Fashion influencer Rima Vaidila is proving to be a modern-day Renaissance woman
Rima Vaidila wears many hats: she's an social media guru, a model, a creative director, a stylist, and a blogger. If you lost count, that's five different jobs under her belt. And while to many, this may seem like an incredibly daunting task list, for Rima, it's exactly the position she wants to be in, claiming, "For now, I'm going to try and do everything." And if anyone is up for the task, it's her.
Rima rose to social fame with her laid-back attitude, humor-infused blog posts, and most importantly, her refined minimalist aesthetic. On her Instagram account, you'll find a well curated visual diary featuring her fashion snaps, travel photographs, and even a sleek shot of a glass of green juice (or two). It's this very trained eye that has captivated more than 55,000 avid followers -- a number that continues to skyrocket. Consistency has been the key to her success. You'll always know what to expect when you visit her blog or her social media accounts: clean, fresh images that will take your sartorial inspirations to the next level.
So when it came down to this year's New York Fashion Week, it was no surprise we went straight to Rima herself, for her take on the industry. She's worked in almost every facet of the business, being a stylist for editorial shoots, the face of major campaigns, and also a street style star that emulates some of the season's biggest trends. To be frank, she's a modern-day fashion Renaissance woman.
Ahead, we talked exclusively to Rima to tell us her biggest fashion breakthrough moment, her personal sense of style, and more.
And if you want even more Rima Vaidila news, head over to AOL.com at 12 pm and 6 pm EST today for more exclusive videos, photos, and interviews!
How did you first get involved in the fashion industry?
I started as a model and I was scouted in Miami randomly when I was 16. I went to L.A. during my senior year for spring break and I signed with an agency there who asked me to move after I was done school. I was like, "Sure! Why not?" I was in an accelerated nerd program in high school, so I got my Associate's Degree really early. It's the reason why my parents were really open to the idea of me trying the L.A. scene for a year. I did that and modeled full-time. The first project I booked was an American Eagle campaign which was awesome and I realized how much I loved it and how fun it was. I was doing that for about two years until my parents -- who are very Type A -- asked me when I was going to finish my Bachelor's Degree. So then I went back to Florida and finished out the remaining year and a half I had, but I kept thinking that there was nothing left for me in Florida. In the meantime, I started my own blog. This was a way for me to show off my personal style outside of the modeling world where you're told what to wear and how to put on your makeup.
While I was in Florida, things really picked up. I was featured in Nasty Gal and ended up doing some pretty fun collaborations with people from Florida. And then I moved back to L.A. and ended up focusing more on the creative side of things. I still model, but not because I have any career aspirations, but because I think its fun. So when I moved back, I began to focus on my blog and tweak it. It's funny; when I go back in time and look at old photos, I just think to myself now, "What was I doing?!" They were just like iPhone photos and it just looked really hood.
Anyways, as I was developing my blog, I started doing social media work and freelance art directing for a brand in L.A. Then through everyone I've met through modeling, like photographers, stylists, makeup artists, I started to style and creative direct on my own. And that's what I ultimately want to do. But in the meantime, I'm going to take advantage of the fact that I can make awesome connections and meet great people through blogging and modeling.
So what would you consider your first big fashion moment you had in life?
That American Eagle campaign because I remember thinking that it was way better than anything I was doing in school or in Florida. It made me realize there was so much more out there.
You started in the industry at a pretty young age. How do you think your extensive exposure in the fashion world has influenced your aesthetic?
I think not having a traditional job background has allowed me to be more creative, since I don't have a baseline for how things are "supposed to be." It has given me a lot more creative freedom and I don't have standards in the back of my mind, or a basis of what I think looks good. It's definitely been a steady increase in terms of aesthetic, like I said, when I look at my old stuff I just think "Oh God!" And I kind of want to delete it but I have to realize that's where I came from.
You're really involved in a lot of different projects; you have modeling, social media, and creative directing work. How do you find a middle ground for all of these things?
Yeah, people always ask me that. I get a lot of "If you had to pick one, what would you do?" and creative directing for me is an ultimate goal. But for now, while I can, I'm going to try and do everything. Some months it's heavy with modeling since I'm booked for shoots, or it is more heavy in creative directing and social media. I enjoy all of the things I do and until I feel any differently, I will continue to do everything. I'll just figure it out as I go and try and find the perfect recipe to balance everything.
How did you come up with your blog name, 'Fire on the Head' -- it's so interesting!
I actually had red hair when I started so it made more sense. But it just stuck and also the woman that owns RimaRama.com will not sell it to me. I kind of just made up Rima Rama since before I had my Instagram handle as my full name but people misspell it so often, so I just kind of thought of it to make things easier. And it really just stuck. And now people call me Rima Rama in person.
What goes behind your average blog post?
Well, my boyfriend is a photographer, so it is really easy for us to go and shoot outfits. Usually, I try and shoot once a month since I don't have time to do it everyday, so I plan outfits, we go and shoot. I usually just change in a car -- nothing fancy. I've started to shoot in a studio too which makes things way easier in terms of changing. After the shoot, we'll go home and download all the photos and edit them. We put things together in folders and queue up blog posts, just because I like to get everything done ahead of time as far as possible. But it's really not glamorous.
How do you conceptualize your outfits? Do you base them off of trends you're seeing on the runway? Or do you gather your inspiration from somewhere else?
I'd say a little bit of everything. There's more of an influence from editorials. I love looking at Tumblr and all those websites that seem to post every editorial ever. I look through those a lot. In terms of outfits, because I'm a personal style blogger and because I try to keep things as authentic as possible, I do what I am feeling. I just think, "I'm digging this belt right now" so I decide I'm going to feature it. As far as sponsored posts go, it's always tough because I'd like to make money from this, but things that don't fit in with my personal style I have to pass on. I don't want to be a billboard for whoever is going to pay me. I like to think there's a little bit of planning, but really it's about choosing what's right for me at the time.
So what would you consider as your uniform?
Basics. Black and white, denim, leather leggings; items that are super simple and laid-back. I have so many pairs of jeans it's ridiculous. I really just love things that are super simple and easy.
YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases up-and-coming social stars. To see more of past interviews, click here. And come back at 12 pm EST for more exclusive Rima Vaidila features, including her take on NYFW.
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