Interview with BETH JONES, Fashion Blogger & Stylist
March 30, 2011 § Leave a comment
What started as a youthful penchant for intrepid personal style blossomed for Beth Jones, whose achievements include serving as Style Ambassador for Quicksilver Women and a flourishing career as a personal stylist. Jones, a resident of Orange County, CA, has been part of the fashion arena since the successful launch of her first blog, The Vintage Society, in 2007. She continues to maintain a staunch following in the highly competitive fashion blogosphere via B. Jones Style, a lively commentary and visual documentary about her personal flair.
Where did your entrance into the fashion world really begin?
The first thing was starting my blog back in January 2007. It was at a time when blogging wasn’t such a big deal, and I didn’t realize so many people would read my blog. But it just took off and I got to be there right when the blogging wave started to roll, and from there I got a sponsorship with Quicksilver Women, which was my real acceptance into the fashion world.
How did you get connected with your position at Quicksilver?
They announced in 2007 that they would be launching their women’s line in 2008, and were looking for people to represent their brand. I saw their ad in NYLON magazine and felt like what they were looking for was very similar to who I was and what I did. From there I began the application process of sending in my portfolio and pages and pages of responses to their application questions. That led to a couple preliminary and final interviews and eventually my one-year sponsorship, which paved the way for my job.
You also work as a personal stylist. What are the most challenging aspects of that?
It is very challenging. I like to really have fun when I dress, and most women don’t want to do that – they just want to look good without taking any risks. That’s a challenge for me, being such a creative person. I love to think outside of the box and be unique, while most people that I work with want to be comfortable and classic. Figuring out how to mesh their ideas with my influence is difficult. They represent what I do, and so I have to represent both them and myself in their style. People are very personal about their personal style, so they have to trust me, and it takes a while to build up that trust.
What makes the voice of your blog unique in the expansive blogosphere of street style?
When I started there were hardly any blogs, and now it’s almost overwhelming to me how many there are. I definitely tap into fashion news to see what’s going on and look into some street style, but honestly, I keep myself away from a lot of personal style blogs because I am a personal style blogger. There are a few I look at every now and then because I like them so much or because we are friends. Other than that though, I try to keep a healthy distance so that I can be certain I’m staying true to myself and not copying somebody else. To a certain extent we all take inspiration from each other because fashion really is a lot of collaborative inspiration, but I still really want to be unique and be myself. If you look at my blog, the way I write is the way I talk. It’s very upbeat, conversational, and positive. To me, fashion is fun, and personal style doesn’t mean that style is restrained.
Do you see streetwear blogging as shaping fashion into being more peer-influenced than runway-influenced?
Yes. Street style has changed fashion so much because before, the almost the only interpretation of fashion we had was through magazines. We didn’t really have access to what was happening on the runways, so we followed what the gatekeepers, the magazines, were telling us, which was usually American. Now, you can look at people in Stockholm, Germany, and Russia and see things they’re wearing that might otherwise never infiltrate our fashion. There are things that pop up on the street now and become trends that have nothing to do with what happened on the runway. Yes, the runway has extensive influence, but it is interpreted through street style, and so many people are looking to street style to know what to wear.
Do you think that with the emergence of fashion blogs, there has been a shift of interest from major fashion publications to fashion blogs?
Definitely, magazines are dying every day. Readership is failing because people are looking at blogs all the time. The things that you could only see in the magazines before are now available all over the internet. You can live-stream fashion shows instead of waiting to get the images. I hope that magazines stick around because I love print, and I think Vogue and Elle will always stick around.
What do you think is distinct about LA fashion, and do you think we influence the world of fashion at all?
As far as high fashion, it’s not the east coast. Still, LA is where the celebrities are, and the general masses want to wear whatever they are wearing. So we definitely offer celebrity fashion, and we also have a lot more laid-back, Erin Wasson style, which does filter back to what is being worn in New York. I personally, though, really love the New York kind of style where you always dress up before you go out.
Do you think that the vintage craze that reemerged during the past few years is beginning to wear off or just reimagining itself?
I hope it’s not wearing off because I love wearing vintage clothes. I think that just because of the recession, there’s still a big push for vintage. I saw Bobbie Thomas on the Today Show do a whole spread on vintage clothing, and so that’s a reemergence for vintage style. Now all of America is interested in vintage. It’s not just for the cool fashion crowd because it’s also being seen as a way to save money and be environmentally friendly. I love the reinterpretation of vintage. Fashion is cyclical, and vintage can often pull off the current runway trends. The old school way of wearing vintage – looking like you only came out of the 40’s or 50’s – that is starting to go away.
What advice would you give college students who are looking to build a versatile wardrobe on a tight budget?
Thrift shopping! I love it! You still have to be aware of what’s going on in fashion, otherwise you’ll just walk into a thrift shop, be overwhelmed, and buy crappy clothes.
How would you respond to people that think that being interested in fashion is too materialistic?
It’s a creative way of expressing yourself. It doesn’t have to be materialistic. I mean, if it becomes all about the brands and how much you’re spending, you can definitely be on the materialistic side. But we are creative individuals, and if fashion is how you are gifted and how you express your creativity, you should definitely explore it.
Interview by Alyson Luthi, staff fashion writer.
Photos of Beth Jones by Michelle Mosqueda, staff photographer.