Beyond the hype // Zoë Deluge

MARCH 2010

Anyone and everyone can find a vice in Los Angeles.

Zoë Deluge is a 19 year old model/fashion designer/artist hailing from Los Angeles, California.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you live.

My real and full name is Zoë Demaruis Portia Flood. (Deluge is just something I picked up in high school haha.) I am 19 years old, although my age seems pretty ambiguous to me. I am French, Vietnamese, and Mexican. I live in Downtown Los Angeles with my boyfriend, Steven Oviedo, and I love every second of it. I am a huge nerd who is really into anime and video games but I am also an artist. I do many things: fashion design, modeling, cosmetology and I'm just starting to put my hand in styling as well.

How has your mixed ethnicity influenced you? Do you identify more with a certain race?

Well growing up I got teased a lot for the way I looked, and people didn't really understand that I was mixed. I grew up hating discrimination in any way, shape or form, and I don't tolerate it at all. I guess I identify with my French side the most, I grew up learning the language and the culture and just all about it, my French teacher was basically my mom in high school.

What are your passions?

Anything to do with art. I am soooo passionate about art in general. I also love everything that comes with fashion design. I've been doing it since I was like 3—my mom taught me how to make doll clothes from scratch, and I got really good at it as a kid. It has really served me well over the years.

On Fridays, Steven and I like to stay in and watch anime and drink, and we will pause whatever we are watching to have a serious discussion on the actual animation and story line. Sometimes we don't even finish the episode!

What are your favorite animes?

Oooo this is hard, me and my boyfriend always try to do this, and it always changes, so I'll give you my top 5 in no particular order.

Here and There, Now and Then—I think that anyone and everyone should watch this anime, its kind of like a Holocaust story except based in another dimension. ONLY watch this in Japanese. It's a short series but you will probably cry many times throughout it. (Even men!) I highly recommend it, its probably my favorite.

Escaflowne—The way the bad guy talks/looks in this anime makes it a top. He will give you chills. and the character designs look like it was designed by Yoshitaka Amano.

Berserk—Kentaro Mura is a genius, both graphically and by storyline. I only watch this in English; they did a very good job in casting. Every person I tell to watch this instantly loves it. You will want to watch the episodes one after the other.

Full Metal Alchemist—Such a long anime, but there is not one filler episode, the English voice cast is one of the best in history, and the story will boggle your mind. Neon Genesis Evagelion—Both the English and Japanese are great, the story is very original, and there is a character for everyone to relate to. I know I relate with Asuka too much haha.

How did you first get interested in fashion?

I first got interested in fashion seriously when I was about 12. I would pick up magazines and draw the models in them. I would choose models according to what they were wearing; mainly that's what I wanted to draw, and it gave me a lot of ideas for when I remade things from the thrift store. Keep in mind this was back in 2002, when it wasn't cool to go to the thrift store, you went there because you were poor haha. I got made fun of a lot growing up.

Tell us about your blog.

I started my most recent blog, Grand Theft Thrift, in December. I wanted to do something different. I wanted it to be about getting things for a good deal and about supporting designers that do almost everything themselves and do their work because they love it! I wanted it to be about anything else but all the other fashion blogs that put up the same old "runway inspirations" or pictures of models. I swear I will see the same line ups on 4 blogs in a row of what's "new" and "trendy,” which is fine for other people. It's just not for me. ;]

You've dabbled in many different occupations. How did that all happen?

I always wanted to be independent, and do something related to art. I mean things just came at me one after the other and I thought I could take it all on at once. I got into cosmetology because I wanted to move out as quickly as possible. I started modeling because I thought it would help promote my clothing and give me some…self worth? In the end, all I want to do is design and make others feel beautiful. First people have to take me seriously.

How do you describe the fashion scene in Los Angles compared to other major cities/fashion capitals?

