"Hi! So great to finally meet you!" As Mariann ran across the street to give me a hug, I was immediately drawn to her infectious energy and charm. She had met me for a grand total of two seconds and had somehow managed to completely win me over while I plotted how in the world to make this gem of a person my new best friend. After a breezy beautiful afternoon getting lost in the streets of Soho taking photographs with the talented Luke Polihrom, Mariann and I decided on an impromptu coffee date at Cafe Integral. Over a cup of Olivia espresso we began an exchange of stories and a million laughs leaving me all the more awe inspired at this incredible fashion influencer who had mastered the balance of being a powerhouse while maintaining a genuine love for the industry and people. This is a sneak peak into the WHO behind Mariann Yip of MariannNYC:

We love the quote on your blog, "Do one thing every day that scares you." How has this mindset inspired you and did it push you to launch your blog?

I love that quote because I think it's important to take risks and go out of your comfort zone. I honestly believe fear is really just imaginary. I'm not saying I don't have fears, but I make it a priority to face them because it's the best way to grow. And as far as my blog, I didn't launch it with hesitation, rather it started as a side hobby because I wanted a creative outlet away from my 9-6. I will say that I have adopted that mindset to further my blogging career. Sometimes I go to events and I don't know anybody and it's a little intimidating, but I still go because only good things can happen from taking that step rather than not taking it at all. This comes to play with any life decisions so I definitely try to live by that quote.


What would you say were your biggest challenges/obstacles in the first year of launching your blog?

I actually faced a lot of struggles and challenges during my first year! I will say one of them was definitely finding my voice and brand. To be completely frank, I didn't put as much effort into my blog as I do now because I wasn't as invested. I just wanted to throw content out there and didn't think anybody was actually reading or noticing, but now that it's picked up and I love it, I am carefully curating my posts and images. Throughout my blogging journey, I've discovered what I want to use the platform for and how I want to brand myself. I also started my blog as fashion based and only writing about what I was wearing. Now, I am trying to transition into a more lifestyle blog so I can incorporate more of my passions including beauty, travel, fitness and nutrition.


If you could pick one crucial daily habit that is vital to long term success, what would that be?

This question reminds me of Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit and for those of you who haven't read that book, I highly recommend you do so! One daily habit that I practice daily is making a to do list, whether it's to be completed that day or that week. Especially with blogging, I think it's extremely important to set goals for yourself and there's something very satisfying about checking or crossing that task off. I feel a sense of accomplishment and I think that in turns makes me more motivated and persistent to keep going. In Charles Duhigg's book, he basically says that if you master one habit, other habits will form naturally. I am in complete agreement because writing to do lists also ties in with so many other positive habits such as being organized and disciplined, staying motivated and proactive, etc. 

We believe that fashion is a conversation to the world; you can tell alot about a person by their style. How would you say your wardrobe choices have amplified your credibility and business strengths?

I really think this just depends on the occasion or event that I am going to. We all make wardrobe choices based on how we want to be perceived but who we are presenting ourselves to definitely affects those choices. Personally as a blogger, I definitely feel like I need to dress the role so when I meet people they remember me for my personality, but also for my outfit because let's be honest, what we wear affects first impressions. 


How would you best define your style?

My style is causal chic with an urban twist. I love to be comfortable, but I also want to be stylish at the same time. I tend to go for looks that aren't too bold or too plain. If I do go for a more simple look, I definitely like to add a little personality to it whether it's through accessories or a bold lipstick color. Growing up in NYC, I find so much inspiration on a daily basis, so I am still exploring my style, but overall I am huge on comfort. 


What are your top three favorite brands to shop right now and why?

I struggle to answer this question because I normally don't stick with the same brands as I know others do. I'm really everywhere and constantly on the search for new boutiques and brands. I will say that I absolutely Asos because there's a petite section and I definitely do find it difficult at times to find clothing that fits me perfectly. I also love that they have the runway video so I can visually see how the clothing fits on the body at all angles. I also enjoy shopping at Zara because I think they always have clothing that are trendy, in style and affordable. And I also shop at Lulus every now and then especially if I have a special occasion in mind because they have the best dresses!


