Success from Sharing: Aimee Song + Kat Irlin

6 years ago by


Erik Photographer

Today I have the pleasure of sitting down with Aimee Song and Kat Irlin.

You probably know them better by their handles actually, Song of Style and Kat in NYC. They both grew fantastic audiences on Instagram through their photography and their science of sharing. Both of their work is completely different though. Aimee shares moments of her life, while Kat loves sophisticated portraits and rarely appears on her feed.

How did they build, and grow, their personal brand on social media? How do they create compelling photography? How do they stay sane in this super fast world? We talked about it, we laughed, we cried… I love this podcast and I hope you will too!

Here are extracts of our conversation, and you can download (and subscribe!!!) to my podcast on iTunes.

[podcast_episode episode=”240500″ ]

pardon my french kat irlin aimee song garance dore photo

Aimee on hard work vs. luck…
People often think the job we have, especially in social media, is so easy. It’s really not, it’s not easy and it’s not luck. I really don’t believe in luck. I feel you pave your own path. There are circumstances that come, but if you’re not ready to take it and even if you are lucky, you’re not going to be able to go to the next level.

pardon my french kat irlin aimee song garance dore photo









Kat on growing an audience…
There are a few parts to it. One is the eye I have. I shoot from a female perspective so none of my photos are ever vulgar. They are always feminine and sensual. There is actually a joke going that I can basically get anyone undressed. People that never take their clothes off feel comfortable. I think it has to do with the photos but also my personality.

pardon my french kat irlin aimee song garance dore photo

pardon my french kat irlin aimee song garance dore photo

Aimee on her modern obsessions…
Whenever I find really cool restaurants or coffee shops, I share it. I’m obsessed with avocado toast. So obsessed that I was an avocado for Halloween last year. When I go to Paris, I bring my own avocados. I know there are avocados in Paris, but they’re not as good as ones in California. Our avocados are next level.

pardon my french kat irlin aimee song garance dore photo

Aimee on the tougher side of the business…
A few years ago, I was at Fashion Week in the front row and there were these people next to me getting their photos taken and someone wanted to take a group shot of all of us and they were a clique, so they didn’t include me. I’m just sitting there trying to get in it and they are hugging each other and I’m just sitting there alone. And I went back 13 year old Aimee where I was bullied and eating lunch in the bathroom by myself. So I did a Snapchat feeling like I wasn’t part of the cool fashion crowd because I’m a blogger. I shared that moment because it was so personal to me and people agreed and knew how I felt because everyone goes through hardships and I think it shaped my audience because they saw I wasn’t perfect and that I was being real.

pardon my french kat irlin aimee song garance dore photo










Kat on the future of fashion photography…
Everybody wants more content. Brands want to pay less for more and there’s way more competition than there used to be. There used to be 25 fashion photographers ten years ago and now there’s ten thousand. Everyone is replaceable. Everyone has to work harder, produce more and be more original.

pardon my french kat irlin aimee song garance dore photo


Aimee on the power of sharing
I want to be able to share on a more global level. It’s important to able to share my experiences, give courage, and happy dreams to everybody. Whether you’re in middle america or in other countries where you don’t get exposure to fashion, culture, photography, or opportunities, I want to share, make sure they’re able to follow their dreams and give them hope. That’s always been my dream.

pardon my french kat irlin aimee song garance dore photo

Follow Kat on Instagram and on her website!

Find Aimee on her Instagram and website, Song of Style. Her new book Capture Your Style comes out September 20th. Aimee has a signing today (Thursday, September 15th) at the 59th st. Bloomingdales from 6:00PM – 8:00PM. If guests purchase $100 of Laura Mercier products, they receive a signed copy of the book and a photo with Aimee. She will also be at Colette Paris for a signing on October 1st from 5:00PM – 6:30PM.

Special thanks to 11 Howard!

More podcasts with amazing people like Isabel Marant & Caroline de Maigret, and Gad Elmaleh & Alireza Niroomand here!



Add yours
  • Fabulous piece, Garance! Real women’s success stories, complete with struggles and aspirations. Encore plus, svp!

