Fashion Entrepreneur Podcast

Fashion Originators



Welcome to Fashion Originators, a podcast hosted by me, Stephanie Irwin. Every other week, I interview game-changing fashion entrepreneurs. Each episode, THEY share their wins, losses and wisdom – all to inspire your career and personal goals.

#MondayMentors: fashion creative Margaret Zhang

#MondayMentors: fashion creative Margaret Zhang

#MondayMentors - Margaret Zhang

Every week, I profile fashion industry figures I greatly admire (and share the latest episode of Fashion Originators — just in case ya missed it)!

While I made my disdain for most fashion bloggers last week (I’m sure they’re all great people — just boring content), there’s one exception to the rule — Margaret Zhang.

Although I’ve been a Zhang fan for quite a while, her name came up again in my mind thanks to an article on Net-A-Porter’s The Edit. Usually, I don’t pay close attention to these sorts of articles — as dressing like every fashion influencer on the planet isn’t that hard — thanks to Zara and their commonly basic dress-sense. However, I found myself taking notes on this article and remembering why I became a fan of Margaret in the first place.

Going all the way back to 2009, Zhang started a blog called Shine By Three. Spawning from that, Zhang was soon a multi-hyphenate photographer, creative director who works with global brands ranging from Chanel and Dior to UNIQLO. She has produced content for the likes of VOGUE and L’OFFICIEL (she specializes in online marketing) — and she even graduated from law school and spent 16 years studying ballet.

Instead of defining herself through her blog, Zhang has turned her 1 million+ Instagram followers into a career filled with incredible opportunities. Zhang, explaining to Teen Vogue, "I don’t see myself as that. Yes, I blog. But it’s what you make it—you can use it as a vehicle to get where you want to be."

While she’s only 25-years-old, I think there’s a lot to learn from Zhang…

  1. Study — a lot. You don’t really need a fashion degree! - I admit — it sounds incredibly intense doing ballet and studying law, as they’re two things that require intense discipline. However, it has clearly paid off for her. For me, I’ve had a similar sense of discipline drilled into me thanks to competitive horseback riding and my time at university as well. It’s reassuring that she has achieved so much through her natural talent, rather than requiring an expensive arts degree. I guess she proves that in a way, you can do without if you really, really want to.

  2. If something interests you - try it! - I love how she takes on so many roles. When you start a blog, I think you’re forced to do this to an extent. You’re the SEO specialist, the photographer, the writer the PR. Because of blogging, she unafraid of telling other people that she’s skilled in these areas, which is amazing!

  3. Support your home - Margaret always wears young Australian design talent, and I think this is incredibly important. Being from Canada, I relate to coming from a place where there’s a lot of fashion talent, but it’s challenging for those designers to be promoted from within their own country.

  4. Just start that blog already! Zhang proves how blogging forces you to show your work and skills, and how it can propel you to things you never thought possible.

That’s it for this week! I would love to know — what’s your favourite thing about Margaret Zhang? Is there anyone you think I should feature next week? You can share your thoughts with me on Instagram @fashionoriginatorspodcast.

In the meantime, be sure to check out the latest episode of Fashion Originators, where I share my fashion career (and life) goals for 2019:

#38: Build business and sustainability sense with fashion designer Patrick McDowell

#38: Build business and sustainability sense with fashion designer Patrick McDowell

#MondayMentors: British Fashion Critic, Sarah Mower MBE

#MondayMentors: British Fashion Critic, Sarah Mower MBE