Button: Pride 2020

Rumi Neely’s Next Career Move Is Pretty Badass

Photo: Courtesy of Are You Am I

If yesterday’s news of the shuttering of NowManifest left you
curious about what this group of famous bloggers was going to do without
its Condé Nast-backed platform, we have an answer — for one of them, at
least. Rumi Neely of The Fashion Toast has already announced her next move: Fashionista reports she'll be focusing on her fashion line, Are You Am I, which she launched in December. And, while the 31-year-old stands out for her signature West Coast style, her transition from web to retail is noteworthy for a totally separate reason.

Neely's following in the footsteps of fellow bloggers-turned-designers like Chiara Ferragni (whose shoe line has become a multi-million dollar business). The main difference? While Ferragni partnered with outside investors, Neely's Are You Am I is entirely self-funded and produced locally in downtown L.A. She designs the clothes and has a small team of a pattern-maker, a technical designer, and an assistant to pull it together.  The debut collection of 11 pieces includes elevated basics, like silk camisoles and slip dresses, and tissue-thin tees. At prices ranging from $90 (for a T-shirt) to $380 (for a leather miniskirt), these minimalist staples definitely don't come cheap. But, with a Manhattan brick-and-mortar location in the works, as well as a contract with the L.A. boutique Satine, Neely's betting that her fans will be willing to shell out. And, as Fashionista suggests, she stands a good chance of being right.
She's been honing her aesthetic since she first launched The Fashion Toast in 2007, as part of the first wave of fashion blogs. Since then, Neely has built up a loyal online following and, perhaps most notably, provided the formula for the next generation (think WeWoreWhat and Song of Style) thanks to her aspirational magazine-editorial inspired imagery. Converting her fans to retail consumers is a natural — and hopefully successful — next step. “I felt like it was time to do something different. To use my audience to show my very specific angle," she tells Fashionista. Don't worry about Fashion Toast going stale — she say it'll still remain updated. (Fashionista)

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