Blog Encounters #4 | Noru Salon

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"People may forget what you said or did to them. But they will never forget how you made them feel." 
Maya Angelou


I came across Noru’s beautiful fashion blog after reading her interview on Mutzine website. I remember being struck by the original yet elegant style she has. So I decided to meet her during my trip to Seoul, last September.
Here is the interview.

Me: Hi Noru, could you please introduce yourself to us?

Noru: My name is Noru, I am a 1991-er and I have a Fashion blog. I have a degree in Fashion design and industry and I am currently looking for opportunity in the Korean fashion industry.

Me: So how and when did you start the whole blogging adventure?

Noru: Well, at the beginning my blog was part of a project we had to do during my 2nd year of study. Our teacher asked us to create a platform where we would display our different fashion projects. And actually, I really liked it! So I decided to continue doing this even after graduating from school.

Me: so how would you describe your personal style? And what are your main fashion sources of inspiration?

Noru: Actually, many people ask me what my favourite style is. But I don’t really have a “favourite” style. For sure, I have a taste for few fashion trends but I really love the most is mix-matching.

Me: When you say “mix-matching”, what do you mean by that?  

Noru: I don’t really buy for the price tag. I would you usually buy something I like or go for designs that appeal to me, no matter if they are from high-end fashion stores or not.

Me: What is your most valuable/totem piece in your dressing?

Noru: I love hats and I like to accessorize a lot to. So you would see a lot of French béret in my dressing.

Me: Actually, I saw a lot of Seoul girls wearing the bérét as an accessory. And you know that the béret is a French hat at the origin. Do you think that French culture and fashion has an influence on Korean fashion?

Noru: Actually, I don’t think that most of those girls know that they are wearing a French fashion and cultural item. But yeah, for sure, French fashion may have an indirect influence on Korean fashion too.

Me: What would you consider like a “good fashion investment”?

Noru: (after thinking for a while) I would say everything vintage because they are unique piece and you know that once you let the occasion go, you won’t have another opportunity again. So yeah, I will generally be less reluctant to spend more on vintage pieces.

Me: So in your dressing, what would be the less and most expensive fashion pieces?

Noru: The cheapest pieces would be my UNIQLO T-shirts or clothes from Zara, H&M, etc…. And the most expensive would a leather jacket from the H&M x Maison Martin Margiela Collection.

Me: What would be your shopping style?

Noru: I usually shop for pleasure and don’t really plan it in advance. I just wander in the shopping streets and if I find something I really like, I will go for it.

Me: Talking about fashion and street style in Seoul, I observed during my stay that Korean people have a very high sense of style; They are always dressed to the 9s and it is pretty impressive to see! How would explain this phenomenon? Why do you think people pay so much attention to their looks and to their style?

Noru: Well, I think Korean people are peculiar because they very pay attention to other’s opinions about them. That might explain why an extra-care is put on physical appearance for both men and women here. Also, they love taking pictures of themselves in nice places and they get easily bored too. So they will always try to renew themselves and to be always on new fashion trends.


Me: So, you would never go out in a laid-back outfit, wearing for instance a jogging and a simple T-shirt.

Noru: It would very complicated for me (laughs). When I was in Spain for instance, I would see people dress very casually in everyday life situations but put extra efforts to dress well for special occasions. Here in Korea, people expect you to be very well-dressed in any occasion. But well, let’s not fool ourselves, if I just need to do a quick errand a nearby shop or café, I will dress pretty comfortably.

Me: Where are your favourite fashion shops in Seoul?

Noru: Honestly, I don’t really have any special spot I like to go more than others. I really like mainstream brands like H&M or Zara because those brands follow the ongoing and new trends very quickly so it easier to stay on top of the game while shopping at those stores.

Me: Have you always lived in Seoul? And what would you like the most of the city? And what do you like the least?

Noru: Yes, I have always lived here. What I love the most about it the contrast between a very traditional architecture and a more modern one. And one of the thing I like the least is that it is a crowded city: too many people (laughs).

