CQ Interview: Stephanie J of N.E.E.T Magazine
Stephanie J is the sickeningly talented editor of N.E.E.T. Magazine, an amazing online project that showcases undiscovered talent, independent designers, budding creatives and stylish people from all around the world. It's hard to believe that such a fantastic mag is put together by one 24-year-old from the South-East of England...but Stephanie's no ordinary girl! I spoke to her about what makes her tick, why she created N.E.E.T., what she thinks of the fashion industry and whether she'll ever sport white jeans...
What inspired you to start N.E.E.T.?
All the inspiration I find on the internet on a daily basis! The amazing fashion photography and illustration on Flickr/Deviantart for example; the quality of items being made and sold on small independent websites. I wanted to bring it together in one place, in a magazine-format digital publication, to spread the word and act as a showcase for it all.
In the future, where would you like to see N.E.E.T. going?
I think there are definite possibilities of it moving into print. I feel there's a gap in the market for a magazine, where you don't have to have a degree in something, or a rich dad, or a million contacts to be able to get your work into it. There is a wealth of talent out there, and so many great, often young, people creating off their own bat, and there needs to be a showcase for that.
What's been the best thing about creating the magazine?
Finding talented people! When I come across a photographer and I'm excited by the looks and feel they've created and captured; or a new shop I hadn't heard of, and the originality of the items for sale. And cheesy as it sounds, when someone emails me and tells me N.E.E.T. has inspired them to start, or keep, creating in their own way.
What's your dream job?
Something that involves my two greatest loves: fashion and pop music.
You're obviously a big supporter of indie brands and designers. Who are your big tips for the top?
I love all the jewellery at www.naughtysecretaryclub.com, www.aeroplaneblonde.net and www.so-charmed.com. Some of my favourite independent vintage boutiques are: www.adorevintage.com, www.plaidponyvintage.com, www.frecklewonder.com and www.peppermintvintage.com. And there are some great consignment boutiques where you can find all sorts of goods by different designers: www.copacetique.com, www.cutxpaste.com and www.day-lab.com.
Who are your favourite fashionistas (designers, photographers, writers etc)?
My ultimate fashion icon is Carrie Bradshaw. For me, she embodies everything that is great about fashion - experimentation, mixing styles, creating looks, getting things so right (and wrong!)
Where do you shop?
Completely going against the independent scene, I buy a lot of my wardrobe in Primark and H&M! But that's mainly because I'm perma-skint, and also because I don't want to spend £40 on one item in Topshop that I'll be bored of after one wear, or I'll spill beer down.
What are your favourite fashion magazines / websites?
Elle Girl UK was the best magazine ever, may it RIP. Happy Magazine goes some way to filling the fashion void left by it in my heart.
What are your current fashion obsessions?
Red! Bows! Pattern! Colour!
What do you love and hate the most about the fashion industry?
I hate the snobbery involved - who you know, where you've been, all this "fnah fnah air kiss" rubbish, and also that it's like you've got to be stick thin to be taken seriously. I love the glamour about fashion, how clothes can make you feel and the excitement in seeing or finding something fabulous.
Now, in the grand CQ tradition, vote Yay or Nay to these trends / people / items...
Platform shoes – Yay! Anything that reminds me of the Spice Girls is a thumbs up in my book.
The Olsen twins - Hm - on the line. Ashley's better than MK, that's for sure. I think they need to put on weight, and shouldn't necessarily be considered "fashion icons" just because they've got a ton of money and stylists doing the hard work for them.
The 60s revival - I enjoy retro a lot. I wouldn't go out in full-on Twiggy-esque from head to toe, but incorporating the good stuff from the past with good stuff from now is what fashion's all about.
White jeans – Nay. Unless you're Liz Hurley, and even then, probably not.
High waisted trousers / jeans – Yay. Anything that accentuates curves, holds you in and covers up love handles/builder's bums = good.
Polka dots – On the line. I do enjoy a good polka dot, but they should be kept subtle, along with stripes, so you don't resemble a flag that just ran screaming from New Look.
Animal print – Again, best to keep it lowkey, so's not to work The Pat-Butcher-in-her-streetwalker-days.
Pete Doherty & Kate Moss - The musician/model thing is a bit cliche - ever since Bill Wyman and Mandy Smith back in the 80s. It's not for me to comment on their personal life, but as clotheshorses, I think they're pretty cool. She is amazing looking and has a knack for creating trends. I prefer Russell Brand!
Formal shorts – Yay. City shorts are one of the best inventions - I live in them. I find they're more flattering than trousers, and you can flash a bit of leg without worrying the world can see your knickers as you stumble up the stairs to the pub toilets.
Sienna Miller - She is gorgeous, but it's the same as with MK & A. And she is a bit of a rich girl's Kate Moss.
Finally, we asked Stephanie to tell us about her current favourite outfit. Being a bit of an artsy diva, she went one better and put together a collage which you can see above. Here's what she's modelling:
Red patent ripoff Office flats - £11.24 Tatlas
Red ripoff Miu Miu hairband - £2.50 Claire's Accessories
Gold leaf necklace - £4.99 H&M
Pink t shirt - £2.00 Primark
Grey ripoff Prada over the knee socks - £4.99 H&M
Beige peeptoe bow wedges - £7.00 Peacocks
Yellow flats - £10.00 New Look
Blue tights - £1.00 Dorothy Perkins
Black and white silk vest - £10.00 Gap
Yellow vest - £2.00 Primark
Anyone who can look that gorgeous on such a tight budget has our greatest admiration! Many thanks to Stephanie for chatting to us. You can see her amazing work at NeetMagazine.com.
If you know someone working in the industry who'd like to be interviewed for CQ, drop me a line!