Where Are They Now: Annie Vazquez, Class of 1999

Stephanie Castro//Contributing Writer

Former Panther Annie Vazquez’s motivation to start a blog was propelled by a few harsh words of wisdom.

“Originally I wanted to be a poet, but a creative writing professor at FIU told me my work was no good and that it’s better to find another career. So I did the second thing I liked to do and that was fashion. Hence ‘The Fashion Poet’ blog name” Vazquez said.

Vazquez is known for her eclectic style and edgy pieces, something she said was influenced by her mother.

“I spent a lot of my childhood in and out of stores shopping with her and I’d watch her dress in stuff other moms weren’t wearing and always receive a ton of compliments. I started to do the same.”

Since graduating from FIU with a liberal studies degree, Vazquez has pursued fashion writing full-time.

Writing came naturally to Vazquez and her love for fashion made her idea for a blog flow effortlessly, but her eye for innovation is what helped her secure the title of “Miami’s fashion pioneer” given to her by Style Blazer.  

I was a journalist at the time and I was living through the change. There were so many stories about local designers and style events, but papers weren’t buying them and I decided to do something about it,” said Vazquez.

Though blogging has become a social media staple, not everyone supported Vazquez’s decision to begin her blog,

“I had three people that believed in me. Everyone else thought I was crazy or I was going to fail,” said Vazquez.

That didn’t stop her, and she became a “social media influencer,” since graduating in 1999. According to LuxuryDaily.com, social media influencer campaigns are 11 times more impactful than digital advertising.

Vazquez’s blog, The Fashion Poet, has been voted Miami’s Top Fashion Blog by the New Times in 2013, and was awarded Best Fashion Content Creator at the Hispanicize x Telemundo Awards in 2016. Vazquez also became the first blogger from Miami to star in a campaign for Coach.

“Every year I set goals and go after them. I think coming out in Vogue was epic, but really following my love of writing and fashion because it led me to this. You have to do what you love because you’ll be successful.”

The FIU alumn says that doing a job you hate for the rest of your life isn’t worth the money when you can earn a lot doing the things you love.

“You just have to give things time and believe it. Most people quit too fast or they want instant success but my journey [was] long and I had a lot of doors shut in my face and I spent some sleepless nights wondering.”

Getting to where she is now did not come easy, according to Vazquez. she says she had to work three jobs to support her freelance writing. During that time, she was asked why she didn’t quit, but she felt like to quit writing would leave nothing else for her because writing makes her happy.

“The only failure is not trying. Life is short. We are all blessed with gifts and we are here to use them.” Vazquez said. “Manifest good stuff, believe in the magic, trust the universe and most important let your star shine. We are here to shine and fear is fake. Don’t believe the hype.”

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