Margaret Zhang is something of a wunderkind in the fashion industry.
At the tender age of 22, the Aussie law/commerce student/ super blogger has built one of the most high profile fashion sites in the world ShineByThree.com, and is a regular on the international runway circuit.
Aside from her humble attitude and impeccably cool style, what makes Zhang stand out in the crowded blogging space is her sense of ethics.
In a new interview with The Morning Show today, Zhang confessed she makes no money from her social media posts, instead preferring to show her reader a genuine sense of style.
Margaret Zhang. Photo: ShineByThree.com
“There was never a commercial goal from the beginning,” explained Zhang, adding that she’d started her website at 16 simply as a means to express herself. “I have a very particular view on this. There’s been a lot of stuff in the press about journalistic ethics in terms of accepting cash for comment. I don’t actually make money from any of my Instagram posts or any of my social media accounts. I don’t have advertising on my website. I use it simply as a means to express my thoughts without being clouded by any kind of monetary reward.”
Considering many bloggers are raking in money from their social media accounts, Zhang’s admission is a clear message to brands and readers that her posts are 100% genuine – and perhaps the reason she’s just been named one of the top 20 most influential bloggers in the world.
“I receive things from people as thank you's for the work that I’ve done, but people stop trying to send me things when they realise I’m not going to post it,” Zhang explained.
Instead, Zhang relies on commercial work for her income, taking jobs with the likes of Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton.
“It’s all about relationships,” says Zhang. “The conversation is always happening and then one day they trust you enough to ask you to work with them.
“It’s also less about what I look like. Everyone knew that I was in university while I was working. Everyone knows that my week usually looks different from photoshoots behind the camera or in front of it,” said Zhang.
And as for her advice to aspiring fashion bloggers?
“I usually tell them, 'girlfriend, you need bigger goals in life',” Zhang said with a laugh. “You need to look for your skill set and what your passion is and use these platform as a vehicle for communicating that. Then the rest will follow. But it’s not the end game.”