Rosie Fortescue is nestled delicately into a plump sofa as I walk across the room to greet her. She is petite and elegant, her long limbs wrapped up in a shaggy fur gilet. As a Made in Chelsea fan I thought I already knew Rosie pretty well. That was until the words “I love documentaries on drugs and gangs” came out of her mouth.
Together we talked all things fashion, making money from blogging and…Ross Kemp. If you, like me, thought you knew everything about Rosie’s life…think again.
1. How did your blog At Fashion Forte come about?
I started my blog five years ago when I was finishing my degree in History of Art at Goldsmiths. I was focussing on fashion but also doing a bit on art at the time because I was interested in fashion photography and obviously influenced by my degree. Now I do a lot of self-styled street style. That’s the main focus of my blog now but I do a few little projects here and there as well with different brands. I’m doing a lot more beauty which is fun. I love to show my readers new things; One day I might be wearing Valentino but the next I’ll be wearing shoes from Just Fab and people will say ‘OMG I can’t believe they are only £35 where can I get them?’ It’s nice to show viewers that you can make something affordable look really good if you style it the right way.
2. How do you make money from your blog?
You need to think carefully about affiliate schemes. If you are going to affiliate link things obviously a lot of the time a lot of the things you are linking won’t actually be available online. If it’s a sample and it’s new season, or if it’s from a company such as Zara, which isn’t actually affiliate linked, then it’s difficult. Even if it’s Topshop but you bought it three weeks ago and it’s no longer available to buy online – a good idea is to do a ‘get the look’. I never have time to do this but people see something you are wearing and they want it but can’t get it. My advice would be to do a ‘get the look’ because you can monetise that too. Find the affiliate scheme that is good for you. I love introducing brands to my readers and showing people how I like to style things. When I read blogs I think that a top and trousers, for example, wouldn’t suit me, but then I might love the shoes. I like to be inspired and inspire others with new styles and items.
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3. How do you unwind and de-stress?
I go to the gym and do some boxing. I just can’t sit in from of the television because I’ll have my laptop on my lap. I physically have to get out of the house to relax. I haven’t been to the cinema in a year and half but I’m going soon to see Sicario. It’s a new film and I want to see it because a friend of mine went to the premiere and said that it’s amazing. It’s about drugs and that sort of thing and I love documentaries on drugs and gangs. I love Louis Theroux documentaries and Ross Kemp! That is so my vibe! I’m a complete documentary geek. I just find it all so intriguing.
4. What kind of things do you do at the weekend?
When I’m not filming or working or taking blog pictures I…well, I basically don’t take days off. Last weekend I went to the gym at Saturday lunchtime but I was actually in my flat from 9 a.m with my business partner going through details about my jewellery brand. Going to the gym is my ‘me time’. I put my phone in my locker when I do my 45 minute classes and I can completely zone out. It’s heaven. Getting out of the house, walking around, exploring – that’s what I love to do. Portobello is one of my favourite areas to walk around, looking at all those lovely shops and getting some cake or frozen yoghurt. On Sunday I went to my parent’s house and made some brownies. My Dad cooked a roast and Mum made a crumble. I was lying on the kitchen floor with my sister’s dog and my dog Noodle just licking my face. It was really nice and relaxing. Family time is really important.
5. What is the best piece of life advice you can give?
Do what you love. Believe in yourself and I think there is nothing worse than doing something that you really don’t want to be doing. You really need to be passionate about something to stick with it and stay committed.
6. What workwear looks do you love?
For workwear you should always be comfortable. Don’t wear heels all day, no-one wants to be hobbling at the end of the day, unable to go for after-work drinks with friends because their feet are in too much pain. Express yourself, even if you are at work you can add a bit of jewellery or some nail varnish. Make sure it is appropriate though. I get so stuck in my ways wearing black so I think it’s nice to step outside the box a little bit. For beauty in the office a nude lip is good. Don’t use anything too heavy on the skin. I always carry a bright red lipstick with me everywhere I go. I never carry any make-up on me, but if you get a last minute invite to something you can instantly update both your outfit and your make-up look with a red lipstick.
Rosie is a style adviser for Just Fab and you can check out their new clothing line here.