The MNY Spotlight

Meet Samantha Smalling, Founder of The NY Blonde

This week’s Tastemaker, Samantha Smalling, is the creative force behind @thenyblonde. Since 2015, her mission has been to provide answers to the age-old question of what to wear for various occasions. Today, her audience adores her for her styling tips, chic and comfortable outfits as a mom of 1, and NYC lifestyle. Continue reading to discover her philosophy when it comes to dressing for school events, tips for elevating your outfits effortlessly, and the upcoming fashion trends she's excited to embrace this season!

Introduce yourself! 

Hi! I’m Samantha Smalling, style blogger behind the account @thenyblonde. I live in downtown Manhattan with my 22-month-old daughter and husband.

Samantha wears the Luzon Gown from the Holiday Collection

You started your blog in 2015 with the mission of sharing your style tips and NYC hotspots with your community. Take us back to the beginning - what was the turning point when you decided to do this full time?

I began my blog with the idea of being a style guide for navigating the city and answering the question, "What should you wear for specific places?" This concept originated from my first date in 2011 with my now-husband, shortly after moving to New York City, where I felt lost when it came to choosing the right outfits for various locations. In 2015, I officially launched the website, primarily using it as a portfolio for styling and merchandising interviews. It wasn't until 2017, when I was offered a full-time position at a prestigious department store in their personal shopping services, that I decided it was the right time to transition into full-time blogging. Within about a year, I began monetizing my blog through various campaigns, making the leap a well-calculated and timely decision.

Now that we’re back to school in full swing, can you share your style philosophy when dressing for school events?

No matter the occasion, I consistently apply the same principles to my outfit selection. I believe in the importance of feeling confident and comfortable in what you wear. Leaving the house feeling disheveled or uninspired by your outfit is a no-go. I prefer incorporating one standout element into my attire, whether it's a bold earring, an eye-catching bag, or a striking top. This standout piece serves as a conversation starter and adds a unique touch to my ensemble.

Did you always have a strong sense of your personal style, or is it something you’ve had to work at and develop over the years?

My strong sense of personal style has been with me for as long as I can remember. Even during my junior high school days, I maintained a meticulous diary of my outfits, recording every brand, item, and accessory. It served as my go-to reference whenever I needed inspiration for my daily attire, and I was just 14 years old at the time!

Follow along on Instagram @thenyblonde for more style inspo!

Share your biggest tip for easily elevating any outfit!

I opt for a stylish combination of dark, crisp jeans paired with a button-down shirt and a Mestiza Delilah Bow Sweater. The oversized bow detail on the sweater adds a delightful, unexpected touch to the ensemble that I adore!

Shop the Delilah Bow Sweater in mint green, Soleil Barong Top, Narra Cluster Earrings, and Sofia Pashmina

What trends/ styles are you most looking forward to rocking this season?

When winter comes around, what excites me the most is the opportunity to wear great outerwear. I can hardly wait to pull out all my shearling coats from last year – they're a favorite part of my winter wardrobe!

What draws you to the Mestiza brand?

I love the fun, whimsical nature of the designs. They feel sophisticated with a playful spin with color, fabric, and adornments.

How does wearing your Mestiza piece make you feel?
I feel feminine, beautiful, and fabulous!

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