DePaul alum Amy Creyer talks about her success as Chicago's premiere street style photographer
Street-style photographer Amy Creyer has been featured on CNN, in the New Yorker and in international editions of Vogue and Elle magazines. She has also collaborated with fashion giants Burberry and Michael Kors and is one of the chosen few who get to attend runway shows during New York Fashion Week. But while the fashion industry is clearly impressed with her work, the fashion blogger is sticking to the style inspiration she finds on the streets.
Creyer is the founder of ChicagoStreetStyle.com, a blog showcasing the best street-style this city has to offer. Since its creation, plenty of bloggers have tried to emulate Creyer's success, but with 200,000 unique visitors a year, ChicagoStreetStyle.com remains the go-to for street fashion inspiration courtesy of Chicagoans. Creyer does not take all the credit, however, as she said the city itself helps set her blog apart.
"As a street style photographer ,I think that's why I developed such a strong following internationally - people are really fascinated by Chicago," she said.
She went on to praise Chicago residents for being more concerned with personal style than what is dictated by fashion professionals, a trait Creyer sees in the most prominent of fashion communities - New York City.
"In New York people are really concerned as being seen as fashionable, whereas in Chicago people really have their own style," said Creyer.
The photographer and blogger (who also balances a career as a copywriter for Walgreens) discussed the more humble attitude of the city, saying the "working-class feel" found even in the wealthiest areas distinguishes Chicago from other cities. And that's a factor she attributes to the individuality of Chicagoans.
"Chicago is really about what's real and that comes through the street-style," said Creyer. "(People) dress for themselves. They don't live their lives according to what's in and what's trendy ... Chicago is a place where people feel free to be themselves."
Creyer has no plans to trade in the Windy City for the fashion capitol of the world as of now, but will Chicago's blogging sensation ever take her lens off the streets and onto a set? Not likely. She prefers the authenticity of street-style and said that blogs like her own that display what everyday people are putting on are what is really striking a chord with those in search of style inspiration these days.
"They're looking at street-style blogs to see how other people are putting pieces together," said Creyer. "Some of the most fashionable people I've photographed ... everything in their outfit was thrifted. It's not about buying the it-bag anymore."
As the distribution of power between industry pros and bloggers (many of whom are technically now professionals themselves) continues to shift, what role does that leave everyone to play in the fashion world?
"(For bloggers) it's less about buying a piece and more about cultivating your own sense of style," said Creyer. "As far as magazine editors, helping their readers cultivate their style is where I see magazines being relevant."
A cultivated sense of style is essential, she said, but what else does an aspiring style blogger need?
Well, according to Creyer, an eye for style, along with a unique viewpoint, are two things that elevated her to achieve blogging success. "Anyone can just pick up a camera and be a street-style photographer," she said.
Anyone can take a photo, but not anyone can take a photo for Christopher Bailey - an honor Creyer had when she worked on Burberry's "Art of the Trench."
Still, street-style photography and blogging are passions of Creyer's, not business opportunities, as suggested by her favorite part about blogging - "walking around the streets with my camera, looking for people who inspire me."
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