Fashion blogger Rumi Neely, whose blog Fashion Toast receive 5.5 million hits monthly, can officially add "designer" to her resume. The Los Angeles-based social media phenom is launching Are You Am I, a line of luxury basics, ranging from lingerie-inspired slips to barely-there shorts.
"Blogging gave me access to the fashion world that I had only dreamed about having, and has done so much for training my eye," says Neely, who initially launched her blog alongside her eBay vintage store, Treasure Chest Vintage, in 2008. "The things I look out for when looking at clothes are so crazily specific now that it really was a very natural thing to start conceptualizing my own line."
Neely’s influences for the line run the gamut, from Japanese fashion magazines to "scruffy French actresses," she says, as well as her own native Southern California. "L.A. gets such a bad rap for basically not even caring about fashion but that's completely not my perspective. I love the laid back feeling, the emphasis on dressing down just makes it more important to really have that perfect t-shirt or pajama-ish short. I've lived in a few different parts of California and they've really all had a part in influencing my normal." Personal favorites from the line include the Kaede shorts ($280), the Zillah slipdress ($300) just cause it's hot, and the Ceven tank ("It's the easiest thing to just throw on and I love the low-cut sides," the blogger notes of the $90 piece).
Prior to launching Are You Am I, Neely has already cut her fashion teeth in collaborations with lines including The Reformation and Dannijo, and in modeling campaigns for Free People, RVCA and Forever 21. Made in downtown Los Angeles, the brand — which Neely has slowly revealed on her Instagram — will be sold at The Grove in Los Angeles as part of a holiday pop-up in collaboration with Revolve Clothing, just in time for the holidays. As to what’s topping Neely’s own wish list this season? A Tracey Anderson membership, an espresso machine, "and more rain in L.A. Droughts suck!"