Siobhan Hogan started womenswear brand Shopfloorwhore in East London in 2012 with no big investors and no business plan. Thanks to the internet, hard work and a lot of pink, glitter and fluff, she’s still at it and reminding women how good it feels to be lavish. Hogan has mastered the art of appealing to Instagram babes because, well, she is one herself. Here she shares her journey to babedom and how using the word “whore” in her brand has both challenged and inspired her. Photographer Maximilian Hetherington, Stylist & model Hannah Grunden, Set designer Amy Exton, MUATerri-Ann Aubrey-Smith What has your personal journey online been like? Pretty mega tbh! I have built a brand I am proud of, met/worked with a ton of badass creative babes, learned a whole lot about building a business from scratch and my own ability to succeed at anything I put my mind to. When did you first start using the Internet to promote your work? Back in the day I mooched around on MySpace, uploading cringe pics and chatting away on MSN messenger, with no real clue about just how much I would fall for the internet! After I decided to start my own business, I realized the true potential and reach I could get online, plus I was crap at IRL schmoozing/networking so this was a win-win approach. At first I used an online selling platform, teamed with a Facebook page and Twitter. Then I discovered Instagram and that became the biggest development platform for my brand by far. What narratives do your furry and funky creations tell? Who is the “Shopfloorwhore” girl? Shopfloorwhore is a tongue-in-cheek reaction to an industry that tends to take itself too seriously at times and an outlet for anyone who wants to take dressing up onto the streets. It’s less about the Shopfloorwhore “girl” and more about the person you are; I want to give people the opportunity to show how badass they are. Our whole ethos is a “more is more” approach. Whether that’s in how you dress, live or feel; it’s totally up to you. What are some of things that influence you online and how have they influenced your brand? I’m pretty obsessed with Japanese Kawaii culture and the whole evolution of “selfie styling” online. Both have been big influences in the design process of past and present collections. I am also fixated with Tumblr and I love the fact I can amass folders full of Pepto pink/glitter/fluff inspo pics in a flash; it’s easy access inspo porn! How do you use Instagram as a tool to promote your brand? Do you find that it influences your designs or lookbooks? Instagram has that instant impact appeal—I can spotlight new pieces, tag other creatives I have worked with and make instant connections with people I think will love my brand. For a visual person like me, it’s fast, high impact promotion with the opportunity to create a body of work (feed) that tells a story about my brand. Not only does it serve to explain what Shopfloorwhore is about, but it has had a big impact on the styling and themes of my lookbooks. In what ways has the Internet helped you connect with other artists, designers and general creatives? It’s played a huge part in nearly every link up I have made since starting Shopfloorwhore—from making international pop-up events happen, to setting up shoot teams and turning incredible creative babes from URL connections into IRL besties! “To me, ‘whore’ is all about excess andthe need to be lavish and have more of everything.” What does using the word “whore” in your brand name mean to you? Tbh, I like to make things hard on myself! So choosing to establish a brand with the word “whore” in it is a perfect example of that! It’s funny because honestly, it was never meant as a political statement; it was a nickname that stuck and fit the feel of the brand I wanted to create. To me, “whore” is all about excess and the need to be lavish and have more of everything. It raises eyebrows and has even put obstacles up for me, but having to fight to be taken seriously has actually made me stronger and more confident in my own work and ability. So I guess the “whore” has empowered me, and it still amazes me how one small word can piss people off so much! Do you ever find that pop culture influences your creativity? I think it would be pretty hard in this day and age to discredit the influence pop culture has on every designer—we have such easy access to a constant stream of images and information that shapes us day to day. For me, pop culture has a huge and positive influence on my work and design process and keeps my mind fresh and thirsty. On a scale of 1–10, what activity (any activity) would you rate a perfect 10? I’m bringing Biggie back from the dead for a big ass pool party with all my ride or dies in Palm Springs. Plus you guys are all welcome! Is there anything you wish people knew about your work and brand? I built Shopfloorwhore up from the ground, no big investment, no business plan. It’s been a trip so far and I would encourage anyone who wants to [starting something] to do so—stop talking about it and start making it happen. – – – This interview is featured in Austere URL/IRL, our 17th issue out now.