you shouldn’t do it. But when I hadn’t made that move—and mind you, my Caribbean parents were like, “You’re crazy. You must stay on this job. Save up your money some more”—I don’t know where I could be. I did must take a step back and seriously sacrifice and cope with all the issues that associate with moving to a foreign country without having saved up plenty of money. But at the top of the day, I ended up making multiples of what I used to be making at my old job. I learned a lot about myself from that big move.

How I’ve created opportunities for myself

I once crashed a Louis Vuitton party that was happening on the Brooklyn Museum. On the time, I lived across the road, and I used to be like, “There’s no way an enormous fashion event is occurring across the road from my house and I’m not going.” So I placed on a Jessica McClintock prom dress and costume jewelry and finagled my way in. I grabbed a glass of champagne, and I said hi to Marc Jacobs. I had my digital camera, and I took a selfie with him, and he was nuzzled up in my ear like we were friends. I used to be just taking pictures with everybody. I handed out my business card to Anna Wintour. I used to be going to satisfy as many individuals as possible. A couple of months later I used to be crashing a show, and I sat next to a author for Teen Vogue. I handed him my card, and he saw the image of me and Marc Jacobs [on Fashion Bomb] and wrote about me as a blogger of the moment.

Considered one of my favorite phrases is: I couldn’t discover a seat on the table, so I made my very own table. Sometimes my attitude can seem a bit aggressive, but I’m at all times like, “Why not me?” It’s at all times been one among those things where I’m attempting to prove myself and go along with my gut and my heart. Numerous times I’m fearful. Numerous times I’m pondering, okay, if I am going as much as Marc Jacobs, he might pour champagne on me. But most those who I’ve met are so kind. Attempt to carve out an area for yourself. It’s paid off for me ultimately.

from the desk of claire sulmers how i get up in the morning generally i don't set an alarm, because i tend to just wake up at 8 am i also wake up randomly at 3 am if you see posts on fashion bomb at 3 am, it's me my power outfit black turtleneck, black pants, snazzy shades my first salary at real simple, i think i made 36,000 dollars how i calm down on a stressful day i take a nap

Derek Blanks

On fashion’s diversity problem

Does Black-owned media really have an area in fashion? After we go to a fashion show, for instance, there’s really no representation from Black-owned media, Black editors, Black influencers. In plenty of the posh spaces, Black-owned media isn’t given a seat on the table. We don’t get invites to plenty of the large shows. We don’t get interviews with plenty of the large designers. It’s been an endemic issue, and for my part, you go where you’re celebrated, not tolerated. There could possibly be more access given to people of all colours relating to fashion. It’s essential that each one of us come together and address these issues until we’re at a spot of true equity.

How I open doors for other Black women in fashion

We had our second Bomb Fashion Show this September to present not only Black models, but Black designers a chance to indicate during Recent York Fashion Week. I do know from experience that running a fashion show may be very expensive. So for me, it’s about using my platform to create opportunities for other people. I actually felt like after I was coming up, it was a chilly world. I could be like, “Can I please are available? Can any person help me?” And I just heard “no.” E-commerce began for that very same reason—encountering plenty of designers who don’t have access to consumers or marketing or stylists or celebrities, and me leveraging plenty of my contacts to assist them to drive sales and construct their businesses. If I can just be who I desired to be as a young woman within the industry, then I feel like I’m doing something right.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Headshot of Madison Feller

Madison is a senior author/editor at, covering news, politics, and culture. When she’s not on the web, you may probably find her taking a nap or eating banana bread.

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