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INTERVIEW: UNVIELING OLIVER LEONE

@YOURFASHIONARCHIVE




Written by secondordervanity
March 17, 2020



        Social media has been noted as a driver of culture

- a mechanism which ostensibly enables anyone to create and curate an online profile and interact with an audience. Connectivity is no longer a privilege, but an expectation, having opened the floodgates for a new age of sharing and networking. No platform seems to capture this zeitgeist as accurately as Instagram, a medium which has enabled a generation of content creators to share their work with eager audiences in unparalleled fashion. But no blessing is without drawbacks and Instagram's popularity has metastasized the platform into a sort of hellscape of content - as users indulge in the platform's claim to fame, they may find themselves swamped in a marsh of filters, emojis and ever-increasing options. Creatives find their work overshadowed by moneyed brands or drowning in the tide of trends and ever-changing algorithms. This plague is particularly apparent in Instagram's fashion community, which has *arguably* become an ouroboros of hype and rehashed ideas which are reposted into oblivion. Without ingenuity, life becomes a deadly dull tale and with each passing day the artistic horizon seems to narrow despite an abundance of content.

        Enter @yourfashionarchive. This page which, through the perseverance of its creator, has arrested the attention of followers interested in scanned images from older fashion magazines. The images are often of those lost in the annals of history, overlooked but seminal moments in the archive of contemporary fashion. While it’s founder may not be a creative, his page is a celebration of creativity and designers that may deserve more recognition and have influenced past and current creative landscapes. Despite his increasingly busy schedule leading to the launch of his website, I managed to pin him down for a chat about his story and plans for the future.

Name

Oliver Leone

Age

20

Location

Los Angeles

Favorite brands/designers 

N/A

Who are you? What’s your narrative?

I’m a loner-obsessive trying to make others happy through my love for fashion, art and people.

Describe your relationship with fashion and the genesis of your journey into the world of fashion.

Ever since I could remember I’ve been bashful and uncomfortable in my own skin. As I grew up, I discovered fashion as an outlet to express myself without words. A walking paradox, I hated to be noticed but simultaneously liked to stand out. Nowadays when I wear “loud” clothing, I’m empowered by people’s stares. I got into archive fashion after I was kicked out of my parent’s house while battling addiction. I was homeless and didn’t have anything besides a high school diploma to my name so I would go to the Goodwill Outlet Centers across town and steal vintage clothes to resell on eBay. I learned how to date pieces by their tags, stitching, and hardware. I eventually got into vintage designer clothes and the rest is history.



Why did you start @yourfashionarchive and what’s your vision for the page?   

         I don’t really remember when and why I did but I was doing a lot of fashion research at the time and wanted a place to showcase what I learned… kinda like how a child wants to brag about their school-day to their parents. Now, I want my page to be a source of inspiration through lost media that never made their way online and information on brands which never received their chance to be heard or seen. My new website is an unfiltered fashion blog/magazine that will publish raw opinions unperturbed by public discourse and interviews with designers that deserve to have a voice.

To whom and where do you look for references and creative inspiration?

        I don’t know. When I first got started, I messaged Shamir @archivings.stacks constantly and he taught me how to do what he does. These days I’m inspired by my dreams.

How have you channeled your *obsessive* personality into your new undertaking and collection of clothes?

    I constantly buy clothes (even though I can’t afford them) and magazines. I’ve found that searching for great content and pieces is a way to quench my obsessive cravings. Currently I’m using my collection as an instrument to style influential people and begin my career as a stylist.

What void do you hope to fill in the space shared by fashion and social media?

    I feel as if there’s a lack of honesty and individuality. Scrolling through your explore page will likely yield the same content or brands with identical styles of clothes. Although I push to fight against mediocrity, unfortunately it’s what performs best on Instagram. I’ve begun to work with Grailed and have since analyzed the content they post on their Instagram page; easily digestible memes, such as those about CDG Play perform the best while real fashion information does the worst (in terms of numbers/engagement). This is a reflection of social media on a whole and what I’m trying to combat.

On a related note, what do you think the fashion industry is lacking?

        Risks. Brands are too concerned with other’s opinions, cancel culture and marketable collections that perform well on social media and retailers alike. There are few designers that just do what they wish creatively.

Do you hold any other passions outside of fashion?

        I like to read. Cook. Write. Hike and workout.

Can you pinpoint a specific moment, in your life, fashion or otherwise, which has set the course for your current trajectory?

        I honestly can’t, everyday is a new moment. I think once I did my first interview with Masahiro Nakagawa of 20471120 I was like “Okay, I like writing and talking to people about fashion - maybe I will try to continue this in an editorial format.” It makes me happy to be the medium for these designers’ voices.

Your website, yourfashionarchive.com, is finally live. What can you say about its inception, the process of putting together interviews/ editorials and how you hope/imagine it will progress?

        It’s been a lot of fun but it’s hard work! When you have to self motivate it’s difficult to stay consistent (especially when you’re not getting paid) but it’s a learning process. I love doing interviews and especially love having photoshoots supplement them. I want the site to have a multitude of writers but I’m still looking for the right fit. The idea of the site is that it’s independent and honest, two elements the [fashion] industry is lacking. I don’t have a ton of people to talk to about fashion, so when readers respond to my pieces I’m always grateful. I hope to expand [the site] in the future. It’s in [its infancy] but is evolving quickly.






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