Watch - c/o TKO, Hat - c/o Romwe, Ombre Jeans - c/o Oasap, Tennis Shoes - secondhand via Crossroads, Tee Shirt - Kill City (worn inside out)
Here in the great and wonderful world of blogging, there's a lot of product gifting that goes on. Now, I don't personally mind product gifting. I've discovered a lot of companies that I love by seeing their products gifted to bloggers I follow. As long as a blogger stays true to their own interests, I think it's a great way to connect apparel and accessory companies with people who might like what they do. I personally have a "content can't be bought" rule on this blog, which just means that someone can send me something if they fancy, and I'll decide whether or not I want to wear it, but nobody can ever pay for me to feature an item in my blog post and nobody can ever pay for the words I type out here in this little box. See, it's my own slice of web, and I like to keep it as Madeline-y as possible.
Product gifting is usually handled one of two ways: either by the company itself or by a third party company or person or group that serves as a liaison matching products with the appropriate bloggers for show-and-tell. Now, usually, anything that falls in that latter category is deeply impersonal -- we're talking mass emails with the greeting line all "HEY GIIIIIRL!" sent out to any blogger whose email address they can get ahold of. It's a bit irritating, and -- in my humble opinion -- a bit dishonest, because it's not going to be effective for the company the liaison represents, so it seems unfair for them to be soliciting money from companies for these types of blanket mass impersonal email campaigns.
An exception to that rule is a really great girl I work with over at a group called Bollare named Kristen Lam. It's great to see someone who really puts the time and energy in to be good at their job, and lemme tell ya, Kristen is the best. I look forward to emails from her because they are personal and sincere, and always right up my alley. When she emailed me about featuring TKO watches on my blog, it was like another half of my brain talkin' to me. "I know watches aren't really your thing, but I feel like these watches might be!" Attached were photos of this watch in black and white, and girl was right -- I fell in love. With nearly everyone carrying around a cell phone, watches have kind of been made obsolete as a form of function. Now they are just kind of an extension of jewelry, purely aesthetic, and I suppose I'd never really seen a watch that I wanted to wear just because it looks cool. But when this watch came in the mail, I was dyin' over it -- self-conscious and funny so it didn't take itself too seriously, yet still remarkably well-made as though maybe it was serious after all. I appreciate that kind of juxtaposition in design, and I'm sincerely appreciative of Kristen reaching out to me on behalf of TKO to set me up with such a rad, well-designed product to share with you guys.