I have been following personal style blog Sea of Shoes for the past four or five years now and I will admit that although Jane Aldridge’s, the founder and blogger, creative wardrobe and fiery red hair makes me jealous beyond comprehension I’ve always wondered more about her life and how she affords vintage Chanel and Prada. The blog launched in 2007 when she was just a young high schooler growing up in Texas documenting her one day a week casual outfits on her blog. I’ve never had to wear a uniform so I can imagine it had to be hard and only getting one day a week to experiment with style and clothes probably was hard. Fast forward five years later and she has had her own shoe collection with Urban Outfitters, many major fashion magazine interviews and editorial shoots under her belt.
She mixes her quirky high-end fashion pieces with vintage finds (still high-end nonetheless) and has her mom, Judy, take pictures of her from her bedroom to the fairytale forest in her old Dallas backyard. I admit part of the reason why I read her short blog pieces each week is purely to view the artistically taken pictures of her oddly paired outfit pieces. I will say however, that most of the clothes are so expensive that I could only dream of wearing let alone owning them myself.
Now on to the “ControverSea,” dubbed by fashion news website Fashionista, at hand. In both articles by NY Mag and Texas Monthly Aldridge is portrayed as an obnoxious, overbearing, somewhat snarky fashionista. While she agrees that the profile by Texas Monthly was for the most part “flattering,” she claims that it was “grossly exaggerated and extremely stylized.” Texas Monthly writer Jason Sheeler starts out the article with the quote, “My hands are covered in gold glitter. It is obviously expensive glitter–softer, shinier, and a much deeper yellow than the stuff I remember from second grade. The source is a pair of short $750 Mui Mui boots. The owner of these boots is twenty-year-old style blogger Jane Aldridge.” That quote right there starts the article off on a tone that most people reading it probably weren’t expecting, I know I wasn’t. He continues on saying that she talked to him throughout the photo-shoot in a “mean-girl tone with proprietary bossiness.” Obviously when we read these personal style blogs most of us just enjoy fashion and looking at pictures of these of the moment “it girls” in their expensive frocks but it forces a question from me: how can we relate to these girls when the clothes they wear each day are more expensive than a month’s rent for a one-bedroom, six floor walk-up apartment in New York City?
It was obvious upon reading her blog each week over the past years that she had money. Her blog was tailored around the expensive clothes she wore daily, high-end thrift store finds, not your average Goodwill finds on some other style blogs. That was some of the appeal of it for me as a fashion lover and enthusiast though. I never knew just how much money goes into the blog though until reading this article. Sheeler revealed that Jane’s father, Bryan, estimates that the initial investment in the blog runs “several hundred thousand dollars,” and mostly in just shoes. However, her mother estimates it was closer to $70,000. Either way, that is an insane amount of money for a fashion blog. Not only is that amount of money surprising to me but her appearance fees can go as high as $20,000 and sponsored posts on the blog can go for as high as $5,000. If this is the case, I need to get on the same bandwagon she’s on and start making some money.
In the end, Sheeler stands by his original article stating that each and every fact and quote was fact-checked by Jane and Judy themselves. In-fact, the article was posted on March 21 and Jane never said anything to Sheeler in person or any other ways telling him of her distaste for the article. It wasn’t even until April 5 that she posted her rebuttal of the story. Since her blog post, Sheeler has written another article standing by his original piece, even going into detail about the first time he met the teenager at a party smoking a Marlboro Light outside. I actually highly recommend you read the article if this post sparked your fancy even a little bit because it was quite interesting. He even adds that he wanted to show a “sophisticated young woman with discriminating taste who is unquestionably in charge of her future.” Whether he did that or not, I guess only people close to the style blogger know that answer.