“I imagine stars, like Lady Gaga for example, are able to look at themselves in the mirror and say, ‘I’m a bad ass, I am this person, and I can show this fantasy to the world and make people believe it.’ I’ve always kind of felt like that.”
Gloria Sanchez is an ordinary 20-year-old in the sense that she has friends, a dog, a red rabbit, and has held several jobs – one at a pizza parlor, the other at an antique shop. However, she has recently landed a job as a visual assistant with Forever 21, a popular clothing store in the Valley Plaza Mall. She coordinates and styles the mannequins throughout the store, using her fashion-forward eye to help girls throw together the perfect outfit. Sanchez is a bold girl with distinctive style living in Bakersfield. This personal side of her is kept separate from an aspect of her life that favors her semi-stardom, where she is better known by her middle name; Kendall. With more than 12,000 followers on Instagram and over 47,000 fans on a fashion website called Lookbook, Kendall Kay is a well-known fashion blogger with a growing global fan base.
Due to her “weird and creative parents,” Gloria said she had the right influences to pursue her interests at an early age. It all started with a 2011 issue of Seventeen magazine featuring fashion blogger Bebe Zeva, and 16-year-old Gloria had found her creative outlet. She saw that Zeva posted to Lookbook, and thought, “this girl is so cool.” Self-titled as “the #1 source of fashion inspiration from real people around the world,” Lookbook is where Gloria began her journey as Kendall, sharing her quirky, elegant, yet edgy style with fashion lovers everywhere. It was not until she started posting her photos that Gloria started noticing many others on Lookbook also maintained blogs. Believing a blog is a “more personal, journal-like thing,” Gloria created her own fashion blog with the help of her brother and main photographer, Christian Sanchez. The blog was titled “Galore Beneath the Stars,” but was later renamed “Its Kendall Kay.”
“Gloria started taking photos with just her Samsung Galaxy phone. I watched her grow and saw her style change in a lot of ways,” said Nikko Camat, a close friend of the blogger. Unlike others, Camat says that Gloria does not aim for fame or popularity. She only aims to inspire her audience with her style. “She doesn’t sell out for what she thinks will get her the highest rating. Just like any art out there, Gloria uses fashion to express herself,” he said.
With just a camera phone, online photo editors, and her daily wardrobe, she quickly caught the attention of several companies wishing for her to promote their products. Within three months, she had her first collaboration offer. Companies began to contact her wishing to send their products, and for her to style and post photos of her wearing the items to her blog.
“During the first six months,” she said, “I had two to three collaborations a month. It has really grown since then though. Now, I’ll get as many as 20 to 25 a month.”
21-year-old Alejandro Mariscal, another close friend of Gloria’s, said that these sponsors allow her to inspire fans and close people in her life to follow their passions. She aspires to maintain a positive image to, in turn, encourage others in positive directions. He says that her drive and hard working nature has “taught me to always be expressive and passionate about what I love.”
Since 2011, Gloria has collaborated with numerous companies, such as Wild Fox and Forever 21. She has helped host the opening of the Bakersfield clothing store, Shasa, and has even experimented in fashion design. “Last year, I designed a checkered blazer that I featured in one of my blog posts,” said Gloria. “I eventually want to start my own clothing brand. I think that would be the most legendary moment of my early twenties.”
Along with design, Gloria has finally begun to live out her ultimate dream of traveling. In 2012, she attended her first fashion event in downtown Los Angeles featuring Rob Dyrdek’s sunglasses brand, and has since had several other opportunities. Last month, she took part in a Model Launcher Cosmetics campaign in Miami, Florida, where she was interviewed, filmed, styled, and photographed by professionals.
While she is grateful for all the opportunities that fashion blogging has brought to her, Gloria is still hungry for more. “I want to make as many connections as I can. I want to experience more traveling, and find out who has new information for me, new opportunities, new friendships,” she said.
“I believe I got to this point, because I always had a feeling inside of me that I’m going to do certain things, and they will happen. I don’t know why, but I definitely feel that power within me. If I want to travel ultimately, and do it professionally, I think that I can, and I will. It’s all about the mindset.”