Interview with Jae: Part One

This week’s interview is with Jae, whose style and wit I’ve admired for some time. I wanted to interview Jae not only because she has exquisite taste but also because she has such strong and well thought out views on fashion. I may not agree with everything she says, but I love reading it all because my most interesting conversations are always with those who have a different opinion! I’m sure you’ll all feel the same.

There is so much interesting stuff here that I’ve made this into a two part interview – so head on to the first half below, and enjoy Jae’s amazing style – I’ve included some of my favorite outfits throughout:

Jae in Chanel jacket, Louboutin heels, and Hermes bag

What is your name? Where are you from, and what do you do?

I usually sign my informal correspondence with a J, so it’s Jae online.  I’m from a tony, Jewish suburb of NYC and I’m an attorney…specifically a litigator.

When did you first start getting into fashion? What was your first high end purchase?

I started getting into fashion when I was in high school.  Fashion being I thought I was so cool dressing in horrifically oversized Tommy Hilfiger emblazoned jackets.  Then there was the Goth phase which I really haven’t ever left–just tempered with age.  I’m still a massive fan of Givenchy (Tisci-zed), Haider Ackermann, Ann Demuleester & Rick Owens.

My first high end purchase was my prom dress.  Calvin Klein Collection, a minimalist black silk backless dress…which has since been shortened to cocktail length!  I still wear it after 12 years!

A day look

Who are you favorite designers? High end and low end?

While I love the aforementioned designers above, my closet has to be wearable for a 30 yr old attorney with a weird Mr. Potato body type whose significant other likes to hang out on the UES.  Hence, most of my closet is Yves Saint Laurent and Proenza Schouler.  I think YSL is the most classic and wearable brand, evinced by the fact that I still wear my mother’s strong shouldered, mini work dress from the 80s (so Melrose Place back then and now so Balmain!)

Other than my standbys, I own a little bit of what I believe each house is known for.  A tweed jacket from Chanel, a trench from Burberry, Valentino for beautiful blouses, TSE and Loro Piano for sweaters.  Each house has it’s strengths – meaning, if I want a bandage dress (which I don’t because I don’t have the body to pull it off), I’m going to get an Alaia, not some Herve mass marketed, made in China junk. As for low end brands, my go to place for workhorse items like Ts is Gap/Banana Republic’s day after x-mas sale and stock up on 3.99 tissue tees/tanks for the rest of the year.

I also am a HUGE fan of Loehmanns for my J Brand/Tsubi jeans.  I adore Superfine jeans and they always end up on 70% sale at Saks or the Outnet since they’re not so popular here in the states.   If I had to chose a low end brand, I’d go to Zara, but ONLY when it’s on sale because I remember when I first went to Zara in Barcelona in the 90s, the stuff was always under $30.  I can’t ever pay more than $30 for Zara anything because it always falls apart within 2-3 seasons.

Chloe boots, Chanel bag

 Which designer do you think is the most overpriced and overhyped…and which do you wish got more love?

So this is going to offend — the Wangsters out there, but Alexander Wang is a complete “emperor has no clothes.”  He’s only successful because he’s from a well to do family who owns factories in China and he grew up with the Traina sisters.  He had easy access to create his commercial vision and the friends to promote it for free.  Meh.  He’s no artist-he sells…commercialism.  MEH!

And of course, Gucci…but it’s not very overhyped anymore–just overpriced.  The gauche logo print accessories and cheaply made silk jersey for New Jersey RTW are just so offensive.  I forget which editor called Gucci’s RTW an “expensive Bebe”.  It’s never been the same since Tom Ford left.  Oh those were the glory days…hmmmm velvet pants suit.  Iconic.

Now to be nice!  I ADORE Peter Som…who really doesn’t get enough love!  His tailoring and lady-like details are often overlooked for things more flashy.  I ended up with a lot of Bill Blass pieces when Som was helming it because it was just so beautifully made.

I told you all – this girl definitely has her own point of view and take on fashion. I hope you all enjoyed meeting Jae…check back tomorrow for Part 2 – where she’ll will share some more thoughts, and tips on what to purchase for the perfect wardrobe (I’ll say now that her answers have totally made me rethink how I shop). And of course, there will be photos galore. For those of you who want some more Jae, please check out blog here.

