My interest in what I wore started when I was very little. My mom was an amazing dresser in a unique, ’70s way; she took a lot of risks with her clothing choices. She wouldn’t even it call it fashion, it was just what she wore. She would make herself these paisley miniskirts that were really short and wear them with silver knee-high go-go boots.
Where we lived in North Carolina, we couldn’t buy elephant bells that were as big as she wanted them, so there was a lot of cutting open the bottoms of pants and putting extra fabric into the seams to make them way, way more flared. The fabric had to be really bright and contrast with whatever the pants were! She would wear a bathing suit top sometimes instead of a real top, with a sheer thing over it. My parents also had a lot of parties, so there were always lots of people around dressed in that late ’60s/early ’70s way. I got very inspired by them, for sure.
My first-ever magazine internship was at Fairchild. It was at a publication called Sports Style that shared a little space with Women’s Wear Daily. I thought it was extremely exciting to see these racks of clothes and then see how they turned out in photo shoots. There was Vivienne Westwood, there were Diane von Furstenberg wrap dresses, all that kind of stuff. It was thrilling to be able to get close to the clothes that were appearing in the pages.
At that internship, I also saw the business side of fashion and learned about the importance of which designer you choose to feature on a cover. I remember back then, when I was still in college, being aware of the letters they would receive from designers who were pleased or displeased with their reviews. Seeing that side of it was really enlightening to me—seeing that it’s a business, it’s not just getting dressed up the way my mom used to.
—As told to Julia Rubin