Friday, January 4, 2013

A conversation with Yara Michels, Amsterdam

Street Style Amsterdam Yara Michels

Hanging out with Yara is amazing and truly an inspiration. Yes, she is really friendly, warm-hearted and open-minded. Here is our conversation about fashion, travelling, success, Amsterdam and 2013.

Right now you are working as a professional blogger and magazine editor as well. How does a typical day in your life look like?

Usually I’ll start out with checking my e-mails, monitoring my comments and doing a little reading on other blogs and news websites. Then I’ll prioritize and make a to do list for that day (I’m a list-o-holic, otherwise I don’t get stuff done). I split my week between working for ELLE, which I do in the Hearst office, and working from my home office on This chick’s got style with my intern. When working on the blog it’s a mix of creative work, such as photography and writing, and just getting a bunch of practical things done like meetings, e-mails and phone calls.

Where do you see the differences in your work?

They have major similarities. The main difference is probably the size of it all; a magazine is a worldwide network and on This chick’s got style I’m totally in charge. Everyone – including me – is still figuring out how blogging works, and I do most of it on my own. So it’s fun to mix that with working at a magazine where I interact with colleagues who I look up to and who’ve been in the industry for decades.

Your dad is Holland’s bestseller in communication books and you even published one together with him about marketing. How has this influence guided you to reach your goals?

Haha, you did your research! Coming from a background in communication probably allowed me to narrow down the field I wanted to work in at an early age. I guess it gave me some exposure to the industry and sparked my interest. And so I started working at my dad’s communication company at 14 to check articles and gained a lot of experience already at a young age. Having more experience and knowledge than most of your peers, definitely helps.

What’s your secret of success?

Ah, I wish there was one! Could someone tell me as well please? ;) When it comes to work in any (creative) field I think determination, pleasure in what you do, a positive attitude and eagerness to learn get you a long way. Nobody likes working with nagging people who don’t really care. The good thing is that these are things you have control over! Having your mind set on working in fashion is great, but then try to narrow down your focus. So that you have a sense of which jobs suit you and what qualities you have to bring to the table or might need to work on. Try to gain as much experience as you can in your field of interest. Perhaps through taking courses, doing an internship, taking up studying or starting a blog.

Where do you find your inspiration? 

I love peeking in to real people’s homes and wardrobes. And seeing the looks editors and bloggers come up with when I’m at Fashion Weeks is fascinating. People push their limits a bit more then. On a less concrete level it’s a bit about a feeling or a mood. Things around you constantly tap in to your emotions and change your mood or what you find interesting or what feels fresh and new. It could be a show I see, a photography exhibition, something a friend says or being in a different city.

Describe your personal style. 

That’s tough, I just throw on what I like! I like things that are a little bit feminine (let’s say a lace skirt), a little bit though (let’s say a biker jacket or oversized bomber) and still have a relaxed feel (let’s say distressed boyfriend jeans). I wear high heels a lot but that’s about as much as I give in to pain because nothing is as unattractive as a women who is uncomfortable in what she’s wearing :P

Which designer would you hire to design your wardrobe? 

Nicolas Ghesquiere, such a genius.

Whose style influences your own?

I’m always curious to see what streetstyle darlings Taylor Tomasi Hill, Christine Centenera, Joanna Hillman and Miroslava Duma come up with. Chloe Sevigny and Julia Restoin Roitfeld always get it right as well.

This chicks got styl photo

Once you’ve said that travelling has broadened your horizon and made you curious about other cultures. What has been your most eye opening travel experience?

Wow, that’s hard to pinpoint haha! Looking back I feel like it was very valuable that my parents exposed us to countries in Asia, South America and to the US already as kids. Things that happen in the world make better sense when you see them for yourself. It was fun, made us a bit more independent and curious and it was great to have a few weeks of total focus on the family each year.

How has this influenced you?

It made me a total travel addict! Maybe it’s valuable to simply see the world is bigger than your backyard. And to know that people around the world are living completely different lives than yours every day. At the same time it made the world much smaller and less scary, seeing different parts with my own eyes. I now know I’ll be just as happy living in Hong Kong, or L.A., or London and consider it an option.

Most visually inspiring place?

It might sound like a total cliché but I remember being 10 and visiting Hawaii and thinking it was the most perfect, pretty place I had ever seen. Asian cities are usually a huge attack on senses, I love that.

Always make time for…?

Standing still for a minute. Sometimes I tend to overthink the past or I’m already worrying about something in the future and rush by all the great things that happen in the moment. Focusing on the present is a good goal for 2013 :P

Yara Michels

Favorite stores in Amsterdam?

Besides my embarrassingly many visits to COS, Zara and H&M I like to browse around at Sky, Rika (this Scandinavian brand opened an outlet down the street. Score!), Acne, Sprmrkt and Labels Amsterdam. Department store De Bijenkorf stepped it up and now sells Sandro, Maje, Isabel Marant and Alexander Wang to name a few. Skins Cosmetics for creams and candles, The American Bookstore for international magazines and Options, Maison NL and Raw Materials for unique interior finds and little knick-knacks (wow, that’s a weird word).

Favorite place in Amsterdam?

Does my bed count?

Favorite place to have a night out?

Club Trouw, a temporary club with a great restaurant, an industrial vibe, all the cool kids and some of the best DJ’s. Ok, location wise is a little off track, but when did that ever stop us from going to a good party, right?

Favorite café?

Wolvenstraat (in the Nine streets), Brandstof, Vesper and Really really nice place.

Best place to eat?

Pekelhaaring has good food (chocolate toffee cheesecake is the key to my heart), great service and a cozy/industrial style interior that you’ll see a lot in Amsterdam. Other faves are Bar Spek, Radijs and Fier.

What would you recommend to someone visiting Amsterdam?

Don’t visit all the touristy places (the Kalverstraat will drive you nuts on weekends). De Negen Straatjes (Nine Streets) and Utrechtsestraat and neighborhood De Pijp give more of a real feel of the city. Also, rent a bike. Amsterdam is tiny so you’ll get to see so much of the city and get around like a local. Visit photography museum Foam and if the weather allows it (you never know in Holland…) hang out in the park. Vondelpark is nice and I prefer Westerpark, two steps away from where I live. It’s an old industrial area that houses a park, an art house cinema, a club and restaurants. You’ll love it in summer!

Any successful style experiments that you’ll carry into 2013?

Uhm… I think the formula of leather pants + slouchy t-shirt + pointy heels will stick.

What are your wishes for 2013?

To take more cool pictures with The Styleograph, haha! I feel like it’s gonna be an exciting year, with a lot of growth, great blog adventures, lots of travelling and happiness.

Yara Michels Fashion Blog Amsterdam

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Catita said...

great article on Yara and nice to see a fashion blogger of my current city, Amsterdam!

Fashion Reactor said...

She is so cute!! I follow her blog and I really love her style!

Eirini from

Latest Fashion And Style said...

Amazing article so great information I got. and she is looking so cute. I love her style heartily.

Elonah Jade Bioneda said...

Good article! She's one of the reasons why I love fashion blogging! So cool, calm and chic :)

Jade of