I discovered Nasty Gal back in 2006, when I received a friend request on Myspace from a vintage e-bay store from San Francisco with a highly stylized picture of a cute asian girl in front of a garage. I later on became friends with that cute asian model, who happens to be Nida, and inherited many of her…identities after she turned 21. In short, Nasty Gal has always held a strong virtual presence for the part of me that grew up online. To (virtually) witness how far the company has gone while still sticking to their root of cool is truly inspirational. I ended up re-wearing the outfit I wore for the feature when I hung out with Jesse Fiorino, but can you blame me? If you’ve read my blog since its inception, you may already know that it all started from the love of leather and music festivals. Although “personal style” has taken the front seat, I assure you my passion for both have never faded.
NG: How did your blog, Lust for Life, come about?
I launched Lust for Life while I was a freshman in high school out of my love for road trips, music festivals and backyard punk shows. When I first started my blog, my heart was bound in becoming a music journalist. One thing to note is that I’m also extremely nostalgic—I started my blog as an extension for my love of rock and roll (the name was inspired by an Iggy Pop song) and everything about 1960’s-1970’s counterculture. It never dawned on me that my blog would evolve into something more fashion-focused, but as soon as I began documenting my personal style, it quickly garnered attention outside just my sphere of friends, and the rest is history…in the making!
NG: Who’s your biggest influence right now?
I’ve recently rekindled my literary love for Joan Didion. She’s a writer who captured the mood of California’s 1960’s counterculture in ways (and words) that are wondrous. I mean, the woman sat in recordings with The Doors and escaped on sojourns to Bogota! Not to mention, her style is effortlessly cool. I love lurking the photos of her from the Sixties in her muscle car.
NG: What’s your best vintage find ever?
The best vintage I’ve seen: A silk Etro dress I regrettably failed to buy because it was six sizes too big. The best vintage I’ve scored: An authentic YSL belt I’ve scored for three dollars from a vintage shop in Chicago.
NG: If you could live in any era, what would it be?
The late Sixties to early Seventies, without a doubt. The fashion, architecture, music and culture that transitioned out of the monotonous Fifties with a generation of young people challenging old traditions and promoting change inspires me completely.
What’s something not many people know about you?
I love being outdoors. I’d rather surf or ski for eight hours than run on a treadmill for one.
NG: What are you always on the hunt for?
A deal on designer vintage. I’m still waiting for the day that I come across a thrift store that unknowingly prices archived pieces of Oscar de La Renta, Pierre Cardin or Givenchy for cheap. Finding a designer piece at a curated vintage shop is one thing, but scoring it at a hole-in-the-wall for almost nothing is another.
NG: If you could give three tips to new bloggers, what would they be?
1. Do it for yourself. There are a lot more misconceptions and expectations of starting a blog now than there were four years ago. If you’re starting a blog with the goal of reaping in the material benefits, you might be disappointed. It’s important that you come with a clear focus of why you want to start one – whether it’s to enhance your writing, develop your photography or maintain a photo journal for memory’s sake.
2. Oscar Wilde’s “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken” couldn’t be more true than now. Keeping up with “blogger trends” are temporal and very expensive, so invest in things that you genuinely love. It’s also important to develop your own voice and opinion. Offer something new to a field where bloggers are their own brands and being a first rate version of yourself is better than being a second rate version of someone else’s.
3. It’s okay to be picky. The most successful blogs are the ones that stay authentic to the integrity of their personal style. A lot of new bloggers think that working with every single company that reaches out to them will help them garnish the following needed that is essential to gaining success. Represent the ideas, things and companies that you personally love and the rest will follow.
NG: And since you love music, I have to ask: What would your theme song would be?
I’ve got two: Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” and Angus and Julia Stone’s “Big Jet Plane”.
For the rest of the interview, check it out here.