There are not always clear career paths to land a job in the fashion industry.
Before he was at the helm of Gucci, Tom Ford was a TV commercial actor. Supermodel Cindy Crawford spent her freshman college years shucking corn at the state fair. And a young Coco Chanel was a saucy cabaret singer in Paris before founding her famed fashion empire.
Add to that list of unconventional routes: Hallie Swanson.
Hallie began her career as a sports reporter in her native China. She then took a job as a Chinese government travel agent. After eight years as an international tour guide, Hallie moved to Los Angeles with her husband and young son.
As a means of keeping her family in China abreast of her California happenings, expatriate Hallie launched Hallie Daily. Writing primarily in Chinese, penned posts about her backyard vegetable garden, trips to the music-fountain at The Grove and regular news about her growing son, nicknamed Red Bear.
Throughout these personal updates, Hallie peppered in personal style posts. And, as Hallie began sharing more fashion-focused posts, Hallie Daily gradually garnered more attention and readers. Hallie even caught the eye of Vanity Fair and landed a spot on their 2013 Best Dressed List.
Hallie always had a knack for styling and a good sense for predicting the hottest trends. (To wit: she has already mastered this season’s 70s trend and donned a pair of wide-leg denim culottes.) She expertly folds mod styles like a fringed leather skirt and cropped flared trousers into her signature wardrobe. Full, A-line skirts, sheer blouses and smart, boxy jackets are in Hallie’s regular rotation.
We spoke with Hallie to learn more about her life as a Los Angeles blogger and to learn which bag she foresees as the season’s must-have.
You’ve worked as a television sports reporter and later a government travel agent in China. What was that experience like?
Being a travel agent and international tour guide was fun! And that helped open my eyes to all the different and exciting things in the world. I was privileged to travel to many countries because of that work and I learned from it all!
What advice can you share with other aspiring bloggers?
Share what you love and love what you are doing and keep working on it. I never found any other shortcuts or secrets to blogging success.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
It's a Chinese vegetarian restaurant called Happy Family. We have about ten restaurants in our family dining "rotation," but that has to be my favorite.
What are your must-see landmarks and cultural institutions in Los Angeles?
The first one that comes to mind is the Getty Center for so many reasons. The location has incredible views, the buildings are stunning, and the art exhibits change all the time. So inspiring! And it's free to go there! Of course, almost every beach in Los Angeles is a great, relaxing getaway, too. In truth, Los Angeles is one of the world's great cities and full of so many different cultures. I could fill a book with all of the other places I love to visit here.
Fast & Furious Fashion Quiz
Bikini or one-piece?
Neutral or red lip?
Hose or bare legs in winter?
Hmm….I don’t like to wear hose and I wouldn’t enjoy bare legs in the winter when the weather is cold. But in California I can almost always go bare-legged without feeling too chilly.
Body-con or boyfriend?
Skinnies or flares?
Night out or in?
Sweet or savory indulgence food?
Why did you choose the Vince Camuto Lorin Drawstring bag?
The "bucket bag" is so hot this season! I love this bag with its snakeskin print and brown strap details. I am obsessing the 70s style for this spring/summer and this bag is very easy to give any outfit a 70s twist. From an LBD to a simple white button-down shirt and jeans combination, this bag will add some confidence and a fun attitude.