How would you describe your style and the style of fffranshop?
My personal style is literally my shop. That’s how things kind of started. Right now, my closet is 90% second hand and I try to keep it that way to remain sustainable but I also love finding things. I love looking through racks and taking the time to find myself. A lot of people kept asking me where I would get my stuff so I thought maybe other people would like the stuff that I pick out. Usually when I shop I shop for myself.
Because you’re shopping for yourself, how do you differentiate between keeping something or selling something?
In the beginning it’d be kind of hard because I’d be like ‘I want this, I want this’ but now I’ve developed some self discipline. I have to keep asking myself, will I actually wear it? And also, I live in New York where there’s not much closet space. Sometimes there’ll be a piece where I have to wear for example, I found this pink corset and I loved it and wore it on my birthday, then I sold it. The girl that bought it wore it on her birthday too! It was so, so cute.
Who inspires your style?
There are a lot of celebrities that have great style and their stylists also have great style. Of course, I look up to Bella [Hadid], she’s got really good style and I look at old supermodels. A lot of my inspo pics are from Kate Moss, Naomi and their off duty look. I would say my shop’s style is definitely a 90s/2000s model off duty look. I started watching Girlfriends on Netflix, it’s so funny and their style is amazing. I watch it just for their outfits. I love shows and movies like that where the wardrobe is amazing if you’re into the 90s/2000s vibe I have going on.
Can you walk me through how you pick your items?
Everything I pick is hand picked out in a store. I spend so much time going through racks and it takes hours. I pick out what I would wear and sometimes my mom will come with me but she thinks what’s cute is 2013, like really not the vibe at all. My sister will also try to help me out but I’m so picky so I’d rather do it myself. I dedicate a lot of time. That’s kind of how things work.
I try to keep a budget, I won’t spend over a certain amount. Sometimes I’ll be like I have to buy this. I’ll go shopping every 2 weeks or so and within the two weeks I’ll start posting it. When it’s a really good week, I’ll run out of stuff to post and have to buy more stuff. If that happens more often I’m going to have to train my mom to go out and look for stuff.
What are some of the challenges you’ve discovered from running a vintage store?
Because my shop is a reflection of my style, sometimes I forget that not everyone is not the same size as me. I know there are people smaller than me and I know there are people bigger than me but because I’m a one woman team, I pick out everything, I model everything, I photograph everything. I’m always like oh my god, this top is so cute but it’s too small and I can’t even get it on to model it or if it’s too big for me and I can’t make it look good then it won’t sell. I want to show that it’s a nice piece but it just doesn’t look right because it’s on me.
Especially with shoes. In the beginning I would only think about getting my size but then I’ll remember, that’s someone’s size!
Right now I’m trying to find a way to accommodate different sizes because I would hate for anyone to look at my store and think that it’s only one size. I’m hoping to get smaller models and bigger models to show a range.
Where did your love for styling come from and how have you developed that skill?
I’ve always really been into style but I never thought people would like it. Even as a little girl, I would always play dressing games online. I’ve always loved fashion but never thought it could be a career or a business. I went through a phase where I thought ‘oh there are so many people doing it and I could never make it’. But then I thought fuck it, you know? If people like it, they like it and if they don’t it’s fine. I haven’t been able to show off my styling skills because I’ve been focused on trying to sell things. I’m considering starting a YouTube or a TikTok where I can have more content showing my styling.
What would your biggest styling tip be?
One of my biggest tips for styling is don’t spend too much money on trendy pieces. That’s how fast fashion gets you. In a couple of months, it won’t be cute anymore. You can invest in one or two trendy pieces but it’s much better to have timeless pieces in your closet. I try to get trendy pieces for my shop but also not too many. Leather pants are in right now but they’re also a timeless piece so I don’t mind picking up a couple of them. There are some pieces that are only cute for an Instagram photo.
Trends that you love?
Leather. I love leather jackets, leather pants. I can never get sick of leather. I’m also loving the brown trend. It’s weird because when trends are overhyped they’re not cute but brown… I love it.
Trends that you don’t love?
Oooohh, I might get attacked but I’m not really into tie dye. For me to like it, it has to be a specific pattern, a specific colour, it’s really hard for me to like it though.
Interviewed by Anna Lowe