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Weekly Feature for Fashion & Beauty Fanatics: Q&A with Mary Hall

Courtesy of Mary Hall

Gina Joseph, social media community manager, also contributed to this post.

In this week’s Fashion & Beauty Buzz e-newsletter from Cision Navigator, we chatted with the one and only Recessionista, Mary Hall of – you guessed it – The Recessionista Blog! She has written the blog since 2008 and it is read in more than 160 countries. Plus, she loves a good deal; a woman after our own heart.


Q: You have served as a contributor for The Huffington Post, and your blog has been featured on national outlets like The New York Times and NBC News. How did you get into the fashion media industry, and how did you grow your reach?
A: I just started my blog on BlogSpot on a whim one night because I was interested in fashion, had made clothes with Vogue Patterns and always loved design. I was constantly looking for deals on fashions because I no longer had time to sew and more & more designers were starting to sell their fashions at lower priced outlets. When Celia Birtwell launched a collection with Topshop & then Express in the US, my interest was really piqued. I thought, this economy is going to change everything. Designers were going to places like Target, Topshop & H&M and I was fascinated by the change. Things I couldn’t afford were now within my reach. I decided to start The Recessionista because I thought other women would also be looking for luxury clothing and good designs for less.

Q: What do you like most about fashion blogging for frugal shoppers?
Social media is a great way to share, and it’s immediate. I really love sharing the deals and hearing back from my readers & followers. And now more than ever, it’s a great time for those of us who love fashion to find the designers at a discount. Sometimes the best sales really aren’t advertised because discount stores have to keep their costs down. Blogs are a great way to share the news.

News like the Prabal Gurung for Target Collection is actually rewarding to blog about. When you think one of his dresses, which have traditionally sold for thousands of dollars may now be available for under $100.00, well I find that exciting. It’s also important to remind people about quality for price, which I think is one of the most important things about my blog. I started doing the reviews because it’s important to remember that just because something has a designer name on it and is inexpensive, it doesn’t mean it’s quality.

Q: What are some fashion trends we can look out for this winter?
A: Well, Oxblood, the new name for Burgandy is everywhere. I love all the Colbalt blue dresses, blouses, accessories and handbags. They really light up an outfit with a burst of color. The lace trend is here to stay, plus there’s lots of faux fur, colorblocking and military style jackets.

Q: Where are some of your favorite places to shop?
I really like to go to the outlets of the high-ends stores. That’s frequently where I find quality for price. Places like Neiman Marcus Last Call, Saks Off Fifth and Nordstrom’s Rack all have the top designers and quality fabric. After that, you can find good deals at places like TJ Maxx & Marshalls, even Ross has a great dress sale. The online shopping clubs are also great (Gilt, Ideeli) as is some of the stuff on eBay. And finally, I like the “high-street” retailers for trendy stuff that I don’t want to invest a lot of $$ into: Topshop, H&M and ASOS. I just was in the UK and stocked up. I’m waiting for Topshop to open their LA store. And, I can’t wait for Narcisco Rodriguez to hit Kohl’s in November. His collection is amazing and most of it is under $100.00.

Q: What are you PR pet peeves, or what is the strangest pitch you’ve received?
A: The strangest, one time when I was very new as a blogger a hair product company sent me a TON of products in a big box, along with all their competitors products, to do an evaluation and side by side comparision. I never asked for the stuff, not did I want to do the review. No way did I have time to test all that stuff, nor did I want to use myself as a human guinea pig. As for pitches, I get a lot of stuff from brands that isn’t newsworthy, they should just run an ad instead of trying to pretend their latest piece or item is big news! It’s annoying.

Q: Any tips for PR professionals who want to get in contact with you?
A: Send me a Tweet @Recessionista or an email at Recessionista (at) gmail.com. I’m always looking for great stories.

Also find Hall on Facebook, Google+ & The Huffington Post.

Our free weekly Fashion & Beauty Buzz newsletter features industry-related job postings, staff updates, Q&As with the fashion and beauty community, upcoming industry events and more, and is geared toward industry journalists and bloggers.

If you want to sign up or be featured in it, email gina.goodman (at) cision.com. Don’t forget to also follow @CisionNavigator and @Cision on Twitter! 

About Lisa Denten

Lisa Denten is the Social Media Manager of Cision U.S., where she leads social strategy, coordinates the blog editorial calendar and manages public relations campaigns. She regularly hosts Cision webinars, was chosen as a #FollowFriday guest on industry blog Spin Sucks, and has spoken on panels for Inbound Marketing Summit and Publicity Club of Chicago. She worked in the newspaper industry before joining Cision in 2008. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter at @lisaml15.

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