Earlier this year, style blogger Christian Craven attended New York Fashion Week for the second time. “I covered nine shows in four days,” he says. “That was insane.”
Growing up in tiny Choctaw, Oklahoma, Craven always had New York on his mind. He wanted the escape. His father died when he was a baby, and his mother raised him and his brother on her own. “Those were really tough years in my life,” the 23-year-old says. “I didn’t have a lot of resources. I was always reading Elle and Vogue, and I couldn’t pronounce any designer names.” Craven grew up acting in regional theater. But by the time he hit 18, he knew he didn’t want to pursue it and gave up a scholarship to the University of Central Oklahoma.
He began gravitating toward fashion while working at a mall and moved to Dallas to study merchandise marketing at the Art Institute of Dallas. After six months, he decided to make the switch to Wade College, a small merchandise marketing school, where he graduated a year ago.
During his time there, Craven took note of a rising trend in fashion blogs, but most of the sites were run by women. “This was a totally niche market,” he says. “I saw the vision then. I didn’t know anything about blogging, but I could talk to people. I wanted to show other small-town, bullied gay kids that no matter where you come from, you can follow your dreams.”
He started his website, Christian Alexander Fashion, in December 2012. “Before I knew it, I was getting a call to interview Zac Posen as my first interview at 20 years old,” he says. “But at the root of it, it’s a style website, a resource that understands both men and women.”
Craven has a fairly equal mix of male and female followers, a fact that speaks to his versatility as a blogger. He often wears unisex jewelry and writes about unisex skincare, striving to incorporate everyone. His eclectic style echoes that.
“Some days I could just wear a suit and be super-traditional, but I always like it to be a little fun with a pocket square or a flower lapel,” he says. “I also like to dress pretty contemporary, pretty funky. That’s where I feel most like myself.”
Craven has been working on a revamped website, which launches this month under the new name, Style Crav (no “e”). While he plans to take a more journalistic approach and make it more of a fashion resource than style blog, it will retain all past content. He’s also gearing up to move to New York next summer, where he can continue to grow his fashion following. Ultimately, he’d like to work as a style director for a brand or as an on-air correspondent.
“I think the ultimate key to success is to be persistent and consistent,” Craven says. “If you stick to it, you will get to where you want to be.”