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  • Reply
    April 26, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I love to read her blog too!

    x Krizia

  • Reply
    April 26, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    @Krizia, awesome! I'm so glad to find somebody else who is a Chanello reader 🙂

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ A Walk in the Closet
    April 26, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    I have to agree with Jae on Zara! Actually, on most mall brands….BR, Gap, Zara, J.Crew, etc. I used to work retail and these brands go on sale like such regular clockwork, I'm not willing to fork over full price. It's weird, I'll spend several hundred on one brand but on another, I also wouldn't spend more than $30 or so. Lol!

    I enjoyed the tidbits about Alexander Wang. I think part of being a designer these days is charisma and the talent to be a "people" person so in that respect, I give some credit to Mr. Wang. Plus, his items are very easy to wear even if not always original. However, I definitely think he is overpriced because I'm of the school of thought that basics should be basic in price, too. Some will definitely disagree. 😉

  • Reply
    April 26, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Lovely! She's very pretty and has great style.

    I can definitely see why you chose her, she certainly does have strong opinions. I think that we all do, though, we just don't express them enough 😉 She does bring up a good point about commercialism, etc. Also, I love that she altered and still wears her prom dress–I try to do the same whenever possible 🙂

    Again, GREAT choice for an interview, you rock!


  • Reply
    April 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Great interview! Although I also don't agree with everything she says, I love how bold she is and unafraid to share her opinions. All women (including me!) need to be more like that.

  • Reply
    Courting Couture
    April 26, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Thank you K for interviewing me! I'm offensive for sure, but I mean it in the nicest way if possible. 🙂

    I do want to note that in 2006, I was very curious and very much a fan of A.Wang. His dresses were very slimming–which is my #1 priority in clothing. Then, I heard the back story from one of his classmates @ Parsons (she's not jelly-she is very successful herself)and also the quality of the clothing has seriously gone down.

    Also-I have done my fair share of contemporary brands like Theory, Zara, Elie Tahari, Helmut Lang, Club Monaco — but since my closet in NYC is TEENY TINY and I'm limited to 1/2 of a walk in in SF, I needed to prioritize!

    I'm just trying to impart some painfully gained wisedom that I have learned as I tried to clean out my closet at Crossroads/eBay and would get $10 or NOTHING for a rediculous @150 impulse buy I made at Miss Sixty. In the other spectrum, I actually MADE money on a pair of grey Gucci pants (via Tom Ford era) that were a size 34 Italian…which I will never be again unless I re-start the Lindsay Lohan diet.

  • Reply
    April 26, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    I think it's wonderful that Alexander Wang reinvented basics and always puts together some interesting silhouettes but man… sometimes, a tee shirt is just a tee and shouldn't cost an arm and a leg! It is interesting to hear his backstory, and it's really interesting to hear it from such an opinionated woman!

    I loved this interview. Can't wait to read part 2!

  • Reply
    April 26, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Wow. This is my first time hearing about her, but I will definitely be checking out her blog. She's opinionated, which I like. I'm excited for part two!

  • Reply
    Gina Michele
    April 26, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Great interview! I love her style and the fact that she's not afraid to speak her mind. Off to check out her blog now…

    ♥ Gina Michele

  • Reply
    April 26, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    She has great style !! Will definitely check out her blog.


  • Reply
    April 26, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    What a great interview and pictures!!!
    xo C.
    Ps. do you have any tips on NYC?

  • Reply
    Quiapo Ilalim
    April 26, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    i read her blog and its amazing! nice job with the intwerview!

  • Reply
    Dream Whispering
    April 26, 2011 at 4:06 pm


    great interview!

    i'm not agree with all that she says but yes of most of it!

    nice blog!

    thang's for following i follow you too!

    kiss from barcelona!

  • Reply
    April 26, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Shes has a great style!!!

  • Reply
    Jazzy E (hivenn)
    April 26, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    so lovely. x hivenn

  • Reply
    April 26, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Just from this interview, I do love her!

