Seeing every show at every fashion week is an impossible task for the even the most superhuman of fashion journalists. The only writer I'm aware of who even comes close to seeing the vast majority of designers on display is Tim Blanks. Honestly, it's come to the point where I feel like his name should always be prefaced with "The Man, The Myth, The Legend" because that is exactly what he is. One of the most recognized fashion journalists out there today, Blanks has the rare ability to turn confounding runway shows into digestible and relatable narratives. And he does just that, fashion week in, fashion week out. Business Of Fashion sat down with Blanks and put together a comprehensive profile of how he found his way out of his native New Zealand and into the world of fashion.
Blanks started off as a music-obsessed teen in the '60s before moving to London in 1974 at 20 years old. He wrote for free for a New Zealand music magazine and found himself back in NZ hosting a radio show and worked odd jobs until he went back to London for a second time and attempted a move to Singapore, where he was denied access due to his bleached blonde hair. From there, Blanks decamped to Toronto, where he took on fashion writing full-time.
Do you realize that dude was basically a blogger and #influencer before blogging and influencing were even a thing? TIM BLANKS, ORIGINAL TASTEMAKER. If Blanks had Instagram 40 years ago, he would have had at least 100k followers based on those the strength of those travels and travails alone. Wow. What. A. Fucking. Legend.
The writing gig eventually turned into the idea for Fashion File, becoming one of the most viewed CBC programs of all time. Needless to say, the show turned its host into something of a fashion god. After 17 years on the air, Blanks finally began writing about runway shows almost exclusively in 2005. Now Editor-at-large at Style Dot Com, his commentary is known for its culturally-appropriate references, richness in music knowledge and the bluntness of experiencing solely the show and not extraneous bullshit like "the 25 navy blue suits the stores are going to buy," to use his own words.
Reading his story, Blanks' life is pretty much what every aspiring fashion writer can relate to and strive for. His experiences have shaped a voice in such an original way that few can hope to emulate, so you probably shouldn't even try. But, oh man, does he lead by example.