Chic Spotlight: Zach Shumate, “Ostentology” Blog Founder
"More is more" for Zach Shumate. That’s why he didn’t just launch a blog, he’s building a business. And while he just created The Fagazine in May 2010, he’s already interviewing internationally-known stars such as Randy Fenoli from TLC’s "Say Yes to the Dress."
Shumate, a fresh-faced 19 year old, started his popular blog after taking a year off after his senior year of high school. "I wanted to have a way to maintain my writing skills, and hone my eye for fashion," he says. "What better way than a little blog with a big attitude?"
He’s currently enrolled as a Class of 2014 student, studying Public Relations at the University of Cincinnati.
Shumate says his blog was nondescript until he brought Ryan Seminara, his then graphic designer now business partner, into the picture. "When he designed our first logo and helped me with the layout I started to realize the two of us could really do something with this little website." Shumate explains. "We’ve both got a keen sense of style, a good eye for design, and strong opinions when it comes to aesthetic. When you put our heads together I think it results in a product that is pretty amazing."
While the site is still new, Shumate says it’s already undergone many transitions to match their voice and personality. "Content is of the utmost importance, but if you don’t decorate it, no one will be interested enough to read it," Shumate quips.
The most noticeable of these transformations is the blog’s recent name change. Shumate and Seminara recently made the switch from "The Fagazine" to "Ostentology." Why the switch? "Ryan and I have been debating the switch for a while, and we felt that the more educated we’ve gotten in the fashion world, the more the blog’s name was holding us back," Shumate explains. "While I love writing with a strong voice, and cheeky sense of humor, I want to be able to show people fashion isn’t just for fun! It’s what I want to do with my life."
Shumate says the name came to be when he was having a conversation with friends about the way a certain celebrity dresses. "They described the look as ostentatious, but I begged to differ," Shumate says. "I have always been a proletariat of the ‘more is more’ philosophy when it comes to style. ‘Toning it down’ isn’t a part of my vocabulary. Spinning off of the word ‘ostentatious,’ I came up with the name for the new blog, Ostentology."
Readers will not only see a new name, the site is getting a complete makeover, too. "We’re changing our aesthetic from eBay to Net-a-Porter," Shumate says. "The Fagazine is a wonderfully fun and funny blog. But with Ostentology, we want to include both of those aspects while incorporating a bit of high fashion."
With the new name and site, the staff is also expanding. "I’ve brought on two new writers to broaden the voice of our website," Shumate says. "I will still be writing about fashion, but I’ve brought on a writer to report on new music and happenings in the music industry, along with a political writer."
Shumate says The Fagazine started as an all purpose website, and it’s transformed into a fashion blog because that’s where his passion lies. "I want to return to giving people more reasons to visit the site than just what is going on in fashion," he says. "Politics, music and fashion are really what define our society so whether we like it or not they’re all intertwined."