Mel Kobayashi is the Canadian author of style blog Bag and a Beret. Her brazen and comedic approach to her closet, and life, has attracted a dedicated online following inspired by her exploits and earned her a place on the world's top-style-bloggers-over-40 lists, as well as coverage in major fashion magazines and websites.
Mel has a BA in communications from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. She also did time in art school. But her real education didn't kick in until she became an age-raged, middle-aged tween filming on-the-fly videos in dodgy alleys and trying not to squeak during auditions. More than anything, following her heart, coupled with risk-taking and grand surrenders to personal chaos, have fueled her mid-life social media success.
As a blogger, several years ago Mel launched fashion spoof e-zine VOGOFF, mainly for women over 40 who were tired of style rules and lack of representation in mainstream media. She also started the Traveling Yellow Skirt Freak Show project, which chronicles her skirt's adventures with women around the world in a celebration of diversity of life and style. So many women have worn and adorned the skirt that it now resembles a quilt.
Recently Mel has begun motivational speaking with an emphasis on unlearning rules as an attainable path to a more joyful, creative, and colorful life. She also has plans to take VOGOFF to the next level, not only for fellow stylists who push the envelope, but also for armchair fashionistas too.
"Be a rock star!" is her rallying cry - even if it's just in your rec room.
Mel currently resides in Vancouver.