  • Reply
    April 26, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    What a great intrview! Jae obviously has a very enviable wardrobe and more than that, clearly knows what she's talking about- her answers are so thoughtful and detailed, it was really fun and interesting to read. Plus she's fabulously stylist, which doesn't hurt 🙂

  • Reply
    The Hue Smiles
    April 26, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    interesting interview, I appreciate someone who speaks their mind
    Forever Chic,

  • Reply
    sugar sugar
    April 26, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    i can see why you admire her. she's definitely gorgeous and has style! =)

    i love how straightforward she is with her answers. awesome interview!

  • Reply
    April 26, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Thank you so much for posting a comment on my blog! You've got such a beautiful blog! Following!
    Would love to see you following me too!

    xo Julie

  • Reply
    April 26, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Wow~ Another lovely interview! Loving her RED hermes!!

  • Reply
    Reflect and Fancy | fashion blog
    April 26, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    love all your outfits!!

  • Reply
    April 26, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Great interview…she has a killer style for sure!!!!

    xx Cat brideblu

  • Reply
    April 27, 2011 at 12:44 am

    Very nice interview.

  • Reply
    April 27, 2011 at 1:37 am

    I've read her blog before and she has fabulous style! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 27, 2011 at 1:40 am

    i love the interview!
    she's so fashionable and really strong-minded!

  • Reply
    Chic 'n Cheap Living
    April 27, 2011 at 2:08 am

    She has a great voice and I now want a red Birkin. Interesting tidbit about Alexander Wang and I feel the same way about Zara and waiting for sales after discovering it in Spain (sooo cheap there!)

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  • Reply
    April 27, 2011 at 2:25 am

    I'm so glad you all liked the interview! Check back tomorrow morning as I'm working on Pt. 2 now 🙂

  • Reply
    Kimia Kline
    April 27, 2011 at 2:33 am

    that girl is hot hot hot. love her style.

  • Reply
    April 27, 2011 at 2:52 am

    Thank you for introducing us to Jae. She really has impeccable style.

  • Reply
    April 27, 2011 at 3:51 am

    cool blog!!! love posts like this

  • Reply
    April 27, 2011 at 5:18 am

    hey! thanks so much for your amazing comment and your support in the competition. i'm finally back from Shanghai and back to blogging. I think i was starting to get withdrawal symptoms from blogger and facebook haha! i'll be uploading a photo diary soon 🙂


  • Reply
    Nadia Aboulhosn
    April 27, 2011 at 5:21 am

    i love that hat!!

  • Reply
    Ellen ♥
    April 27, 2011 at 6:40 am

    Great interview! 🙂 I like her style so simple chic 🙂

    btw, I am your new follower. 🙂 hope you will follow my page too. 🙂

  • Reply
    April 27, 2011 at 7:19 am

    What a fantastic interview, my dear! You did a fabulous job, and I'm so incredibly jealous of her bag collection!
    xo Josie

  • Reply
    April 27, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Great interview! Congrats 🙂

  • Reply
    anna ∆
    April 27, 2011 at 8:52 am

    thanks for your comment 🙂

  • Reply
    The Stylish Nomad
    April 27, 2011 at 10:12 am

    She is super stylish!


  • Reply
    La Belle Fabuleux
    April 27, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Dior is also overpriced and overhyped! The last great bag was the saddle bag and that was years ago. Wayyy too expensive now.

    Great interview!


  • Reply
    May 4, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Jae's opinions are so spot on. I love when people have clear opinions about fashion and are not just a yes man to brands. She goes for quality not quantity and I can definitely can relate to her modification of goth influence over the years. She is also right about Gucci being a expensive version of Bebe because Bebe has just knocked off their Spring RTW collection.

    Confessions of a Couture Junkie

  • Reply
    Meet Vanessa
    May 9, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    I love your style!!!


  • Reply
    Interview with Jae: Part 2 » Feather Factor
    May 8, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    […] that means interview time! I already shared with you Part 1 of this week’s interview with Jae here. Now it’s onto Part 2, which features perhaps one of my favorite interview responses of all […]

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