This week on Creatures Features, R29’s Alyssa Coscarelli stopped by our NYC store to shop our SS18 collection. We asked her all about her personal style, her favorite female-focused brands, and what looks she’s loving this season.
Creatures Features: Tell us a little bit about yourself—where are you from and how did you end up in NYC?
Alyssa Coscarelli: Hi! I’m Alyssa and I’m a senior fashion market editor at Refinery29. Some might know me as “@alyssainthecity,” my Instagram account where I share everything from my outfits to my daily life in New York. I’m originally from the South; I grew up in Florida and Georgia. I moved to New York to attend LIM College, a private college for the business side of fashion, almost 7 years ago now. It definitely wasn't the typical college experience, but I wouldn't trade that decision for anything. It really led to me to where I am today.
CF: Which neighborhood has the most distinct sense of style? What neighborhood do you live in and how do you view its sense of style?
AC: I live in the East Village now, and it definitely has a lot more style than the Williamsburg and Gramercy neighborhoods I lived in previously. I love the East Village because it feels to me like it’s still hanging on a bit to its true New York roots… Some might disagree (I know, gentrification! Everywhere!), but there’s an NYC charm to the East Village, both in its overall vibe and in its style. I feel it still has a slight grungy, New York edge. It’s really a mixed bag… People watching is always great in my area. I mostly hang out there and in the Lower East Side, where style is also fun since there’s a ton of fun, young people keeping things interesting. But I’m always pleasantly surprised when I go to the Upper East Side and see that classy, old New York, ladies-who-lunch style, too. Every area has something different to offer, style-wise. That’s what makes New York so special.
CF: You’ve said in the past that personal style is hard to describe because it’s always changing. How do you find your style changing year-to-year? Day-to-day?
AC: Year-to-year I find my style getting somewhat more mature. Sure, I like to say I’ll try any trend once. I still like to have fun with my style, don’t get me wrong, but it’s getting slightly more mature and refined as I get older, which I guess is expected. Day-to-day though, hell, it’s all over the place. One day I’m super vintage-inspired and ruffle-y and the next I’m punk and the next I’m athleisure. Just depends. I don’t like to box myself in to one look.
CF: What are some unexpected looks you’re seeing this spring?
AC: I’m loving some more unexpected colors this season. I never thought I’d be into wearing bright green or lavender, but they’re both colors I’m seeing a lot of this season and am actually getting excited about introducing to my wardrobe.
CF: Any trends you wish would come back or, alternatively, should end?
AC: I’m kind of over off-the-shoulder-everything. Enough, already!
CF: What inspires you at Refinery29? What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned there?
AC: The people I work with inspire me every single day. The biggest lesson I’ve learned there is probably that everything is going to change, always, whether we’re talking about social media and technology or fashion and trends or the industry as a whole. Change is the only constant. The only thing you can control is how you react and respond to it.
CF: What’s your process in coming up with a story for R29? How do you navigate mixing current events with fashion?
AC: We plan some in advance, but my stories just really have to do with what I’m seeing and what I’m feeling on any given day, whether it’s a brand I discover on a late-night Instagram binge or a launch from a brand we love. There’s only so much you can plan and predict, so sometimes I don’t know what I’m writing until right before I write it. Current events and fashion really go hand in hand, so I roll with the punches and just try to stay a step ahead of the curve as much as possible.
AC: As an editor my inbox is literally inundated with pitches from brands day in and day out, so it becomes really clear when brands are trying to capitalize on current movements. My inbox was filled with brands claiming to support women on International Women’s Day, when really they don’t year-round. So we decided to call attention to that and be a little bit more selective on what brands we covered on that particular day.
CF: Any favorite female-focused brands?
AC: Lately I’m obsessing over a brand called Maison Cleo that’s run by a mother-daughter duo and handmade in France.
CF: Since the rise of online influencers and street style, there’s been some push back between online bloggers and traditional editors—with the latter jokingly called the "old guard." As someone who is both an editor and who has a significant social media following, how do you view this relationship?
AC: It’s definitely a “new guard,” those of us who are juggling both. It’s all new territory and I think we’re all just learning as we go. But like I said, change is the only constant, and I think this shift was inevitable with the rise of social media. I’m excited to be a part of it.
CF: Any members of the old guard (editors, photogs, stylists) or the new (influencers, bloggers, etc) who particularly influence you or whose work you admire?
AC: I look up to ladies like Leandra Medine, Garance Dore, our own Global Editor-in-Chief Christene Barberich, and others who have handled this whole personal-brand meets publisher-brand thing so gracefully. They’ve established both their own personal platforms alongside that of a larger brand and I find that really respectable and cool.
CF: You’re a self-proclaimed brunch connoisseur—any recommendations?
AC: Mud Coffee and The Smith.
CF: You have 12 little tattoos—what’s next?
AC: I want to get something that represents my home state of Florida. Stay tuned!
CF: Millennial pink or gen-z yellow?
CF: Chinatown or Soho?
CF: Astrology or Aura readings?
CF: Crescent Pant or Maison Pant?