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Alumnus carves unique niche on national fashion scene

By T.C. Sprencel
University News Service
September 8, 2010

Jonathan Valdez and Biz Stone

Jonathan Valdez and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone.

A new dawn is breaking in the fashion blogging world, and Texas State University-San Marcos alumnus Jonathan Valdez is serving up the most important meal of the day.

On the table is Orange Juice and Biscuits, Valdez’s award-winning fashion and pop culture blog that has garnered a spot at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2011 show, to be held at the Lincoln Center in New York City, Sept. 9-16.

Valdez earned a seat at fashion’s premier event after being approved for official press credentials by global entertainment and production company IMG. The month-long approval process required Valdez to submit writing samples and prove his status as creator, writer and editor of Orange Juice and Biscuits.

“I was really honored,” says Valdez. “Not everyone gets approved for these credentials.”

While at Texas State, the Bay City native co-hosted Orange Juice and Biscuits, a KTSW morning talk show that focused on fashion and pop culture. Encouraged by fans to continue after graduation, Valdez turned the hit show into a blog in August 2009, three months after completing his degree in communication studies. He has been hard at work, catering to a rapidly growing fan base and building a fashion journalism brand, ever since.

“As far as the writing and content, I do all of that,” Valdez says, noting that his blog is equal parts work and passion.

“You have to filter out what would be perfect for your audience. When I go to an event I’m working, networking, covering the story. It’s a whole editorial process.”

Valdez’s success — he was named a “Top 5 Best Blogger to Follow” for 2009 by Internet news site Mashable.com — represents a changing landscape in the world of fashion journalism. Traditional media institutions are increasingly giving way to new media journalists who, given the advantages of Web publishing, provide more specialized content at a much faster pace. This massive power shift has caused some turbulence in the industry.

“A lot of these people have worked 20 or 30 years to get that front row seat at an event, and all of a sudden these young, witty bloggers pop up at fashion shows," he says. “Some editors don’t consider them real press.”

Things have gone smoothly nonetheless for Valdez, who states matter-of-factly that “the hierarchy is slowly dying.”

“Everybody has been really positive for me, and I’m going to continue to do my own thing,” he says.

Judging by reader response, Valdez is doing a good job at doing his own thing, even as his profession is undergoing a complete transformation. At the dawn of a new day in fashion journalism, Jonathan Valdez is giving readers the juiciest scoop on the Web.

Visit Jonathan Valdez’s blog at www.orangejuiceandbiscuits.com.