A few years ago, when I called New Brunswick, New Jersey my home, and the infamous Route 1 provided a daily dose of rage as I travelled to Princeton for work, I fell in love with fashion blogs. By following bloggers like wunderkind Tavi Gevinson of Style Rookie, Susie Bubble of Style Bubble, Sherrin of Miss Riot, and Jacci Stallone of Being Perfect is Hard, I was given a creative outlet from the monotonous work week.
Out of the few blogs that have maintained a stronghold over my fashion sensibilities, Jacci Stallone’s, Being Perfect is Hard, is consistently at the forefront. With a keen sense of fashion tip-toeing past your typical trends and easily recycled fabrics, she serves a mashup of street style, grunge, humor, and pop culture influenced perspective that’s never banal or lackluster. Delivering engaging editorials, eclectic street style favorites with the “Coolest Looks of the Day,” and designers with creations that might as well have been developed after a day of pouring over art books, and nights out on an acid-driven fog in New York City. She reminds us that our lives are spent in wrapped fabric, so you might as well get dressed each day with garments that display the rebel within, whether it’s in Jeffrey Campbell heels or a cotton candy fur coat.
When Stallone isn’t busy at her day job or blogging for the masses, she is the owner of the online vintage boutique, Something Velvet Vintage. Offering a selection of women’s apparel, overcoats, shoes, and accessories,consisting of black and white checkered Doc Martin creepers, disco drenched Oleg Cassini sequined party dresses, and red faux fur fleece cape poncho, she has something for every walk of life. Stallone’s choices for the boutique and lookbook display her faculty to make choices that hover over the line of esoteric, with the possibility of barreling into a well of vintage don’ts, and turn around to be absolutely perfect. After years of surfing her site, I contacted Jacci and she graciously accepted my request for an interview.
To start off with the basics, how old are you and where are you from?
“I was born and raised in Newport, Rhode Island but I’ve been in Philly for about 10 years now. Let’s just stay I’m still in my 20’s haha.”
From your blog and online shop it seems that you have an affinity for hip hop, punk, funky nails, and rock n roll. Have you always been fascinated by music and fashion?
“Yes, I do love all of those things. My Dad’s a musician so I grew up listening to a lot of classic rock and metal. I started listening to hip hop in 6th grade and it’s still one of my favorite things ever.”
Your blog, Being Perfect is Hard, has a solid following and I’ve been a fan for about two years now. When your brain began hammering away at the notion of starting a blog did you have any expectations, or did you ever fathom it could gain this much attention?
“No, actually when I started the blog it was just me posting funny pictures of things I’d see on the street or like ‘Here’s what I did today’ type of things. When I found out people were actually looking at my blog, it gave me motivation to keep posting more and more and somewhere along the way it turned into a full on style blog.”
Bloggers have become mini fashion celebrities; some of them are sitting front row at fashion shows and are featured in magazines? What do you think about all the attention that bloggers are receiving?
“I think it’s great. Most of these blogger girls have much more authentic personal style than any celebrity, so I think they deserve to be able to do these things. Blogging has given normal girls a lot of opportunities to do things they probably wouldn’t have been able to do say 10 or even 5 years ago.”
I always find the phrase “it” girl scattered around fashion blogs,- how do you define an “it” girl and who fits into that category, dead or alive?
“My definition of an it girl is someone that other girls (and boys) want to look like, dress like, and be friends with. It’s usually someone who’s likeable yet a little unreachable, and has their own original style. My favorite it girls are the pre-internet ones…like Loulou de la Falaise, Marianne Faithfull, Edie Sedgewick, Pamela des Barres, etc. Kate Moss has been an it girl for 20+ years.”
Who are you style role models?
“All of those it girls I just named. Haha.”
What inspired you to start your Etsy shop, Some Velvet Vintage?
“I had an eBay vintage store for a few years back in the MySpace days. After that died down, I decided to completely start over with something new which became Some Velvet Vintage on Etsy. I love having something that’s all my own where I can be creative and do things how I want. I do all the shopping, styling, photos, editing, and shipping myself.”
Your recent lookbook, Siamese Dream, is a trippy brew mixed with 90’s grunge nostalgia. What was your thought process behind it?
“I worked with photographer Bobby Whigham from Too Young Collection, and we both have a love for that 90’s grunge/hip hop time period, so it really just came together nicely. He came up with the location (a county fair in Reading, PA), and the layout and photos of the lookbook. Erin modeled for us (she models for my shop regularly) and she has the perfect look for this type of styling.”
Aside from blogging and pulling the strings at Some Velvet Vintage, what’s your day job?
“I work at Bell’s Bike Shop in South Philly. We’re mainly an online bike parts retailer and I build all the fancy wheels by hand. I’ve been there about 5 years now. I also used to DJ at various places around the city.”
Do you have any projects planned for the new year?
“Yes! I have so many things planned. I’m definitely pushing for a Some Velvet original collection…lots of vintage inspired items. I want to do a lot more lookbooks this coming year, giveaways, etc.”
And finally, if you could go back in time, two years ago, and leave yourself a note, what would it say?