Two weeks ago I attended The Set NYC’s – FNO event. I had a great time and also met some cool people, a few of which were photographed for that blog post. One of those really cool people was none other than, Alana Garcia from the lifestyle blog YUP NYC.
Alana’s style immediately stood out to me, because it had attitude, edge, yest classic cool and a bit of chic all at the same time. Alana and her boyfriend complimented each other’s looks perfectly and I think that’s also what stood out to me when looking for people to photograph.
I was recently able to catch up with Alana, who had been under the weather but kind enough to do an interview and answer a few questions. Get to know Alana a.k.a YUP NYC a little better…Read on and find out why a barefoot Rihanna is someone she admires and why she wants Vashtie’s life!
What did you eat before this interview?
AG: Cheetos Hot Puffs.
What three items would you never leave home without?
AG: My cell phone, hand sanitizer, and metro card.
What’s your personal space personality: Hugs, Handshakes, or “Don’t touch me”?
AG: I’m pretty big on hugs.
Describe yourself using 4 words
AG: Chill, ambitious, optimistic, and welcoming.
Describe what you are wearing right this moment...
AG: My usual all black NY attire: black skirt, black sheer tank, black Nike sports bra, and my black roshes.
How do you define your personal style?
AG: My personal style is what I like to call “streetwear femm” because I love tomboyish and masculine styles but I like to put a feminine twist to everything I wear.
VF: When did you fall in love with fashion/ (or other related area)?
AG: The fashion bug bit me later in life. I always liked fashion but I never loved fashion until I moved to New York — partially because back home, fashion wasn’t a priority in my family. Once I had the money, I began to invest more into myself. I actually started YUPNYC as a creative outlet to document my fashion journey into “corporate America” attire but I quickly learned that this blog actually helped me to find my own personal style and taught me how to express myself through my clothes. So after a couple of months into my blog and being surrounded by fashionable New Yorkers, I began to develop a deep love and appreciation for fashion.
Do you have any favorite fashion designer?
AG: Overall Fashion: I love love loooove Alexander Wang. I think he’s a genius and an innovator. He listens to the consumers and takes risk i.e he incorporated and welcomed streetwear styles onto the runways, especially for women.
What type of music are you currently into/listening to? Does music inspire you? How so?
AG: I loooove music and I normally feature new and upcoming artists on my blog BUT I’m a music snob, meaning I prefer to listen to r&b, rap, hip hop, & old school funk. Music inspires me because music is a lifestyle. Each genre depicts a specific style that’s attached to the moods given by the music. When I go to Coachella, I get my bohemian on. When I go to Made in America, I get my streetwear swag on.
Where does your personal inspiration come from?
AG: My personal inspirations come from my parents. They moved here from a 3rd world country to give their kids a better life and they really sacrificed a lot for us (leaving their families, careers, and their lifestyle). They’re ambition, tenacity, and selflessness are very admirable. It’s a constant reminder that I can’t complain about anything and if I want to be successful, like they are, I need to get my ducks in a row, sacrifice a lot of things, be committed, and work hard.
Who do you admire, or who inspires you within the art/performance/fashion world (dead or alive)?
Rihanna really inspires me in the fashion world because she doesn’t give a f*ck what other people think about her. She wears what she wants and when she wants. She even walked barefooted around the streets of NY! Rihanna is fearless. She taught me that confidence is key and it’s really not about the outfit, it’s about the person who’s wearing it.
Who is your style crush? (celebrity or regular person)
AG: My style crush is Solange Knowles and Rihanna. The two aren’t afraid to take risk and they dress for themselves and not for the media. Both experiment with masculine styles (which I love) and they’re bold, bad, and beautiful.
How did you get into blogging?
AG: I got into this business by blogging and making connections at events, Instagram and Twitter. I also gained a lot of experience working for Conde Nast with fashion gurus and editors constantly surrounded me.
Tell us about your approach to blogging, what’s been working well for you?
AG: I don’t have any new ventures because I really want to concentrate on building my audience. I would have to say that a goal I have would be to put myself out there more and contact brands (upcoming and established) to build a relationship with them. For example, I found Reverie New York on Instagram and I love their products so I contacted the designer to see if there were any blogging opportunities to help promote the brand. In return, the designer sent me clothes and I took my OOTDs, which actually was featured on OOTD Submit Instagram page, generating over 6K likes. From there on, the designer invited me to her fashion show (which is where I met you J) and now her and I are discussing future collaborations.
If you could work with/interview any celebrity/artist/designer… who would it be? Why?
AG: I would love to work/interview Vashtie (designer, video director, DJ and more). Her hustle is unreal! Besides being the first woman to design a pair of Nike Jordan shoes, she has worked with numerous musicians, been on the cover of countless magazines, and created her own collection with Puma. She’s constantly on her grind and she’s super passionate about her work. She knows that’s how it works in the industry and she puts her blood, sweat, and tears in everything that she does. I actually really want HER life.
Where do you see yourself/your blog in 5 years?
AG: Hopefully working full-time for my blog. It would be my dream to travel and cover fashion and music around the world.
What is your favorite quote or what is a statement/mantra you try to live by?
AG: “Everything happens for a reason.” I’m a strong believer in that. As embarrassing and hard as it was to make this blog, I’m happy that I did because I really found myself through the process. I feel very vulnerable putting myself in the digital and social media space—I mean, social media is scary—but if I never created this blog, I wouldn’t have had these amazing opportunities, i.e going to the fashion show and meeting you!