Some may say DC lacks a fashion presence. However, with the onslaught of successful, local style blogs and publications in combination with the migration of young creative-types into the city – Washington is finally getting the makeover it has been desperately pleading for.
Helping our city make its mark is the new Worn Magazine. The DC-born publication “is intended to bring greater awareness of local fashion and art to the District and to the nation”, combining the power of photography and creativity to “make DC a more art – and style-conscious city that is more accepting of various forms of personal expression”.
I had the unique opportunity to chat with Nicole Aguirre, Editor & Creative Director, about the magazine, fashion, and of course, DC.
We Love DC: What is Worn?
Nicole Aguirre: “Worn Magazine” is a new print publication that uses photography to showcase DC’s art and fashion scene and encourage it to grow.
WLDC: What inspired you to create a magazine that fuses together art and fashion?
NA: In my view, art and fashion are inseparable. To some, fashion can seem superficial or trivial, but in its highest form, fashion is a work of art. (This was well demonstrated by the late designer Alexander McQueen.) The idea of a group of local artists coming together to make a magazine about art in DC made complete sense to me. Part of the credit should be given to the crappy state of the economy which made it hard for me to find a job and inspired me to create my own.
WLDC: A lot of well-known print magazines have folded recently, knowing this, why choose print for the publication?
NA: I’ve worked at two very well known print publications and seen people get laid off at both. It’s an incredibly painful thing to watch. Nevertheless, as a photographer, I really believe in the power of a printed picture. I see myself as part of a generation with the responsibility to find new ways of presenting fashion and printed art, regardless of the state of the economy or the loss of the traditional advertisement model. Times are changing and we should be looking to the future, but that doesn’t mean abandoning everything from the past. Some things are worth saving.
WLDC: DC typically falls of the radar when it comes to the world of fashion; do you think that this is changing?
NA: DC doesn’t have to be the fashion capitol of the world to have style and enjoy it. This is a city that takes on some of the most serious issues in the world, but part of its ability to do so comes from the vast resources of diverse and driven people who live here. The fashion scene should also be representative of this. We’re not there yet, but with Worn Magazine I’m trying to do my part to move us in that direction.
WLDC: What about DC excites you?
NA: The pace at which the art community is moving is exciting. I met a girl at the ReadySetDC fashion show who commented on how she moved away from DC for two years and just moved back to find such a different place in terms of creativity and culture. The ability to create something new and see it grow is astounding. Not to say that it’s easy. It definitely is not, but if you have a good idea and follow through, the opportunities are endless.
WLDC: What are your favorite places in the city to go and people watch?
NA: The fountain at Dupont Circle is one of them. I spent a lot of time there last Spring with Joshua Yospyn, our photographer, just looking for people to photograph, talking, and getting to know one another. I have good memories of that time. I also like 18th Street in Adams Morgan on a Sunday morning, especially when it’s sunny. Interesting people come out for brunch and I like knowing I’ll probably run into friends at Tryst.
WLDC: Does DC have a most fashionable neighborhood?
NA: It changes, but lately Adams Morgan has been looking very fashionable. You can also find some very stylish-looking people walking around Georgetown in the middle of the day, and it’s not just the European tourists here to see the Cherry Blossoms.
WLDC: Who are your favorite, national and local, designers?
NA: Right now, I love Alexander Wang, Acne, Marc Jacobs, and Michael Kors. Locally, Derringer Friday is making some incredible-looking ties and pocket squares. They really stole the show at the ReadySetDC event with their models in nothing but ties and towels. Couture Saboteur is another up and coming local jewelry brand we should all look out for. Thomas, the designer, makes these very unique pieces incorporating vintage designer buttons, sequins, even blown acrylic and stones. A few of his pieces are on sale at Redeem on 14th St.
WLDC: What item in your closet can you not live without?
NA: I love hats. I feel more comfortable wearing a hat than not wearing one. I couldn’t live without my black beret until it fell out of my bag while I was riding my Vespa. I wore it every single day during the winter with my boyfriend’s pistol tie clip attached to it. Hats allow me more freedom with my style because they instantly perk up an outfit or hide the fact that I didn’t feel like doing my hair that day. The key to pulling off a hat is just to forget you’re wearing it.
WLDC: What is your biggest fashion pet peeve?
NA: Several things: Not putting effort into your shoes, as in, wearing flip flops or Ugg boots, wearing designer clothing with the labels shown prominently (I don’t think it’s in good taste), and being chronically underdressed (always better to be overdressed).
WLDC: What cameras do you use?
NA: Josh and I use a combination of cameras that shoot film, digital and instant film. The tank he carries around is a Mamiya RZ67 Pro II, which shoots 6×7 medium format film. We both shoot with a Nikon D3 or another Nikon DSLR, plus various lenses. Sometimes we borrow other cameras and lenses from friends. I also shoot polaroids when I’m inspired and can afford the film.
WLDC: What fashion magazines and blogs make your daily read?
NA: Locally, we have a couple of darling lady bloggers who’s posts I always read including Rachel Cothran from Project Beltway and Carla Cabrera from the President Wears Prada. Internationally: I’ve been admiring Swedish fashion for a number of years now, so I often check out Caroline Feber’s blog and also Garance Dore from France. In print, I’m a fan of Love Magazine, Purple Magazine, and when I have time, I consider it a luxury to indulge in The New Yorker.
WLDC: Do you have any advice for aspiring fashionistas, photographers, and magazine editors?
NA: My advice for creative people and entrepreneurs in general is to have confidence in yourself and follow through, no matter what anyone says. You may have heard that before, but when tested, it’s much easier said than done. I have confronted a lot of roadblocks during the process of putting out this first issue (that is putting it lightly) but I also learned some extremely important lessons. First, that it’s important to be a strong leader with clarity of vision in order to cut through all the chaos that inevitably arises when you have a group with strong personalities all working together. Second, however, is that it’s just as important to set aside your own ego, to ask for help when you need it, and to accept that you don’t have all the answers. This takes some of the weight off of your shoulders and opens it up to new opinions and fresh perspectives, which in the end will be beneficial to your project.
WLDC: Okay, last question, how can I make it into the next issue?
NA: You can be a talented local artist or designer just doing your own thing and doing it in DC – or – you can just buy Josh an orange soda.
These photographs are from Worm Magazine’s kick-off party on Tuesday, April 6th at Sweetgreen Logan Circle.
You can visit Worn’s website at www.wornmagazine.com for more information.