Collabary Community: Influencer Q&A Sophie Van Daniels

We first met Sophie van Daniels at our Influencer Breakfast this year in May and her effortless grace and style captured our attention immediately. She is a freelance strategic consultant and the creative behind basicapparel.de. Read below to hear the inspiration and motivation behind her publication. Enjoy!

Collabary: You are a freelance creative; content creator, strategy consultant and style blogger. Tell us about how you came to be where you are today and why you started your blog?

Sophie: I will reveal one of the biggest secrets of mine for you: I had my first blog at the age of 13, but I wouldn’t tell anyone about it. Needless to say I deleted it around 6 months later and published around 3 blog posts. Sometimes I am sad that I don’t even remember the name of it and that it is lost somewhere in cyberspace forever. Then again, maybe that’s a good thing. Personal style was something I had been interested in for as long as I can think and even though I deleted my first blog I always wanted to have another go at it. When I left my hometown and moved to the Netherlands for university (on a site note: yours truly studied International Business) I figured it was a great time to give it another go as nobody knew me, yet. A blank page so to say. That’s how my journey with basicapparel.de started and it’s gone a far way; from a purely personal style blog to a style & travel blog.

Collabary: What is it that you strive to achieve with your blog and what makes it different from others on the internet right now?

Sophie: My blog is my safe haven. While content is being consumed faster and faster these days I like to take a step backwards and produce slow content. What I mean with that? Content that is still relevant in a year from now or in three years or even more than that. Tell a story, you know? I think we have forgotten to tell stories in 2018. That’s why trends do not play a big role on Basic Apparel. I want to tell a story, about style, about traveling and experiencing different cultures. I want people to stop for a minute or two and actually listen.

Collabary: What are your plans for Basic Apparel? Do you like to visualise your next steps and goals? What is your process?

Sophie: Basic Apparel is a place to tell stories. Right now it’s my own stories but in the future it will become a place for creatives to tell their visual stories. The visual component will always be crucial for Basic Apparel and that stories aren’t just based on trends. 2019 will be a year of much creative collaboration with amazing artists. Be prepared to see more of others and a little less of myself.

Collabary: What do you think is an important change happening in the fashion industry right now?

Sophie: Diet Prada is one of the most influential Instagram accounts in the industry right now. To a large extent she has helped spread the word about the 100% racist ad by Dolce & Gabbana. Which felt like a slap in the face btw – it’s 2018 guys HOW COULD YOU THINK THIS WOULD BE OKAY? They have seriously damaged the brand and it is empowering to see that a whole nation stood up and blacklist a house like Dolce & Gabbana. But it’s not only racism that hasn’t been discussed enough in previous years; sexual assault is something seemingly normal in the industry, too. So when Gosha is being accused of being a child molester nobody is actually surprised anymore. It’s sickening how not even news worthy those headlines feel today. So many old structures that foster racism and sexual assault will have to change in the upcoming years and there is plenty of work to do but starting the conversation about it, like Diet Prada is doing, is the first step in the right direction.

Collabary: How often do you use the Collabary platform? What is the value in our community and technology for you?

Sophie: I truly enjoy reading the guest writer features on the Collabary Blog – it’s important to read other people’s stories and I love that Collabary is giving artists a platform to tell those [stories]. On a technology side of things, the platform is great for me as I get all the important stats concerning my profile. On top of all that I get to work with great brands.

Collabary: How do you maintain a unique style when working with a number of brands?

Sophie: I am in the very luxurious position that I am not a full time blogger/influencer. Instead, I also work as a freelance strategy consultant and content creator, which means I don’t have to solely depend on brand collaborations. That being said I am very picky with which brands I work with. A perfect brand fit is crucial for any collaboration. If I am already having doubts on how to visualize a project I usually know it’s just not the right brand for me or sometimes it might not be the right product. But when I do work with brands I will try and pour a little of myself into each and every collaboration – that’s the only way to stay true to yourself and transport a unique style.

Collabary: What do you think is the most valuable thing that an influencer can give their loyal followers?

Sophie: Honesty. I know that nobody is honest on social media since each and everyone is just presenting the best side of themselves. But at least try and be honest about it. Don’t try to copy someone else, don’t try to be something you are not. Just do what you are passionate about and stick to that because that’s what’s gonna make you happy and I believe that’s what your loyal followers will appreciate most.

Collabary: Who is someone you’d love to have coffee with?

Sophie: My mum. I would choose my mum over any influential person since she has taught me so many life lessons. I would have never taken the path I am on right now if it wasn’t for her. She has always believed in me, more than I have ever had the courage to. Plus, she is the most fun and entertaining person to have coffee with!

Thank you Sophie for bringing us in to your world! If you want to read more from her on Basic Apparel, click here.

👋🏼 Ciao!