Better Know A Blogger: Jim Joquico of La Moda Dubai

By Amanda Rushforth

Blogging attracts all sorts, from your food fanatic who’s pictures look a little bit too photoshopped, to your serial selfie-r who prefers to let everyone know what they had for lunch via Instagram. Occasionally you come across a page that’s worth refreshing… We like to check out our bloggers backgrounds before delving into the realm’s of someone else’s online opinions, so we thought we’d chat to the editors behind Dubai’s fashion savvy portal, La Moda Dubai.

La Moda is on a self professed “mission to popularise fashion awareness in the Middle East. As everyone swims in an ocean of uniform national dresses, residents of Gulf countries face a daily challenge of expressing their own personality the best way that they can while still managing to agree with the harsh weather conditions of the desert.”

“It may be hot out here, but people still have to be fashionable – and be fashionable they will.”

We talk to the creator behind this stylish site:

Tell us a little about you?
Jim Joquico: I am the founder and one of the editors of La Moda Dubai, an online fashion portal that launched in the UAE in 2010. I am also a contributor and guest writer to various fashion and lifestyle publications including EDGAR Middle East, Velvet and Arabian Woman.

How did you become interested in fashion?
I have always found fashion as a fascinating thing. It’s a finicky subject, and no one ever stays on top of the game. We have new it girls, it bags, it everything every season, basically a whole new clean slate every three months. This is what has always drawn me to it from the very beginning.

What inspires you and your style?
I am inspired by a lot of things, from something as profound as an emerging subculture to something mundane, like an interesting piece of fabric.

Your favourite designer and why?
Rick Owens is my favourite menswear designer. His work has this very underground, non-commercial feel to it, which lets you know then and there that you won’t face the problem of running into someone wearing the exact same thing as you.

Where are you flying next?
I’m planning to go to London next to take a couple of Summer courses at the London College of Fashion.

What’s your opinion about the fashion scene in your country and the way people dress up?
Coming from a tropical country, I didn’t really see fashion as one of the bigger priorities among locals when I was there. It was always more about function, ways to stay fresh in near 40C weather or stay presentable as you try to get to work during the wet season. The more stylish ones would find ways to spice their outfits through accessories though, as well as more unconventional iterations of wardrobe basics.

Favourite place you like to visit?
I love Vogue Café and Monaco’s famed Sass Café for grabbing a light bite and quick cup of coffee. For restaurants, there’s the crowd favourite ZUMA and the newly opened GQ Bar.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I would say I’d still be around in 5 years, managing editorial content for La Moda Dubai. I would also love to extend the brand into other ventures, so perhaps by then La Moda won’t be just a fashion website anymore.

Is it hard to be a blogger? And why?
It can be hard at times. When you start out you’re all passionate and excited, but there will come a time when you get burned out with what you’re doing and try to take a break. This is the death of any blogger, and a phase that any serious online media person should by all means avoid. Another challenge of about being out there is that people always expect you to come up with something fresh and relevant, and you can’t do this all the time, all by yourself.

I’m lucky that I work with a team of other writers and editors, so whenever I get into that lazy phase, they pick up the slack, and I do the same for them.

The first thing you notice in someone’s outfit?
It’s not necessarily a specific piece of clothing that I notice, but how everything fits and comes together to create the entire look. Is it a cohesive outfit? Is it on trend? Does it fit well? These are the things that I ask myself whenever I look at someone’s outfit.

In your opinion is style and fashion important for men?
Yes. Style is how you express yourself to the rest of the world. It’s your idea of what’s good and beautiful translated into the things you wear. It’s not about showing off, it’s about sharing. Some people use words, ink, paint, all kinds of media. Fashion people use their clothes and how they compose their looks to share who they are within.

Do you judge people the way they dress?
Unless I was asked, I generally don’t judge people by the way they dress. One can’t always be all dolled up. We catch strangers at various phases in their lives so it would be unfair to judge them based on what they’re wearing at the time.

Name a crazy thing you want to experience?
I want to experience going backpacking across Europe without the comforts of five-star hotels, but that’s crazy.

Things you can’t live without:
– Online shopping.
– Guilty pleasures
– French fries and re-runs of Ugly Betty.

What do you splurge on the most?
Accessories. I am a huge fan of bags and all things leather.

Is it important for you to be dressed in designer gear?
No. Luxury brands are great, but you can always find something more interesting out there from less-known, emerging talents that are still in their highly creative phase, those who haven’t sold themselves out to become famous and commercial.

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