Laura Serino, 27
Co-founder, Fore Front Fashion
Someday, you could be walking along the streets of Portland, and a sweet-looking, well-dressed brunette with a camera might walk up and ask to take your picture.
Don’t be alarmed – that’s 27-year-old Laura Serino, and it’s what she does.
Co-founder of the local blog Fore Front Fashion, she’s drawn acclaim in short time from fellow bloggers, mainstream publications and style enthusiasts, filling a niche by capturing Portland’s fashion on the street.
“I’m drawn to personal style,” said Serino, who, when she’s not scouring the sidewalks and shops for the interestingly dressed, works as a copywriter for L.L.Bean Signature (where she also writes about clothes). “I think Maine, specifically Portland, is filled with creative individuals who are interested in self-expression – which often results in a good sense of style,” she said.
She and a friend, photographer Nate Philbrick, launched the blog last summer, after Serino moved from New York City, uprooting her life in the city of all cities where she worked as a magazine editor. Quickly, they garnered attention from other local bloggers, were welcomed in by Portland shops and got involved with SWAP Maine, a clothing swap event organized by local bloggers to raise money for Goodwill Industries of Northern New England. To top all that off, Fore Front Fashion was even named “Best Blog” in the 2011 Portland Phoenix Awards.
Right from the start, it gave Serino the opportunity to explore the city, and to get to know and support its people, artists, designers and shopkeepers.
“Small businesses are what makes Portland unique,” she said.
She also ultimately wanted to shine more of a spotlight on Portland, a city that (even after living in New York) she says, “has everything. Now I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”
As for her own sense of style? She called herself “deep-rooted” in New England, “living” in L.L. Bean boots several months out of the year, and possessing a flannel shirt collection that has “quadrupled” since she made the move to Maine.
But she also likes creating a juxtaposition by mixing vintage with modern, and has always preferred getting ideas from people-watching, rather than letting magazines or general fashion blogs tell her to wear.
Overall, “my closet is very diverse,” she said.
And when it comes to the future, she has what she calls “big plans” for the blog, as well as local fashion events in general – but she’s not divulging too much.
All she’ll says is: “Stay tuned.”
– Taryn Plumb