Jessi Frederick On Assembling Herself And Her Style
IF YOU ASK STYLE BLOGGER AND EMERGING DESIGNER JESSI FREDERICK ABOUT HER LOVE OF FASHION, SHE MIGHT JUST TELL YOU THIS: "I HAVE THE UTMOST RESPECT FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE SEWING OR WELDING ON THEIR KITCHEN TABLE, BUYING MATERIALS FROM LOCAL VENDORS, OR EVEN BETTER, MAKING THE RAW MATERIALS THEMSELVES. IT’S INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT TO SUPPORT THOSE WHO CARE ABOUT THEIR CRAFT.”
Within minutes of our meeting it was easy to see that Jessi is someone who also falls into this category. Her genuine passion for her own endeavors, warm personality, and focused approach to style have all translated into the success of her blog Stylish Gambino - not to mention its growing (and loyal) following. Much like her own personal style, Jessi’s digital curation is consistent and pays homage to simplicity, timelessness, and ease. However that doesn’t mean her feed isn’t without its quirks and sense of humor!
All jokes aside, as someone who is well-versed in technology’s increasingly important role in an industry like fashion (and with tomorrow’s event here at The Brand Assembly Square!) we wanted to further chat with Jessi about her thoughts on this particular synergy. We met with the busy blogger at her Bushwhick home where she kindly showed us her sartorial take on coveted Brand Assembly designers including Morgan Carper and SVILU. In addition to our chat on fashion and technology and her day-to-day in maintaining Stylish Gambino, Jessi also shared more on her own design aspirations with her project The Current Residents. Check out our full chat below and head over to The Style Line for an exclusive second part of this feature.
PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF!
My name is Jessi Frederick. I am a 20 something year old, living in Brooklyn. I enjoy watching Netflix, forcing my dog Lou to cuddle with me, and aromatherapy.
FROM WHAT WE’VE SEEN ON YOUR BLOG STYLISH GAMBINO AND YOUR INSTAGRAM FEED, YOU SEEM TO HAVE A PENCHANT FOR SUPPORTING EMERGING AND CONTEMPORARY DESIGNERS. WHO IS ON YOUR RADAR THESE DAYS AND WHY DO YOU THINK IT’S IMPORTANT THAT WE FOSTER SUPPORT FOR THIS NEXT GENERATION OF DESIGNERS?
Right now, all Brooklyn designers are on my radar. I have the utmost respect for people who are sewing or welding on their kitchen table, buying materials from local vendors, or even better, making the raw materials themselves. It’s incredibly important to support those who care about their craft. Much like the food industry, know where your clothing and accessories are coming from, know that they are being made fairly, and know that they are being made with care and respect.
TALK TO US ABOUT THE CURRENT RESIDENTS. WHAT IS THIS PROJECT AND HOW HAS IT INFORMED THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT DESIGN/BEING A DESIGNER?
The Current Residents is a brand I started with my boyfriend Will. We both have pre-existing jobs and hobbies in two different industries, mine being in the fashion industry, and his being 3D printing. We combined our two passions to create The Current Residents, accessories and home goods made with the use of 3D printing, keeping in mind the place in which we all reside. Our pieces are supposed to be accents to your life, little details to enhance you and your personal space. Also, everything right now is made to order - so we have no waste, and we make our prototypes out of a recycled filament.
The Current Residents has given me my first taste of “branding,” with a product, not a service, that is my own. It’s easy doing it for someone else, but when it’s your own passion and creativity on the line it’s difficult and incredibly personal. 3D printing is still an unknown industry to a lot of people, and it’s exciting to be able to experiment with that.
WHAT ARE YOUR HONEST THOUGHTS ON THE GROWING SYNERGY BETWEEN FASHION AND DIGITAL AND HOW DO YOU THINK THIS IMPACTS DESIGNERS MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE?
The digital world, in terms of social media platforms, is giving designers the ability to speak about their creations, but it also gives consumers the same ability to speak out and voice an opinion. Technology can make or break a brand before it even launches, which is wild...
HOW ARE YOU KEEPING YOUR STYLE FUN AND FRESH THIS SUMMER?
I’ve been playing around a lot more with vintage clothing (pieces I take from my grandmother’s closet). I am an advocate of using my pieces all year round, so it’s always a challenge bringing a fresh take on the same pieces I wore throughout the winter. That’s what style is to me, being able to re-wear and rework what you already own.
FROM FASHION TO TECH, HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO DESIGNERS? WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU OFFER TO DESIGNERS WHEN IT COMES TO BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS/GROWING THEIR BUSINESS BY WORKING WITH TASTEMAKERS LIKE YOURSELF?
It’s incredibly important to be passionate about what you are doing, and to have those personal relationships with the brands and the people behind them. Not only does it increase the possibility of having a long lasting relationship, but it also gives everyone a chance to get comfortable and be more creative. The brands I have worked with time and time again, are the ones I meet up with outside of Gmail.
On the flip side, brands need to think of “tastemakers” as investments. I know personally, it has been challenging for me to convince brands to think of me as an employee in a sense. I am creating marketing material, so I am in your marketing department… I think that’s a common misunderstanding of tastemakers/bloggers/influencers. We as tastemakers are investing in the brand, just as much as they are investing in us, and it’s really imperative to remember that.
WHAT DO YOU ASSEMBLE DAILY?
Myself. I’m constantly being challenged and asked to define myself, my style, my aesthetic, and that’s an incredibly hard thing for me to answer. I’m only 24 years old, I have yet to figure out how to properly do laundry, I only recently came to terms with empanadas being (currently) my favorite food. So daily, I am assembling myself to present to the world. My Monday-self is different from my Tuesday, and most definitely different than my Friday-self!