Originally from Ghana, Blay is the Africa style correspondent for The Huffington Post and editor-at-large for Scene Magazine. She was formerly the digital fashion editor for Essence Magazine, women’s fashion editor for Paper Magazine and readers editor at Seventeen Magazine. Her work has appeared in New York Magazine online, InStyle, Teen People, The New York Sun, The Daily News, America Online, Black Enterprise and Fashionista.com, among others. She founded fashion news blogs The Blay Report and Africa Style Daily.
Q: How much did you know about La Jolla before hearing about the festival?
A: I had heard about it from a few friends in New York who work as film critics but wasn’t very familiar with it personally or professionally.
Q: Do you feel international events such as the LJFFF can bring people together in ways the Internet and Facebook can’t?
A: Absolutely. You can’t dismiss the power of social media networks, but there is something much more potent and purposeful about connecting in person over shared passions. Film and fashion — and the point at which they intersect — have a kinetic appeal that attracts a large cross section of creatives. As a result, the camaraderie and connections that will happen at LJFFF will be nothing short of magical.
Q: How have fashion films affected the world of fashion media and blogging?
A: They’ve ignited it. Fashion media and blogging are essentially the machine that needs constant feeding. Fashion films, from major motion pictures to gritty documentaries give fashion editors and bloggers fodder to write about, blog about and tweet about. Even more, like all industries, films have the power of holding a mirror to us and our industry and provide us (fashion professionals) with much-needed context on not just how we perceive each other in this insular industry, but how the world perceives us, too.
Q: What do you look for in fashion films?
A: The same thing I look for in all films — an ability to clearly and concisely connect with an audience while providing context.
Q: What will be the impact of fashion films on fashion marketing in the future?
A: That’s a good one. The impact could be, will be, immense. It will up the ante on how organic, gritty, authentic fashion marketing will present itself in the future. It will provide brands with an indicator of what consumers are connecting to. I, as a journalist and professor, will most certainly be taking notes while judging.
Check back next issue for an interview with fashion filmmaker Pavel Badzhakov.