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Sarah Donaldson - Harper and Harley

Q&A with Sara Donaldson

 Sarah Donaldson

The star of E!’s Fashion Bloggers chats to us about her personal style, designing a shoe range and why she decided to quit her job and pour all her energy into her blog.

Sara Donaldson’s approach to fashion may be all about the basics, but her personal style is anything but boring. The 25-year-old shares nuggets of sartorial wisdom with eager fans through her blog, Harper & Harley, as well as beautiful shots of her fabulous life travelling the world in the name of fashion.

With her monochromatic aesthetic (it’s all about the black, white and grey minimalist look), the Queensland native steers clear of trends in favour of a more timeless look. And it seems this classic take is just what people want – aside from being the writer behind the hugely popular blog, Sara has designed a shoe collection for Tony Bianco, worked with numerous international labels like Uniqlo, Gucci and Swarovski, and is now one of the main cast members of E!’s reality show Fashion Bloggers.

We caught up with Sara to talk wardrobe essentials, how blogging has changed in the last few years and the surprisingly simple meaning behind the name of her blog.

How did you first get into fashion blogging?

I started my blog six years ago while I was at university completing my marketing degree. I knew I wanted to work in the fashion industry but wasn’t sure how to get my foot in the door. My blog started purely as a hobby and organically transformed into something much more.

Can you describe your personal style?

My style consists of a colour palette of black, white and grey.

Harper & Harley

What does a typical work day involve?

Lots of emails! Phone calls with my management, working on upcoming blogs posts (either shooting, researching or finalising), reporting and analyising campaigns, meetings with brands, and trying to keep up with my social media channels.

We hear you quit your job and started devoting all your time to the blog earlier this year. Was this a hard decision?

Since beginning my blog six years ago I was always working. I interned for over a year, worked in retail, studied a full time degree and then worked full time, firstly at Westfield’s head office in digital marketing and then as a marketing manager for Maniamania, so the transition to blogging full-time was a very long and drawn out decision.

Over that period of time the blogging industry has changed a lot, and now if you do it well, you can justify making it your career. Looking back I’m glad I waited for the blogging landscape in Australia to change and reflect what was happening overseas before I made the commitment. I also learnt so much from my other roles, that have no doubt aided my blog’s success.

Can you explain the blog’s name?

One of the most asked questions I ever receive, but in the end there isn’t much to it other than I just really like the names. And this was pre-Harper Beckham!

What trends are you loving this season?

I hate the idea of following trends, it’s all about wardrobe essentials, but it’s hard to ignore a pair of flattering wide legged culottes.

What are your work wardrobe staples?

Black silk tops and midi skirts and cropped pants.

What are some stand out opportunities you’ve been given through the blog?

I feel like it’s been endless, but definitely being part of the Fashion Bloggers series and designing a range of shoes for Tony Bianco.

What are the hardest and the best parts aspects of your job?

Hardest would be keeping yourself motivated and inspired when you work for yourself. And the best is when you create something that you’re proud of and it inspires others.

Who are your fave fashion bloggers?

I have so many blogging friends, but Mandy from Oracle Fox is defintely one that most inspires me.

Who’s your style icon?

Emmanuelle Alt.

Emmanuelle Alt

Who are some of your favourite designers?

Acne, Joseph, Josh Goot, Ellery, Givenchy, Isabel Marant.


Fashion Bloggers airs on E! at 8pm from Friday, December 12.

Photos: Harper & Harley, Getty Images & supplied.


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