I loooove Los Angeles. I think that people judge it too harshly sometimes, because they assume everyone from Southern California has a "SoCal" sticker on their "high rise truck" and wears "Ed Hardy" and goes clubbing every night. Los Angeles is so filled with culture and amazing and unique things. You have Korea town where everyone looks like they stepped out of the Korean soap operaBoys Over Flowers (which is a very good thing). You have Downtown and there is such a mixture of hip old and young people, and the Fashion District I mean is much much larger than New York's. Echo Park and Silver Lake are very "vintage" and "bohemian.” I don't think that other cities have as much diversified styles like Los Angeles does, that's why its hard to put a label on it and compare it to fashion capitals in Europe or New York.

What do you love about living in LA?

Haha, this is going to be long. I love its history…there is so much to learn from this city, and so many new things that pop up everywhere. You think you truly know the city, when you don't know that much at all! You can find the best deals on EVERYTHING, especially downtown. Yeah there are a lot of bums but they add the charm to Downtown LA. I think I'm just saying that because Skid Row is right next to Little Tokyo. But thats the thing! There are all these rich expensive lofts, right in the middle of or next to Skid Row. I don't think rich people here are as “bourgie” as people from the East Coast.

Anyone and everyone can find a vice in Los Angeles, and fall in love with the city. There is so much more than Hollywood and what you see in movies. Oh and Anime Expo (the biggest expo in the country) is held every year a few blocks away from my house. That's a real plus. ;]

Top 3 places to visit in LA:

Little Tokyo. Steven and I go here probably three times week. We always visit Jungle Video and the toy store, and look at all the figures that they have for sale (though we have only bought two before—we always make a joke about it). Oh and the food is so good! Although we usually just eat humbly in the Sakura Mart haha.

Super Thrift, located in La Habra. Not quite Los Angeles but it is ABSOLUTELY the best vintage store I have ever been to. Actual vintage with thrift store prices, and if you're nice to the owner he cuts you a deal. ;]

The Echo. Cheap, cool people, good music, cool outdoor area and it's in Echo Park! Probably my favorite place to go to if going out at night. And it's just a bus stop away. ;] (Did I mention I don't drive at all?)

Describe your personal style and its influences / inspiration.

Almost everything in my closet is either made, gifts, hand-me-downs, or second hand. On the rare occasion that I buy my clothes in real stores, it's always on sale or Steven bought it for me.

I am greatly influenced by what people wore in the late 60's to the early 80's. A certain element of that time never changed, just the colors always stayed bold and high-waisted bottoms were always in. I'm really inspired by film and animation. I mean come on, Min Mei from Robotech / Macross was so cute.

Favorite designers and places to shop?

I don't really buy from designers—I'm just going to be real and say its just WAY too expensive. I greatly respect what they do though, and they are true artists. With that being said I really have loved Chanel always and forever, and I love this downtown contemporary designer downtown named Elaine Kim. I modeled some of her designs once, and I really admire the little details but how simple they were.

My favorite places to shop! I love love love Jet Rag Vintage—the only other one is in Tokyo! (That should tell you how cool it is already.) But the prices are so good, and the place is so massive and separated by time era, and on Sundays they have the dollar pile sales that people go crazy for! But mainly I fall in love with any little shop I stumble in, my philosophy is that almost every shop will have one thing that you like.

The first thing you look at in another person's outfit is:

Legs. What kind of pants they are wearing, or tights or shorts, whatever. Overall, how good their legs look, because that can make or break an outfit to me.

What do you skimp on?


What do you splurge on?


A fashion rule you always break:

Not investing money in a high quality designer coat or something. I love quantity over quality. (You should see my closet(s).) But I like to think that you can't tell. :X

A fashion rule you never break:

I never ever go outside with out dressing up.

What do you think is the most recent notable trend to appear/reappear, and what are your thoughts on it?

Floral print. I love it, I've always loved it because that's all there was at one time during the nineties when everyone wore cute mini floral dresses.

What is the most underrated item in menswear and womenswear?

I don't think anything in menswear is underrated because they have such limited options to begin with. (It's not socially acceptable to switch from pants to dresses like girls do.)