Me: How is the fashion blogosphere in Seoul?

Noru: We do have interactions between bloggers and we usually meet at fashion events. However, we don’t really have collaboration projects together. The sad thing is that at the beginning we all had this passion for fashion and wanted to offer an original concept and quality contents to our readers/followers. However, as I am growing with my blog, I realize that most of those fashion blogs have become branding or advertisement platform.

Me: So about this branding issues, do you think some bloggers lost the main purpose of their blogs by accepting advertisement propositions from big brands? What is your opinion on this matter?

Noru: (after a moment of reflexion) In south Korea, brands like to invite fashion/beauty bloggers to events like the launching of a new campaign, a new product, etc… And actually, that is a real dilemma for me because when a brand invites you to their events, they expect from you that you make a positive feedback of the event on your blog. It is a bit difficult for me to be 100% honest in my blog posts because when you are invited by a fashion brand, it is difficult to write an honest critic or make negative comments about the products or the campaign.



Me: But do you come across brands who will let you review their products in total honesty or never?

Noru: So basically, the general concept of a blog is that as a blogger you have a platform where you expose your style and talk about different topics that interest you. And people will come to your blog, read the content and if they like it, they will keep coming back. That way, you gain “reader loyalty” if we can express it like that. In South Korea, things are very different. We had a search engine called Naver that offer different kinds of online services and most Korean bloggers have their blogs on this platform. So Naver basically works with “key words”. So for your blog to be trendy and to attract readers, it has to contain trendy “key words” like popular brands, products, etc… So it is very difficult to refuse brands invitation to promote their product because if you are not able to give an outstanding personal signature to your blog, you have to work with the “key words” system. And most of the time, when brands contact us they provide us guidelines about how the article should be written and the words or aspects of the products we should emphasize on. So everything is pretty much controlled from the beginning by the brand and we just have to follow their guidance. It is almost impossible to refuse this kind of proposition. So, I am currently trying to surf on both aspects: stay free and have a decent financial gain from my blogging activity. But it is hard because if you want to stay free from the whole brands/bloggers relations, your level of notoriety will be considerably reduced. Actually, I have even thought about stopping the whole blogging stuff but I changed my mind because it would have been a waste.
Me: What about fun collaborations between bloggers like swap project, etc…?

Noru: No, it is not really like that here. Everybody kind of stay in his own lane and we only meet during bloggers event organized by brands. However, sometimes, we would gather and do an online sale of pieces from our dressing.

Me: Do you usually plan what you will post on your blog, like your outfit posts?

Noru: I don’t really plan my everyday outfit but yeah my blog outfit are pretty much planned. For instance, if I haven’t been posting for a while, I would usually meet with a fellow blogger friend and we would do a shooting together.


Me: What does Fashion symbolize for you?

Noru: for me, Fashion is simply fun. I don’t see myself as a person defined by what I wear. I like to play around with Fashion and trends and simply have the most fun possible while doing it (laughs).

Me: This question will be my last one. What are your plan for the future regarding your blog? Where do you see yourself in a few years with this blog?

Noru: My objective is that the virtual space that my Fashion blog is now, becomes a physical one. My blog’s name is Noru Salon and I would like to open a “salon” in real life and that could be under a café, a shop, etc… But having a Noru’s place in real life.


Special thanks to Noru. She is such a graceful and delightful person and it has been a pleasure to interview her. 
Also, many thanks to my friend Min for having accepted to go with me and help me with the translation part. This would have not been possible without him.
Stay inspired. xx


2 comments

  1. Such a great initiative to contact Noru. Thanks for sharing your lovely interview. I enjoyed reading it.x

    www.stephylately.com

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    1. Thanks a lot girl ! I am really happy that you enjoy the interview ! And Noru is such a talented blogger, I could not go to Seoul and not try to reach out. :)
      Thanks for stopping by again ! :)
      xx
      Olivia

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