Catherine, in London

When it comes to fashion everyone has an opinion, but there is only one ‘Fashion Critic’ and her website Red Carpet Fashion Awards is a daily must-read for fashion’s elite. In four short years, CATHERINE KALLON has combined her professional skills in advertising and her encyclopedic knowledge of fashion into what Time magazine called “one of the best blogs of 2011”. And Time is not alone in their enthusiastic opinion, Red Carpet Fashion Awards was also named one of the most influential British fashion blogs by the Telegraph and Catherine, a former model, has been featured in VogueVogue ItaliaMarie Claire UK, Net-a-Porter and other publications around the world.

Catherine’s love for fashion started as a child watching her mother get dressed and upon graduating college she applied for dream jobs at Elle and Vogue to no avail. However, instead of giving up, Catherine continued to study fashion and started Red Carpet Fashion Awards out of her passion for the glamour and glitz of the red carpet. But then something magical happened, Catherine noticed the response she was getting and as readership continued to grow she realized that she was onto something big. In 2009, Catherine decided to blog full-time and since its inception, Red Carpet Fashion Awards has covered every major red carpet event from the Oscars to the Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards. And now with Catherine firmly ensconced as a fashion insider, she covers the major shows during fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris often scooping traditional fashion media with her swift reporting of runway trends and reviews.

Catherine is that rare blogger who tells you straight away that she is not interested in fame, but only in producing the most informative and inspirational fashion resource on the Internet. And to prove it, in one of life’s twists of fate, Catherine was asked recently if she were offered her dream job now at Elle or Vogue would she take it and her response was simply “probably not” because thanks to her unwavering work ethic, fortitude and perseverance she has proudly created her dream job on her own.

I read Red Carpet Fashion Awards because of Catherine. I like her style and I respect that her fashion critiques are always based on substance and her knowledge of fashion. Catherine doesn’t disparage a person’s age or weight or their personal drama. For her, it’s all about the clothes and for fashion addicts that’s all that matters. Needless to say, I am thrilled to present my interview with the one and only ‘Fashion Critic’, Ms. Catherine Kallon.

Describe your first fashion “goosebumps” moment.
There have been so many, Yolanda, it’s impossible to single out one moment.

How did your love of fashion begin?
From watching my mother.

Red Carpet Fashion Awards is increasingly influential, but it didn’t happen overnight, what’s the secret to your success?
To be successful, you have to work hard, focus on yourself and your goals, and don’t assume that you will be joining the ranks to be the next Bryan Boy. Marc Jacobs will not name a bag after you because it’s already been done.

I believe that your forthright commentaries play a vital role in your success, so do you ever worry about offending someone?
No, because my goal is not to offend. I comment on how I see it.

Do you ever receive disapproving emails?
I’ve only received one.

And how did you handle it?
I simply explained to the person that it was my opinion and that my opinion was not necessarily shared by all.

Catherine’s feature in U.S. Vogue

Describe a typical day at the RCFA . I’m assuming it’s not 9-5?
No, it’s not. I get up at 7am. I get washed and dressed as if I’m going to an office sans make-up. First, I scan all the photo agencies starting with Getty to see what happened the night before. Then I start writing the posts in order of importance or location. For example, European events get posted first as European readers are currently viewing the site. I have lunch around 2pm or 3pm, then I double back to the photo agencies to see if any new events have come in from the U.S.

This year you launched two new features: beauty and menswear. Do you feel pressure to innovate and expand the RCFA brand?
No, I don’t feel pressure. I just realized that people were interested in both. And they will make Red Carpet Fashion Awards stronger.

What would be a dream collaboration for RCFA?
Collaborations are not my goal. My goals are to increase traffic and increase revenue.

I love the story about you standing at a fashion show when Net-a-Porter founder, Natalie Massenet walked over and found you a seat. Was that the moment when you knew that you had arrived?
No. It was the moment when I realized that Natalie had alot of respect for me as a blogger and as a human being. Natalie has been a great influence and inspiration. Fashion can be an ugly and catty industry. Natalie carries herself with such dignity. She was the only woman in that room who would do that. Bloggers are often looked down upon, but Natalie understands our value.

A Gorgeous Beach in Thailand

Name one unforgettable place you’ve traveled to.
Thailand. It’s one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Name one place you’d like to see before you die.
Sierra Leone. My mother’s birthplace.

The world will be heading to London next year for the Olympics, so tell us, what should we see and do?
Vintage shopping on Brick Lane, a spin on the London Eye and Big Ben.

You’ve said that your style icons are Cate Blanchett and Iman. What is it about their personal style that resonates with you?
Confidence. Fearlessness. And style that oozes from within.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A drama-free life.

Name a song that takes you someplace special when you hear it.
Any 80s Michael Jackson or any Whitney Houston song. They remind me of my childhood and dancing around my living room.

One word…

What advice do you have for younger women?
Never give up on your dreams. I always wanted to work in fashion, but the industry rejected me. So, I created my own blog and now I am further along in my career than I would be at any magazine or fashion house.

If you’re asked to write your memoirs, what will the title be?
You Can Do It On Your Own.

Interviewed November 2011 by Yolanda, editor of Zavvi Rodaine
© Zavvi 2011. No part of this interview may be used or reproduced in any manner without the express written consent of the Editor of Zavvi
Photos: Vogue/Wayne Tippetts

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