Cassydy Berliner used to work as a business development director for an Orange County law firm, but she was miserable. So she quit her job in 2015 and started posting pictures of her outfits on Instagram.
“Everyone thought I was crazy,” Berliner said. “My mom was like, ‘You’re so full of yourself, [posting] all of these pictures just of you. What are you doing? This is not a career path.’ ”
Four years later, Berliner’s colorful posts entertain 252,000 followers and she has worked with leading brands such as CoverGirl, Toyota and Salvatore Ferragamo.
This week she will be one of three fashion influencers speaking on a panel at StyleWeekOC 2019, joining Laguna Beach jewelry designer Gorjana Reidel and celebrity stylist Lo VonRumpf.
StyleWeekOC, in its 12th year, will take place Thursday through Saturday at Fashion Island in Newport Beach.
Three panels — on fashion, beauty and digital marketing — and two celebrity Q&As — with “The Vampire Diaries” actress Kat Graham and singer Ashlee Simpson Ross — will be held Saturday and are free to attend.
Berliner said she plans to encourage visitors to “embrace dressing how you want to dress.” She thinks the panelists’ “wide range and varying ages” will aid in that goal.
“It’s not all about the millennials or Gen Z,” she said. “Everyone wants to learn about style, not just the 18- to 21-year-olds.”
Christine Kong of Irvine will speak as part of the beauty panel. The finance consultant turned stay-at-home mother of three said she hopes to empower mothers.
“I wanted to show that moms are still cool and they’re not always in leggings and [don’t always] let themselves go after they’ve had kids,” she said.
Like Berliner, she began posting pictures of her daily outfits to Instagram in 2015, then began her blog, “Daily Kongfidence,” in 2016. Her neutral-toned clothing ensembles garnered 113,000 Instagram followers, and she works with beauty brands such as La Mer, Olay and Nars.
Though she’s always loved fashion, Kong said her business background is a key to her Instagram and blog success.
“I am my own brand and I am my own business, so that definitely helps in what I do now,” she said.
For the first time, StyleWeekOC will have a panel on digital marketing, catering to enterprising social media users.
“Glee” actress and television host Becca Tobin will speak alongside entrepreneur Brandy Pham and Los Angeles-based content creators Casey “Quigley” Goode and Rocky Barnes.
Berliner said originality is key when it comes to fashion and Instagram.
“Wear what makes you feel amazing, make your own rules, justify what you do to nobody, and make sure whatever you’re wearing is tailored,” she said.
When: Thursday through Saturday
Where: Fashion Island, 401 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach
Information: shopfashionisland.com, StyleWeekOC.com
Aliese Muhonen is a contributor to Times Community News.