Chic Report

YouTube Star Connor Franta’s Fashion Foray

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Internet personality, writer, and entrepreneur Connor Franta now has a capsule collection with Junk Food, featuring T-shirts and totes for men and women in-store and online. The 22-year-old YouTube vlogger (he’s got over 4 million subscribers!) chatted with your Daily…

How did you start posting YouTube videos in the first place?
I was watching musicals and was an avid YouTube watcher for awhile. I started viewing content from creators who were posting daily or weekly and creating these blogs, which was such a new form of media at the time. I became obsessed, and after viewing them for about three years or so, I got the guts and the courage to post some of my own. I posted my first on August 21, 2010, and ever since then, I’ve been posting every single day.

What kind of content do you post?
I’m fortunate to be able to post whatever I want. I don’t really have a niche, per se.. I consider myself a blogger, so I usually post content that surrounds what’s going on in my life: everything from a travel video of what I did in Australia to clothes I bought recently. I’ll even post a creative, arty video that involves a poem that I wrote. So it’s really whatever I’m feeling that week.

How long does it take to produce a video?
After I come up with a concept, which can take weeks or minutes, it takes me about 30 minutes to film, three to six hours to edit, and then I spend the whole week promoting it. It’s a pretty full-time thing. A lot of people think you can quickly whip it up and it’s done, but because of social media, I always have to be interactive with my followers to make sure they’re aware that my videos are up and so I can get their feedback. It’s a 24/7 job. I call them my ‘friends and family’ because we talk so often. I’ll frequently go to meet-ups and recognize them because we’ve interacted so much, so I’ll know who they are. It’s like long lost friends who have met!

What’s it like to have grown up in Minnesota and now live in L.A.?
I’ve lived in L.A. for about two years now. Everything’s different about it. I grew up in a town with about 4,500 people in it. There’s so much more opportunity here for me, and it’s obviously more accessible to go to meetings with different people and brands in the industry.

Where do you go for fun in L.A.?
You know, I’m quite the homebody. I’m an introvert, so if I’m not at home, I like to go out to lunch at a local café or get  coffee with a friend. I also really like going to the movies, and sometimes I’ll take a hike.

How did your capsule collection with Junk Food come about?
I feel very fortunate to have been connected with such a cool brand with great products. From designing the clothes to putting them in stores, I thought it was such a smooth process; I’d love to work further with them. I have my own merchandise store for my YouTube channel, but it doesn’t really have to do with me. It’s more about what I’m interested in. This was the first time I had product in a store or on a legit website. It’s definitely something I’ve wanted to do for so long. I was really excited when it was finally in stores.

The clothes feature a lot of graphic images. Did you come up with these?
Yeah, I did. With this capsule, we wanted to tie in my personal brand and interests and tastes so it reflected me. I like cats, so we made a really cool cat design. One of my phrases that I use is ‘Internet kids never sleep’, so we made a design with the phrase around it. I also really like art and design, so I took this picture of the ocean and distorted it so it almost looks like a broken television. And then I also like geometric symmetry, so I created a heart out of geometric lines.

Has fashion always been important to you?
It was initially more of an acquired taste than a passion, because growing up in Minnesota, fashion wasn’t of interest to most people, especially a teenage boy. Once I became more comfortable with being artistic and creative, I started wanting to be the same with my everyday person and what I wear. Clothes say a lot about you, and I got more into playing with that as I got older and became more comfortable with who I was as a person. It’s really fun to wear cool clothes and experiment with the canvas that is your body.

Is going more towards the fashion route what you plan on doing?
Right now, a lot of ends are open in my life, so I can go down a lot of paths. I’m doing stuff in the music industry; I have a quarterly compilation series where I pull my favorite songs from artists who I’ve discovered. It would be fun to do something where my collection would be in stores across America. That would be incredible.

What’s your favorite junk food?
I have a weird love for plain, salty, greasy potato chips. They just always sound really good to me. I’m in California now, so I better stay away and get some kale chips!

How does it feel to be a 22-year-old New York Times best-selling author?
It’s absolutely incredible. My book, A Work In Progress, has been taken so well. People are really enjoying it, so I couldn’t ask for a better turn out to all of the feedback I’m getting on review sites. It’s way bigger and better than I thought it would ever be.

Who are you following on Instagram?
I’m kind of an Instagram snob, to be honest. I follow a lot of photography accounts. Instagram’s my favorite form of social media because it’s where I feel most creative and I really try to use it for its purpose, which is to post really cool photos. I’ve actually made a lot of friends through Instagram. If I’m in Seattle, for example, I’ll be like, ‘Let’s meet up!’ So we’ll grab a cup of coffee or take some photos, it’s fun. When I was in New York last I got together with one of my favorite Instagram accounts, @ImTheJam. I’m also excited to meet up with my Instagram friend @Withhearts when he comes to LA in a couple of weeks. It’s actually kind of weird, even for me, to have friends like this, but it’s cool too.

What do your friends from home think of all of this?
They initially thought it was the strangest thing! They think it’s weird when people come up to me in public, and they’ll be like, ‘I don’t get it!’ But I’ve been fortunate enough to never have anyone bully me or discourage me from posting content. Everyone’s mostly been really supportive, and my friends are no different.

PLUS! Some of our favorite shots from Connor’s Instagram!

 

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