A fashion blogger and communications student, Sabrina uses her sense of fashion as a way to connect with the city and people around her. We met on a rainy Saturday for photos in Old Ottawa South, the first neighborhood Sabrina visited when she was being introduced to Ottawa as a student; it’s still one of the places she feels most represents “her Ottawa.”

My name is Sabrina. I’m a third year student at Carleton University studying communications. I’m originally from suburban Toronto, from one of the Toronto communities – Scarborough – that has an Asian majority. Coming to Ottawa was actually kind of a culture shock for me.

 I guess one of my main interests right now is my blog – I blog as Sincerely Sabrina. I used to blog under the name “I am Talentless” which is funny, I guess, because I kind of thought I was one of those kids who didn’t have any special talent or skills – like, I didn’t play the piano and I wasn’t very good at sports, so that’s where the name came from. I’m a fashion blogger, so I typically post on my own outfits, and I occasionally throw in items that inspire me. To take something from the inspiration around you and make it your own, I think that is what fashion really is: creative, inspirational, and innovative.  Starting a new blog has been really great for me because I’m kind of stepping out of that ‘talentless’ shell that I had, and moving on to bigger and better things for myself. 

Now that you’re here in Ottawa, how do you feel about the city?

I actually love the city. I honestly didn’t expect to love it this much. I came to Ottawa with the mindset that I was here for university, that I’d go back home to Toronto when it was over, and that would be it. Now when I go back to Toronto it’s almost like I’m a guest in my own home. Ottawa isn’t just a second home to me anymore. I think I’m ready it turn it into my home.

The cultural scene here is pretty interesting to me. I’m from a predominantly Asian community in Toronto so I often find myself comparing it to Ottawa. Here, I see Chinatown as a little street with a few restaurants and hair salons, but for the most part it seems pretty detached from the rest of the city. The same goes for a lot of the other cultural communities here, though.  It’s kind of ironic that Ottawa is home to a lot of foreign embassies, but there aren’t very many cultural events that take place that are open to the public.

As far as fashion, one of the first things I was told about Ottawa was that it’s a Gap city – you know, that there would be a lot of people who shop at the Gap and walk around wearing sweats – but that’s not it. When I came to Carleton that’s not what I saw. I saw people getting creative. Especially with all the students, you have a lot of people that come from many different places – Toronto, small towns, other places in the world, so there is some fashion diversity that comes together.