(The Telegraph) As accolades go, ‘Sexist Cyber Star’ sounds like the biggest oxymoron since ‘ethical fashion’. When it’s bestowed by Victoria’s Secret, purveyor of all things steamy, however, it carries a little more weight. Elin Kling, Sweden’s most famous blogger, was the lucky recipient of this honour at the ‘What is Sexy?’ awards in May 2012. The ‘sexy’ part is obvious: the icy blonde bombshell is Swedish, a former model and has that laid-back, unruffled Scandi look down pat.
NowManifest garners 1.2 million unique users per month – an impressive figure that prompted Fairchild Fashion Media, the unit of Condé Nast that publishes WWD and Style.com, to acquire FNI in May. This is a big deal: bloggers once shunned by the print media are now Condé Nast stable mates. Kling clearly ‘gets’ the internet generation.
Kling also ‘gets’ fashion, despite rural beginnings on a farm in Mariestad, a small village in Sweden. Her childhood gave her the gift of chicken whispering – “one of my secret skills is that I can hypnotize chickens,” she maintains over email – but by the age of 22 she had moved to Stockholm and developed a knack for constructing and blogging minimalist outfits. In February 2011 she became the first blogger to design a collection for H&M: “When they asked me, it was almost too good to be true. I was involved in pretty much everything from the design, to print, to marketing. I wanted it to be perfect.”
Since then she has launched her own bi-monthly magazine, STYLEBY, where she is fashion editor and creative director. She’s appeared in ads for Net-a-porter and founded a fashion label, Nowhere , with close friend Nhu Doung, which she says was her attempt “to create a brand, available for everyone, with interesting design elements.” The cropped sweaters in glacial colours and body-con dresses with geometric hems are very Kling; she insists, though, that “it’s a mix of me and Nhu”.
Next up is a capsule collection for Guess by Marciano, launching in November 2012. Kling rifled through the Guess archives and cites Spanish bull fights as her main design inspiration. “I was looking through the iconic Guess campaigns with Paul [Marciano, CEO of Guess] and we both loved the Matadors. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I just got back from the campaign shoot in Palm Springs, and I’m so happy with how this project turned out.”
Marciano is similarly enthused: “She has style, she has personality, she’s sexy, but she’s also driven and engaged. She represents for me the perfect Guess girl who became the Guess by Marciano woman.”
But how would the Sexiest Cyber Star define ‘sexy’ herself? “Humour. No doubt.” One had better take that chicken hypnotism claim with a pinch of salt.