CREATIVE COURSE

Jaime Ridge talks to Danielle Clausen about tak­ing her dig­i­tal brand on the road

Fashion Quarterly - - Profile -

It’s early on a Sun­day af­ter­noon in Los An­ge­les and Jaime Ridge is about to fly home to New Zealand af­ter four months of jet-set­ting. But be­fore she does, she’s en­joy­ing one last hur­rah — lunch with friends at slick sea­side restau­rant Soho House in Mal­ibu. She slips off into a quiet spot to take our in­ter­view over the phone. The 24 year old has re­cently turned her fash­ion and life­style blog Dil­lon­dot.com into her full-time fo­cus fol­low­ing the com­ple­tion of a Bach­e­lor of Com­merce ma­jor­ing in com­mer­cial law and mar­ket­ing at Auck­land Uni­ver­sity and two years work­ing in beauty PR. Now more than ever, the lines be­tween work and play are be­com­ing blurred.

“I’ve had so many in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­ni­ties this past year and I’m work­ing with brands that I have only ever dreamed of,” says Jaime. “I re­ally feel like ev­ery­thing I’ve strived so hard for is start­ing to come to fruition and I’m do­ing what I was made to do. Which is to cre­ate and col­lab­o­rate with amaz­ing brands who in re­turn reach my loyal au­di­ence. I don’t just wear beau­ti­ful clothes! ”

Jaime’s in­ter­na­tional stint has seen her touch down in London, Paris, Am­s­ter­dam, New York, Mi­lan and Hong Kong — which is where I met her in Oc­to­ber along with sev­eral suit­cases of items from Louis Vuit­ton’s 2018 Cruise col­lec­tion. Af­ter our pho­to­shoot, she headed straight back to Paris to catch the tail end of the spring 2018 fash­ion week cir­cuit that she’d been fol­low­ing around the globe and doc­u­ment­ing on her blog. It was a glam­ourous job, but re­quired no short­age of grit. Work­ing from 7am to mid­night most days, Jaime says the most sur­pris­ing part of the ex­pe­ri­ence was the in­ten­sity of it. “I wasn’t just at­tend­ing shows, I was cre­at­ing orig­i­nal con­tent for my chan­nels and con­tent for my clients,” she ex­plains.

Jaime doesn’t iden­tify with the term ‘influencer’, in­stead ap­proach­ing her work out of a love for cre­at­ing things. A long way from The Ridges

— the re­al­ity TV show that, back in 2012, first made Jaime a house­hold name — since found­ing Dil­lon­dot in late 2015 she’s carved out her own niche in the lux­ury mar­ket both here and abroad. Brands she has col­lab­o­rated with in­clude Estée Lauder, Tif­fany & Co, Dior Makeup, Moët and Chan­don and, most re­cently, Louis Vuit­ton.

“Lux­ury to me is a life­style. It’s about the art that goes be­hind it. Peo­ple are so quick to say, ‘I can’t be­lieve you’d spend that much on [a lux­ury pur­chase]’. But to me a lux­ury item is an in­vest­ment — I will have that piece for for­ever,” says Jaime, adding that she re­ally looks af­ter her things. “All my shoes are con­stantly be­ing resoled, I take my hand­bags to be re­stored.”

This com­bi­na­tion of grace and grat­i­tude is Jaime to a T, and it’s demon­strated again when she’s asked who in the world she would most like to sit down to din­ner with. “The list is so long!” she laughs. “It would have to be a din­ner party, and I would host it.”

With plans to spend the sum­mer back home in New Zealand, a din­ner party or two is no doubt on the cards. As for what 2018 holds, more 17 hour days are cer­tain, but the re­wards of grow­ing her brand are sure to be as fruit­ful as ever.

“It’s pretty amaz­ing, you tend to for­get, you know? I see what I do as a full time job, as my busi­ness, and it feels nor­mal. It’s not un­til you stop and take a mo­ment that you’re like, ‘Wow, I’m ac­tu­ally do­ing what I’ve al­ways wanted to do.’”

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