For womenswear, femininity. Everything is about being hard and edgy and all Balmainesque and I definitely am not into it. I think being girly and sweet and wearing flowing and sheer things is so endearing and genuine for some reason.

What is your next "must have" purchase?

I used to really want this shirt in Korea town but now the store is closed for business…so I don't know now. Maybe a pair of shoes; mine are all falling apart.

Are there any fashion icons or famous people whose style you admire?

Anna Karina, Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Gainsbourg. Mainly anyone in French cinema.

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

I probably listen to the Girl Talk album Night Ripper and MSTRKRFT's album Fist of God every single day. Something about that fast-paced dancing beat I really enjoy and never get tired of, and reminds me of better days. The Cure is my absolute favorite band though…my mom told me when she was pregnant with me she used to switch between classical music and The Cure to play next to her stomach for me to hear. :D That makes me so happy.

For books, I have been reading the manga by Kentaro Mura Berserk since I've never watched anything so bloody and good! >.<

As for movies, Steven and I have been watching Claymore a lot lately. There is really too much to list…media is a big part of our relationship.

What can't you live without?


Next place you want to travel to (and why):

Gosh I need to travel more. I would love to go to Paris firstly, because I have fantasies of running away there and it's my most favorite place in the world. But I really would actually love to go to Mexico City or Guadalajara soon!

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

Eeeeeeeek this is so so hard. Can I choose a few? I love the look I want a verb and you give me a noun. It's the epitome of my style, and I just love that user so much. Ss because she oozes sex appeal in such a good good way. Things can only go up from here—Erika is like a fabulously dressed mom to me. As for guys of course all of his looks. ;]

In the year 2015 you will be:

Hopefully I'll have been signed with an agency for a while and a very established designer.

What would you say to someone seeking general fashion advice?

Buy secondhand, be confident, don't let the haters bring you down, and have fun.

What should we ask the next interviewee?

If there was a zombie apocalypse, what would be your first weapon of choice? (Hint: don't say chainsaw or shotgun.)


show previous comments

Esikazemese _
i really love this interview, finally someone who hasn't grown up in Chanel clothes and has a lot of cofidence and fantasy to do whatever she wants! You are really inspiring! I also agree that Samantha M. is really hot in such a misterious way haha :) My boyfriend is mexican, our fav city is Paris, i've been to Mexico because of him and you will love it, you have to go there its such a pulsing country! Good luck for all your plans!!!!
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Jerome Centeno
ZOe you're so fashion!!! ^^
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Neekoh P.
I just discovered Zoe and I LOOOOOVE her! Extra, super, duper bonus points because she loves LA :D
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Charlotte S
Really enjoyed this interview! I just discovered all of your amazing looks! Zoë, you're an icon :) and strangely, you really remind of Charlotte Gainsbourg... just a little more subtly edgy though :)
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We Counted All The Tiles .
your pretty zoe and i love your style :D
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Leah Chelski
Such an inspiration :)
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Jessi Jacq
One of my faves...
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Laura Palmer
You have something that catch my eye! You are an inspiration, though!
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Natasha K
zoe is so down to earth! love this.
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Chloe Chong
i love this interview! she's such a real and amazing person! I would consider myself to be incredibly blessed to know such a beautiful person like herself :) Zoe and her boyfriend make the cutest couple, i can only imagine how stylish their future children will be! hahah :) all the best, zoe! you have the talent to become whoever you want to be :D
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Angel D
Nice interview. I'm inspired by her style and how she loves anime because I love anime too (hihihi)
I'm glad that LOOKBOOK interviewed her because she inspires me to do better and dress up better. :)
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Jenna G.
Zoeeee! I love all your looks and you are awesome. Like seriously, your style is inspiring. :D I never see you on tinychat anymore you should come on more!
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Megan Rose
loved reading this zoe! i love your style and i think you're beautiful. i was made fun of when i was younger also, so i can identify with you!
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Zoë A
We have the same nameee<3
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