Monday, March 21st, 2011
Navaz Batliwalla is a journalist who has written extensively on fashion for many major titles, both in the UK and internationally. She is also the scribe behind popular blog DisneyRollerGirl.
What first made you want to start a blog as a ‘fashion insider’?
I started reading lots of blogs – Style Bubble, Liberty London Girl, Sartorialist – and thought to myself “Am I capable of doing this?” It started as an experiment really, something just for myself - I didn’t actually think anyone would ever read it. In terms of what the blog is about I’ve always liked a mix of insider stuff and things I personally liked, so I took that as my focus.
Was having an anonymous blog and writing as a journalist a bit like having a split personality?
It did get to a point where it was a bit silly. I’d go to events as Navaz and I knew PRs knew that I was also Disneyrollergirl, and they knew I knew so it became a matter of smokescreens really. I saw the Apple talk I did with Robin Derrick on Fashion in the Digital Age as a deadline for my ‘outing’, and got a really positive response. I was a little bit worried that people might have read the odd slightly negative thing I’d written about them or their brand on the blog, but no one seemed to mind!
Have there been opportunities afforded to you as a blogger that you would not have received in your role as a journalist?
Definitely. The talk with Robin Derrick being a case in point. That was one of the reasons why I had to put a face to Disneyrollergirl. But the blog also gave me an amazing opportunity as a journalist to be my own editor. It’s like running my own publication, except this one is very cheap, if not free, to put together and for people to read. I also have readers who I can connect with and get reactions from instantly – something that just isn’t possible with print media. I think the most savvy journalists have their own blogs these days as they have realised what great platforms they can be.
What’s the future for Disneyrollergirl?
Well, I’ve just launched my new look blog (see it here) which is very exciting. I’d really like to do more collaborations and video content. It’s never going to be anything really slick though as that’s just not me. A blog has to have personality - if I ever think it’s running the risk of becoming generic I check myself and reign it back in.
And just one more question, why did you chose the name 'DisneyRollerGirl'? Why Disneyrollergirl?
I wanted just 'Rollergirl' as I love rollerskating and all the imagery associated with it but that was taken so I put Disney in front as I also collect Mickey Mouse memorabilia and I love the Beach Boys song, 'Disneygirls'. It all kind of fits together!