Gabrielle Pedriani publishes the Madison-based style blog Look Sharp, Sconnie.
If you spot Gabrielle Pedriani on the street, you may think she's simply a stylish Madison gal. But dressing well isn't just a hobby for this Wisconsin native. Two years ago, she launched a blog called Look Sharp, Sconnie, which set her on a path to bigger opportunities in the world of fashion. Earlier this month, she went to New York Fashion Week, where she was correspondent for online fashion retailer Polyvore. Since then, her Midwestern take on style has reached fashion lovers across the globe.
While attending UW-Madison, Pedriani got interested in the street style of other college students. She began taking photos of them and compiling her work online. Instead of telling her subjects to "say cheese," she found herself saying "look sharp."
After college, the focus of her blog turned to a new subject: herself. Pedriani began photographing her own outfits and delving further into the world of fashion. When she "didn't feel like playing dress-up," she created photo sets on Polyvore. As an added bonus, starting Look Sharp, Sconnie helped her find opportunities to express her fashion sense offline. She now works at local boutique Iona, located on East Johnson Street, and she's met lots of others who share her interest in style.
"When I started the blog, it really helped me meet people offline," she says. "It cuts out the small talk, and it shows people initially 'This is what I'm interested in, and let’s talk about it if you want.'"
Look Sharp, Sconnie also led her to a gig discussing fashion on WMTV, Madison's NBC affiliate.
Pedriani's personality also helped her land the New York Fashion Week assignment. Polyvore tapped her for the job just a week before the event.
"I don't think I thought it was real until I landed there and I was like, 'This is actually happening,'" she jokes.
Pedriani spent a week in New York City attending nearly a dozen runway shows and making photo sets that showcase some of the event's most intriguing fashion statements. The opportunity also encouraged her to make stronger statements of her own.
"It was fun because I got to give my opinion on fashion. I feel like it helped me strengthen my own point of view," she says.
Pedriani plans to keep her blog's focus on the Midwest, especially the Madison area.
"I think people really like the idea that someone from Wisconsin likes fashion," she says. "What I hope that people [in Madison] can start to do is to appreciate the ability of fashion to better their lives and to look at it more as something for them to express themselves."