Versatility in everyday fashion is so important to me personally. Do you have any go-to favorites that you enjoy pairing with various pieces in your wardrobe?

I'm all about versatility too because if I can't see myself wearing a specific item more than once then I don't think it's worth buying it. Don't get me wrong, I love staple items too but my go to favorites recently would definitely be my denim skirt, boyfriend jeans and my slip on sneakers. There are so many ways to wear a denim skirt, whether it's for a more causal outfit or a dressed up look. I also love boyfriend jeans because they are comfortable and like denim skirt, can also be worn in multiple ways depending on the occasion. And you can never go wrong with slip on sneakers because they are comfortable and can be worn with both jeans, skirt and even dresses.


We are so inspired by one of your latest blog posts, "What's Wrong With Being Confident?" You mentioned that in today's society with social media at it's peak, it is easy to lose yourself in a sea of comparison. What can women do to combat unhealthy comparison and learn to love themselves in the unique way they are created?

I'm glad you liked that post! I thought it was a very important and powerful message to get out there and I wanted that article to empower and uplift women. I would say when it comes down to it, instead of focusing on what we don't have, we need to focus on what we do have. It's great to admire other people, but I think it shouldn't go as far as comparison or jealousy. I would encourage women to say something nice about themselves every morning. I know it might sound stupid or cheesy but it works, I promise! Compliment yourself because the most important person that we need love from is ourselves. 

To other bloggers out there, what is your secret to growing your brand's audience/following?

My secret (which isn't really a secret) is to be true to yourself. At the end of the day, people connect with real people. I like my articles to reflect my voice and personality and same goes with my photos and imagery. When someone looks at my blog or Instagram, I want them to see a confident, fun and positive person with interests in fashion, lifestyle and travel. I've grown my following by interacting with others, being consistent with my posts, and just being completely real with others, but mainly with myself. 


For those on a tighter budget, what is the best way to add a touch of glamour to any outfit, no matter the price point?

LIPSTICK! For those who know me, know how much I love lipstick and it's such an inexpensive product. I can literally wear a white t-shirt, jeans and some shoes and once I add some lipstick, I have transformed my look completely just by adding a pop of color. If you don't like lipstick, I would say just find one accessory that you love but also stands out at the same time, whether that be a handbag, sunglasses, a statement necklace, etc. 


You are undoubtedly one of my favorite fashionistas today. How has fashion impacted the way you feel about yourself?

Wait, did I just read that correctly?! Honestly, I am so taken back by that statement because I've never really considered myself a fashionista, just a New Yorker who blogs about fashion and lifestyle, so thank you so much! I love fashion for the simple fact that I consider it art. It's self expression and I am all about exploring my creativity and presenting it through my clothing. I have learned to love myself through fashion and I have also learned to grow as I am exposed to different brands, styles and looks. Fashion is always evolving and it's a beautiful thing to be a part of.


I believe in empowering women through a revelation of their worth. How do you feel fashion plays into this?

This somewhat relates to my previous response but I think at the end of the day, you don't need to wear designer clothes or own expensive shoes to feel empowered. Fashion doesn't have a price tag. It's really not about the clothes themselves, but rather the person wearing it. If you exude confidence, you will feel confident and people will perceive you as confident despite what you're wearing. I think it's extremely important to love and value yourself first. Everything fashion related will be a reflection of that.

I am honored to say that Mariann is no longer merely an inspiration behind the walls of social media, but now also a new friend who continues to give me hope in pursuing the heart of an industry that indeed has so much GOOD. There are few things more refreshing than meeting an intimidating, successful fashionista face-to-face who insists she's just a "New Yorker who blogs." May we always remember that at the core underneath what we "do" we are all just humans seeking to move toward a more genuine, kind, and loving world. And I applaud Miss Mariann for standing up and spearheading this movement by being nothing more, nothing less, that exactly her true self.


Xoxo, Diwa Doll


Mariann Yip of Mariannyc

Photography: Luke Polihrom