Whilst in New York City, we had the opportunity to sit down with Jessica Anteby, a successful fashion stylist in her own right, but most will probably know her as the brains behind the wildly popular meme account on Instagram, Beige Cardigan. We spoke about life in NYC, getting into the world of fashion and balancing the demands of running a successful media company with her husband, Elliot, known to most as FuckJerry on Instagram, and her burgeoning career as a stylist.
You live in the West Village; one of New York’s most happening neighbourhoods. What does your standard weekend night look like?
Well, we’re observant Jews, so Friday nights are pretty low key; we have a cute family dinner, maybe walk around the area, and just keep it quiet. But, on a Saturday night, well hang out with friends at our place, have some drinks and grab dinner at Cafe Cluney or some of our other neighbourhood favourites before going out.
So, what’s the real story behind Beige Cardigan?
I’ve been with my husband Elliot, who runs Fuck Jerry, for five years. A couple of years ago, we were chilling on the couch and he was glued to his phone finding posts for the FuckJerry Instagram. I got annoyed and made him put it down. I didn’t think it could be that time consuming to do what he was doing. He challenged me to do it if I thought it was so easy, so I decided to give it a try, and that’s how I started Beige Cardigan. It eventually grew into the girly version of FuckJerry, and now we’re both on our phones all the time, but it’s a lot of fun!
It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t follow Beige Cardigan, but a lot of people don’t realise that you’re actually a very successful stylist. How did you get your start in the fashion world?
I was always into fashion. As a kid, I wore a Barbie outfit to school once. It wasn’t cute, but I thought I was the coolest kid at the time. As I grew up, I hated school. I went to LIM College and then FIT for a bit, but eventually dropped out. I thought I would have trouble finding my place in the fashion world without a degree, but then I got a job working for jewellery designer Roxanne Assoulin. I got to know the personal shopping manager at Topshop pretty well, probably because I spent way too much time there. She took a liking to me and my style, and asked me to come work there.
I got to work with a lot of cool people at Topshop, and learned so much from them. In the beginning, I’d just dress people in the same clothes that I would wear, regardless of their size and shape. Through that job, I learned how to adapt to different body types and styles. I had one client who I got to know personally who asked me to help her shop around at other stores and pack for a vacation. We started spending time together, going through her closet, mixing and matching clothes and buying new stuff. I started getting more clients through that, and eventually it became my full time job.
As a stylist, do you like to work with people who have different styles to your own? Do people come to you to try and emulate your style?
I’m a simple girl; I wear baggy clothes and mostly black. It’s what I like to wear, but it doesn’t mean I don’t love other colours and more fitted or girly clothes for my clients. I love seeing how people are drawn to different pieces and styles. Sometimes I get clients who like what I wear, and sometimes they come to me because they like how I’ve dressed other people.
Do you give any style advice to your husband?
He’s the hardest person to give style advice to! That’s actually kind of why I was attracted to him at first; he does his own thing. He’ll ask my opinion here and there, but he has his own (awesome) style. It’s simple, but super cool.
New York City is a melting pot of styles and cultures, so you see all sorts of fashion here. But, where else in the world do you draw inspiration from?
Paris. Paris is where it’s at. The first time I went there, I packed all my coolest outfits and thought I looked great. Then, I would walk out into the street and see some girl walking by wearing…I don’t even know what, but it was nothing special, but she would still be looking so effortlessly chic. Shoreditch in London is kind of like that, but everyone in Paris just pulls it off.
What neighbourhood in NYC do you like most, from a style perspective?
Nolita and the Little Italy area.
What are some of your favourite brands, from high street to high fashion?
I love Chloe for accessories, Acne is one of my favourite brands, Marni is amazing and Dries Van Noten is my all time favourite. Gucci is making a comeback, and though I don’t love all their stuff, I’ve seen some people rock it and love that they’re going in a different direction. On the high street, mixing and matching from Topshop and Zara works really well.
When you see someone wearing something you like, how do you find it for yourself?
Well, given that I work in fashion, I recognise a lot of things. But, I’m never shy to ask anyone if I like what they’re wearing…but now, I can just Comb things!