  • First time to hear your podcast actually because the title grabbed my attention (Amiee Song and Kate together!) let’s see how they did “it”, I thought I’d learn something more than what I already know– a fairly old blogger (2010) suffering to deliver her message because she’s also from North Africa and indeed, it’s not like you’re in NYC. When you hear the details of the success story, how she was commenting here first to get some followers, which is something I {recently}started to do(!!!), and the stages of emotions that I followed with my experience, the hard work that doesn’t get the appreciation, the emails that didn’t get an answer back and the sweat for a good edit content and actually structuring up a website without any experience in such field, the language that you actually only write to deliver what you really believe in, the circumstances that could put you in one place and the bullying, all will shape you, and eventually will make it, I just believe it.
    Thank you all.

  • Such a great article! Thank you :)
    PS. Aimee Song <3 Love her style!

  • It is so interesting to hear that you attribute some of your success for having to fight for what you want when you aren’t handed everything from a young age. I definitely identified with every section of the podcast from working really hard, to not always fitting it, and discovering your own voice. I also really loved that you discussed race and immigrants between the three of you. (similar to what Garance discussed with Gad and Alireza) This was one of the best PMF’s yet.

  • Another great interview!
    There are meanies no matter how old you are. My mom was 90 and faced the same thing in the assisted living dining room.
    I love those white shoes.
    I love Garance’s hair.
    I tried to subscribe via Stitcher but they don’t have you! Not that I risk missing it because I subscribe to the blog.

  • I really REALLY love this Podcast! I’ve listened to others but this one really struck a cord in me. Maybe it was because I’m a retired fashion blogger who only follows 2 blogs now (Garance Dore and Song of Style). So having two of my favorite people in the same room? I’m not lying when I say that I squealed when I saw this post!

    I felt that this conversation was so real and honest. I just love you 2 so much, because you are so authentic. And although I’ve diverged my interests to other things, I want to thank you both for keeping it real and making me smile all the time. I honestly felt so good after listening to this Podcast that I went to hug people around me.

    THIS is the energy you give your fans.

    Aimee, if you’re reading thing, I love YOU! Your sister is lucky to have you!

    Hugs to you both! You’re awesome! xoxo

  • steph lopez September, 15 2016, 2:20 / Reply

    love this. thanks for your vulnerability.

  • Kat n’a aucun souci à se faire, elle restera dans les photographes qui comptent, parce que le jour où elle arrêtera les photos de mode, elle continuera à faire de l’art tout simplement. On voit bien que ses photos sont à part.
    Par contre on aurait envie d’y voir aussi des gens “normaux”, pas que des beautés lisses. Ceci dit je suis bien contente d’avoir découvert le nouveau Neil Cassady sur son instagram !

  • This is absolutely awesome! Thanks so much for sharing this. So good to hear women speak of their trials, successes and tenacity!
    Love Bailey of

  • Thank you Garance for this podcast! It was refreshing to listen to both Aimee and Kat, I follow both of them on Instagram (and Aimee on her blog as well) and I appreciate both of their works. They are both inspirational in their different ways. I almost teared up too when Aimee talked about her fashion-week-being-like-high-school experience.

    Thank you again and I really liked listening to this podcast while doing my homework. Looking forward to more :)

  • Thanks Garance, it would be good to write down the whole conversation as I am not a fan of listening, words better for me!

  • I loved this podcast. It was so insightful and I was so moved when Aimee broke down. I loved that she was able to be so vulnerable and honest about her experiences and emotions. It was a really beautiful moment. What a special person.

  • Thank you guys. I really appreciate about this conversation, that you share so sincerely your experience. It`s cheer me up. It`s not only about blogging and for bloggers, this is more. When you have hard time and feel frustrated after seeing every time this glamorous and luxury life in instagram, you make me believe again that hard work will be evaluated and will bring results eventually.

  • Jennifer Xu September, 20 2016, 9:20 / Reply

    Love hearing the philosophy behind hard working creative artists who are also business savvy. Thanks so much for the podcast.

  • What an inspirational story! Really enjoyed reading and even wrote down several quotes for me to remember.


  • This is so cute and inspirational! Thank you for producing such a great podcast!



  • I love your site!

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