NYC based fashion influencer Rena shares about her transition from fashion design to content creation, her picks for spring, viral TikToks, and style advice. Known for her ‘outfit of the day’ videos, you can find Rena’s content @usedtoloveitmore on Instagram and TikTok.
Rena! Thank you for joining us. Can you walk us through how you started influencing and what brought you to where you are now?
R: Hi! Yes, I was born and raised in London and graduated from Parsons for fashion design. I loved content creation related to fashion and started getting into social media when TikTok became popular over the pandemic. It became my creative outlet and hobby when TikTok first became a thing and my fashion design classes were online. At first I was doing it for fun but then later realized that it could become a full career when brands started reaching out to collaborate with me. I’ve been doing this for two years now and it has gotten me the opportunities to meet so many people and work with brands I am obsessed with.
How did your experience at Parsons inform your work and overall creative process?
R: My time at Parsons really pushed my creative process as it exposed me to a wide range of perspectives and skills. I learned the importance of collaborating and networking as well as appreciating people’s work even if it wasn’t necessarily my cup of tea, especially because you’re confronted with people with all kinds of styles and backgrounds. It was also interesting to see different professors approach their creative processes uniquely so you are forced to learn each and every approach which ultimately challenges your own. The school is filled with so many creative people that it’s easy to get inspired. Overall, Parsons really pushed me to find my own personal style and see what aspects of the fashion industry I gravitate towards more, especially during my thesis.
Your ‘OOTD’ TikToks have drawn a lot of attention. How have you made a fashion TikTok that goes viral?
R: People love seeing a unique personal touch to outfits but they also love to see trendy pieces so a combination of both, for sure, helps to go viral – as well as trending audios, hashtags, and posting consistently. However, it’s important to focus on the big picture if you want to build a community on TikTok, which is thinking about the value you can offer to your audience, aside from just pushing through content for the sake of going viral. You definitely have to have and own your personal style because that is what will make people want to follow you and consider if your content is inspiring or useful.
In my case, I want to offer my love for dressing up and providing creative outfit inspiration.
As we finally step into spring, are there any styles you’re drawn to?
R: At the moment, I am gravitating towards corsets, loafers, sheers, denim or anything that glitters. I’m loving midi and maxi dresses and I’m also trying to experiment more with colors for spring and summer.
What excites you about these?
R: Wearing more color feels more playful and fun, which I feel as though I am currently missing in my outfits. Sheers and glitters add a sense of femininity and lightness. I always gravitate towards corsets and denim because they can help dress up or dress down my outfits. I have also been wearing loafers with everything lately because they are so comfortable and work for almost every look or occasion. Midi and maxi dresses also just feel more relaxed and effortless, as well as classy.
How do you take inspiration from others? What does your eye go towards or what do you usually observe?
R: Whatever ties the outfit together so maybe shoes, bags or any other accessories.
Where do you source your clothing?
R: I like to mix it up. I buy from smaller brands, luxury brands, sometimes Depop for some rare vintage pieces, PR from brands that I love, upcoming brands from Instagram, and I’m always shopping online to find new pieces. At the moment I love ‘With Jéan’, ‘Danielle Guizio' and ‘Mirror Palais’ a lot. For shoes, ‘The Millennial Decorator’ sources stunning vintage designer shoes. I want to get into thrifting more as it’s not only better for the environment but there is beauty in having unique pieces that most people don’t have.
Do you have any pet peeves related to clothing, trends or the fashion industry in general?
R: Fast fashion, and the high level of fast fashion due to fast changing trends.
What are your thoughts on how trends change nowadays, given the pace of social media?
R: Honestly, way too fast but also inevitable, given the pace of social media. Trends catch on quicker than ever before. As an influencer – on one side, people look to you to see the latest trends and how to style it for inspiration but on the other, you want your individual style to show through so it’s really about finding a balance. I pick and choose depending on the trends I like and always try to find a way to make it my own. That being said, I find it hard to keep up so I gravitate mostly towards what looks best on my body, what I feel excites me the most as well as classic, more timeless pieces.
What are some of your passions outside of fashion?
R: I love reading new books and learning new things about myself as well as practicing mindfulness. Anything that involves creativity also excites me, I love trying new things. I am also passionate about creating my own businesses. I love the flexibility social media gives me as I can work from wherever whenever and have fun with what I do.
I am always going to want to gravitate towards fashion and social media no matter what I do as that’s truly what I’m most passionate about at the moment.
What advice would you give people about how to feel good in what you wear?
R: Don’t wear what reflects the mood you're in at that moment but dress for what mood you want to be in.
There have been way too many moments where I’m stressed on what to wear and I play it safe or put on something all black and simple. Own it now and experiment because we’re getting older and older everyday.
I love that. What mood have you been striving towards on a day-to-day basis?
R: Positive, happy and just grateful. Obviously, it’s hard to keep that energy everyday but I try to, even if I’m feeling down. I stand by faking it till you make it!
And what's your mood for 2023?
R: Optimism, motivation and resilience to whatever comes my way.