Beyond the hype // Whitney Fierce

April 2008

If you like it, and you strut like you mean it, no one will ask questions.

Whitney Fierce is a 22 year old designer from Los Angeles, CA. She has graciously volunteered to participate in the first of our "Beyond the hype" interviews, where we dig into the backgrounds and lifestyles of our most influential members.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Well---my name is Whitney Pierce, but I am often referred to as Whitney Fierce, or something similar. I am originally from Seal Beach, California, and I think growing up in a beach town as an artist was pivotal in my development as a person and in my fashion sense, as I realized I would not fit in (indefinitely) and decided to embrace myself for who I was at a young age. Also helpful in the nourishment of my fashion sense was my attendance of an art school for my formative years, allowing me to embrace my differences and giving me the chance to freely explore them. Going to UCLA would generally have crushed me, however finding one's own place in the city and learning to fashionably set oneself apart have been indispensably important. My partnership with my fiance in both business and love/life have expanded my horizons further in fashion (and in everything), as we challenge each other to incarnate intuition in dress and [we] often compliment each other in our styles of dress.

In our business we have found new outlets for creation. Our line roadKILL, by theRecycledDead, is a conglomeration of love of life and reincarnation. In a world where death is inevitable we aim to breath a new breath of life in objects that would often be dejected.

We generally describe ourselves like this: roadKILL is the first line to emerge from theRecycledDead, the brainchild of lovers Christopher and Whitney. Their love for fine art, taxidermy, and couture fashion coalesced into what we now know as roadKILL. Their jewelry and accessories are made of teeth, claws, bones, feathers and the like collected from around the world, by their own hands and often the hands of Native Americans. Their aim is to take the refuse of the animal world and transform them into haute pieces to compliment the most unique of styles. roadKILL can be found at:

Describe your style and its influences.

I think my style is a result of a lack of influences. The refusal to assimilate to accepted trends has paved the way for a truly unique style. The fact of the matter is that I generally don't care what people think, and often what some people find daring, I find normal, and take it a step beyond. I am admittedly a label whore, but of course, take it in stride. Many of my pieces are vintage designer finds that accent the rest of my closet which consists of anything from Old Navy and American Apparel to Vintage, J Brand, and Earnest Sewn. On the topic of J and Earnest, I am a huge proponent of well cut jeans, often this means spending a ton of money, but this is the only closet section (except shoes, obviously) that my wallet cries for. But when it comes down to it, you can wear almost anything with a good pair of jeans and pull it off, and well. What else... I really appreciate simplicity and minimalism, I also adore over-articulation. I will wear either one or two colors, or every color in a color family. I'm pretty sure this is a round about way of saying that I wear what I want and how I want, in no particular order, and somehow it turns out decent.

Favorite designers and places to shop?

In art I love the Bauhaus and postminimalism, in fashion it really depends. LA Fashion Week seems to always disappoint, but there are some independent designers such as Brian Lichtenberg and Lisa Katnic that I really appreciate. I like the classic appeal of Ralph Lauren collection, and I am always a sucker for Marc Jacobs; and who doesn't love vintage Pucci, tell me, who? I used to love Dolce and Gabanna, but man, they've really gone down hill. My favorite places to shop are equally as stratified..I love the goodwill, and vintage stores such as Slow, but on the other hand, I really enjoy American Rag Cie. Boutique shopping is fun every once in a while, like Creatures of Comfort, but the nose in the air thing rarely works for me. I can't deal with people who are sure that they know all, especially in fashion.

Favorite color(s) of the moment:

1. Black, 2. gold, 3. white. This is for wearing -- and I really like black and brown together. I've had quite a penchant for orange in decorating lately, don't' ask.

Do you feel fashion repeats itself? What do you think is the latest trend to appear/reappear, and what are your thoughts on it?

Of course fashion repeats itself, we've apparently run out of ideas! I, personally, am really excited about the revival of the high waist and wide leg pants. They fit my body, so I'm especially pleased. A high waist on a lady is extremely feminine and really accents a curves a woman should have. I think these trends are also heading for a fuller figure, rather than the waif thin look that has been so popular for at least the last decade. I always get excited about the revival of vintage looks, but I think there is a necessity to add a modern flair to returning trends. Thus, mixing today and yesterday is most effective in achieving a "modern" and "fashionable" look. (Mind you I put these in quotes as they are entirely self-determined.)

What's on your IPOD / bookshelf / DVD player at the moment?

Well, first things first, I don't have an ipod -- mine was stolen while I was living in africa. However I listen to a lot of different music..I hate to state the obvious, but I love the Kinks, Fleetwood Mac, the Zombies, Peter Sarstedt, Bob Seger, and the like. In more modern music I'm especially down for Aesop Rock, Spank Rock, continuously a fan of Larry T, and I love international music such as Kinky (Mexico), Yann Tiersen (France), Banana Zorro (Tanzania), and Teddy Afro (Ethiopia).

For books, I guess one might find it a little strange but I read a ton of art theory (Barthes, Krauss), philosophy (LOVE Plato, Chomsky), and have had a tendency to read Pullitzer Prize laureates such as Oe, Coetzee, Kertesz, and Mafouz. I have always adored e.e. cummings..I'm a romantic, what can I say?

Right now, physically in my DVD player, is The Darjeeling Limited (fantastic), and generally there's a yoga dvd, I refuse to do yoga in public.

What is your personal favorite outfit on LOOKBOOK by you, and by another member?

Ah here we go--quite frankly I have no idea. We'll go with "shave your head for good measure" (pictured above, rightmost) as my "fave"..though I really don't know if that's true. I very much enjoy "version" and "tutor" from Biz C. I very much respect and applaud her look.

What would you say to someone seeking general fashion advice?

Three pieces of advice: (1) Shop/dress to your body: figure out your biggest asset, and work with it. I have a small waist, so I wear high waisted things. Bring the attention to your parts you most enjoy. (2) Shop to your wallet: no one will know how much you spent if you wear it well and follow my next piece of advice, (3) Wear with confidence: if you like it, and you strut like you mean it, no one will ask questions.

Special thanks to J. Kissi for coming up with several of the questions in this interview!


wow amazing interview really enjoyed reading this.. and no problem Yuri
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Lana Rose
wonderful interview! the roadKILL line sounds amazing and I'd love to get some!
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Kitty Sigüenza
Darjeeling IS amazing; Natalie Portman in the short film made me fall in love with her all over again.
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Jasi Su
really great interview. i'd sport the roadkill line too!
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Anne Park
i looove slow too. favorite in melrose... ;)
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Matthew Pike
nice one
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Nat Bass
I love everything you said, cool interview
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word, another seal beach local, that's whats up !!! :)
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