Digital Travel Influencer La Carmina Talks Alt-Culture
La Carmina was always the Wednesday Addams among her classmates. From a young age, she felt intrigued by the darker, more mysterious elements of life – and never felt the urge to follow the usual path that her peers took. She grew up in Vancouver and went to Asia almost every year with her family, who immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong.
From an early age, she saw firsthand the boundary-pushing, alt lifestyles and fashions in Harajuku, Tokyo. La Carmina realized there were young people out there who lived life on their own terms – and that she too could be one of them.
Education was important in her family, and she met extraordinary people and learned from them during her time at Columbia University and Yale Law School. However, La Carmina realized soon enough that law wasn’t the path for her – she needed to work for herself, in a creative field that she was uniquely suited to do.
Around this time, blogs first started to appear. She started blogging in 2007 on her La Carmina site, about Japanese fashion subcultures. It was a way for her to connect with fellow creatures of the night, from all over the world. La Carmina never expected her blog to grow into a career – but bit by bit, she grew an audience and was offered opportunities she never dreamed.
La Carmina’s evolution was gradual, and organic: from blogging to writing books for Random House and Penguin, to doing TV appearances, and being hired regularly as a TV host and guest expert for networks like Travel Channel, Discovery, National Geographic, and CNN.
In the past years, she’s expanded her focus from Tokyo travel and style, to alternative culture worldwide. La Carmina received dream opportunities to visit destinations with her film team and has visited Iceland, Morocco, South Africa, Bali, Maldives, Cambodia, Jordan and many more – where she shot her travel video series and blogged about encounters with underground culture.
Today, her work is a mix of digital influencer projects, TV show hosting, travel writing and videos, and creative partnerships such as designing her own hotel room in Hong Kong.
What’s next? La Carmina and her team will continue to push the boundaries of technology and storytelling, with forays into virtual reality 360 degree travel hosted video. She’s excited to pioneer this new medium, and keep on sharing meaningful stories of alternative communities worldwide.
City: Vancouver, Canada but constantly traveling the world.
Background: Graduate of Columbia University in NYC, and Yale Law School in New Haven
Profession: Travel TV host, fashion and travel blogger, digital influencer
Tools of Your Trade: Many of my projects (as a travel /fashion influencer, working with brand and destinations) require frequent social media updates, so I never go anywhere without my iPhone. I shoot with my Sony A7 mirrorless DSLR camera, which is full frame and yet has a lighter body, making it ideal for travel. I blog using WordPress on my self-hosted site (http://www.lacarmina.com), and share large files using WeTransfer, Drive and Dropbox.