Black Blogger Month: The Fashion Bomb, Creating New Threads

Claire Sulmers transforms her passion for fashion into a international blog for women of color

Fashion Bomb founder Claire Sulmers putting on lipstick in a fur

Claire Sulmers, always camera ready (Image: Subject)

In August 2006, journalist Claire Sulmers took her passion for fashion and created The Fashion Bomb, a blog delivering daily doses of savvy style featuring women of color. Filling a void in the market, she uses her background in media and flair for trend-spotting to provide insights on celebrity fashion, international industry events, and highlights everyday women who share her love for all that’s fabulous, unique, and in style.

The end result is a site that garners more than 127,700 unique visitors a month, and has been recognized by media giants like Teen Vogue, Upscale and Uptown. Sulmers stays true to her journalistic roots as a weekly contributor to Italian Vogue and touted as a style expert for the likes of the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine and Elle Canada. With a dedicated yet small staff at her disposal and bases of operations in New York and Paris, Sulmers makes a worthy addition to Black Enterprise.com’s first annual Black Blogger Month and explains how she got the Fashion Bomb to blow up.

The Fashion Bomb stands out because…

It focuses on a very specific target and demographic: fashion for women of color. And instead of just focusing on celebrities, it tries to relay information about the fashion and beauty industry at large so people have a 360-view of everything in fashion and how it relates to them. General fashion Websites weren’t reporting on Nicki Minaj and her inventive wigs and outfits until she became a certified star. Nicki’s been on our radar since she burst on the scene. That’s just one example of what sets us apart. And we provide info on what they’re wearing, what’s hot on the runway, and what’s hot on the streets.

I knew my blog was a business when…

The site kept shutting down because of so much traffic.

The biggest mistake I ever made in business was…

The Fashion Bomb logo

Sulmers' Fashion Bomb

Not buying my URL. I started my blog in 2006, and didn’t think about buying my URL until six months after I started it. By then, the URL was already taken, and the owner was asking for exorbitant amounts of money for me to purchase it. Google is my friend in that if you Google the name of my blog, the correct URL shows up first in the search results. I’ve always made pains to bone up on my SEO [Search Engine Optimization] so people can easily find me and what they need on my Website.

I created features specific to my blog because…

It just made sense. “Fashion Bombshell of the Day” came about because when I moved to Paris, I was having a hard time keeping my “Real Style” category going because I couldn’t find enough subjects for every day. So, I decided to ask readers to send in their pictures. Surprisingly, it’s become one of our most popular topics… Other categories, such as “Breaking into Fashion,” were created to provide readers with resources to excel in their careers if they choose to work in the industry. “My Favorite Things” was created to find out what some of our favorite celebrities keep in their closets/makeup bags. And “Snapshot” was created to highlight editorials and ad campaigns featuring men and women of color.

Networking has helped me to…

Make new friends and be offered amazing opportunities. Because of my relationships with bigger sites, I’ve been able to guest blog for them and get links back to relevant stories. The YBF put me on the map because that was the first blog that ever endorsed my site by allowing me to guest blog, and linked back to me. A lot of my readers have come my way thanks to links from YBF, Necole Bitchie, Concrete Loop, and Media Takeout.

My biggest influences are…

Seeing the growth of sites like Necole Bitchie, TheYBF.com, and Concrete Loop… Those bloggers are dedicated to their craft and give their best no matter what. I’m also influenced by fashion journalists like Suzy Menkes, Andre Leon Talley, and Robin Givhan. They’re painfully smart, and find a way to speak intelligently about something most people think is frivolous. Lastly, I love reading about great fashion designers like Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent—their history is inspiring.

Personal style is essential for feeling your best because…

How you dress communicates to others what you like, what you do, how you feel, and what you’re all about. It’s a window into someone’s personality—how comfortable they feel about their body, and how elevated their mood.

Never buy anything that makes you…

Bankrupt!

Be sure to check out the rest of the digital thought leaders as they’re revealed each day by logging on to BlackEnterprise.com/BlackBloggerMonth.


Videographer: Melissa Johnson; Video shot on location at The Inn at Irving Place & Lady Mendel’s, New York City

ACROSS THE WEB
  • Angelina Jolie###

    the inclusion! Yes, definite

    acknowledgement to all the women of color in

    technology. There’s plenty of us, but our media

    usually gives so much attention to the athletes,

    singers and actresses who deserve recognition, but it’

    s nice to see a balance. Thank you
    A wide range of Australian made UGG Boots and

    sheepskin leather products.

  • Pingback: My Sista’s Business…..Claire Sulmers | The Evolution!