Fresh Talk: Jane AldridgeBy Jenna Fain • Nov 24th, 2008 • Category: Editor's Faves, Juicy Story, Trends
Practically every frequenter of virtual style secretly idolizes Jane Aldridge and her site, Sea Of Shoes. Well, Jane and her eclectic, worldly tastes have always intrigued and impressed us. We caught up with the lovely Texas teen for a quick chat, and now we positively adore her! Jane’s most magnetic quality is her old-worldly glamour – her universal tastes transcend age and time. We challenge you to find a person who more fiercely rocks a Kansai Yamamato jacket or Alaïa platforms at school! Jane makes Ann Demuelemeester boots look fierce with anything, scores vintage treasures on eBay better than anyone, and turns heads everywhere. The clincher? She’s only 16!
One of the fashion world’s fastest rising muses, Jane’s style is not limited to her ensembles: creative license, boldness, and grace dictate her life. She has a lot of exciting stuff in the works and her pretty face is bound to pop up all over the place. So we proclaim it first: Jane Aldridge is officially 2009’s It Girl – and thankfully, she’s here to stay!
TSM: You come from such an artistically experimental, imaginative, and vibrant family. What was your childhood like and how did it nurture your love of shoes?
JA: My parents have always stressed the importance of art to my sister and I. I spent a lot of time as a baby in my mom’s office for her clothing line - I started learning about fashion very early! When I was four I was really obsessed with Picasso, so my aunt (who is an artist) painted a mini replica of one of my favorite Picassos on my wall. We also traveled a lot!
How has growing up in Texas affected your evolving style?
Living in a small, conservative, white-bread town, I exist very much in a little isolated bubble. In some ways I kind of like being so far removed from ‘the world of fashion’ because I have to be resourceful and creative to make my own fantasy fashion world. Texas seems to produce a lot of eccentric figures who are just really happy doing their own thing; I find people like this really inspiring.
We hear that your mom, Judy Aldridge, is a designer. Tell us about what you’ve learned from her and about her upcoming revival line, Atlantis Dry Goods.
My mom took time off to raise my sister and I, but she felt that the marketplace was ready to reintroduce a line like Atlantis again. It’s sort of a classic, Victoriana style but it feels very relevant right now. She hopes to launch it soon. In the meantime, I am learning a lot about running a business and production.
You always look like you strutted out of a perfectly styled Vogue editorial! Though you wear a uniform, how do the kids at school react when you sport an avant-garde Comme des Garçons piece?
My friends find my outfits very amusing. When I wore a dramatic transparent Comme des Garçons skirt to school, my friends wanted to try it on. I’m kind of used to people staring at me like I’m from another planet when I go out, it doesn’t faze me at all.
You’ve got pieces hanging in your closet from Japan’s foremost past and contemporary designers like Kansai Yamamoto, Junya Watanabe, and Yohji Yamamoto. What aspects of Japanese fashion pique your interest? Have you ever been?
Japanese designers have an aesthetic that is so far removed from fashion anywhere else in the world. A huge part of their aesthetic is deconstruction and decay; I love the juxtaposition against the super-modern background of Tokyo. I Iike how they objectively appreciate Western staples, like Levi’s and cowboy boots. Sometimes Western fashion gets so hung up on being sexy. Japanese fashion is often infantilized, but at the same time it’s so directional. I went to Tokyo three years ago and I would give anything to go back. My mom lived there for two years in the early ‘80s and that must have been the most amazing experience anyone could ask for. I hope I can live in Tokyo too sometime during my life.
Let’s say ten years from now, you’re at the helm of your own shoe line. What styles would headline the brand and what kind of statements would want to make?
I would make shoes that are extremely directional and design shoes for strong women who are confident in their own style. It is a dream of mine to design shoes someday…
We’ve got to ask - any ideas for your prom dress? What’s on and off the drawing board?
The school I go to is so small, I’m not even sure we’ll have a prom! If we do, I’m definitely going to wear vintage. If I find a totally whacky vintage Zandra Rhodes dress then I would totally crash someone else’s prom to wear it.
Three people, dead or alive, to dinner - who would you choose and why?
1) Plato - Duh!
2) Vivienne Westwood - I read a snippet in a magazine of her thoughts on informed consumerism and she said it’s important to decide what you do and do not like. It has stuck with me in a big way.
3) Haruki Murakami - He is one of my favorite authors.
BOOM - you win $10,000. What would be your triumphant purchases at Barneys?
Well, I definitely wouldn’t run to Barneys! I’d probably set it aside and wait for the perfect clothes to come to me - some things are like that; when you find them you have to have them regardless of their price!
Your avant-garde ensembles often have an architectural quality to them. Who are your favorite artists?
Egon Schiele is my favorite artist - de Kooning, Basquiat, and Yoshitomo Nara too. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Zaha Hadid are my favorite architects. I also love American folk art and can’t wait to go to the famous folk art museum in New York next week.
You mentioned that your site gets over 10,000 daily hits. What are some of the coolest opportunities you’ve scored due to Sea of Shoes? Have any major fashion people approached you? What are the perks?
Now it’s more than twice that figure, it’s incredible how my hits shoot up! I have some pretty awesome things in the works but nothing I can talk about just now - you’ll be hearing from me soon! I’ve been in love with Kill City’s jeans and recently, someone in their design department sent me a huge box of their newest washes - the jeans are so awesome and I can’t wait to wear them! I’ve also been lucky enough to receive some beautiful Czarina Villa clothing - she is a very talented young designer from Manila.
Are you on the hunt for any summer internships? Self-promotion, Jane!
I’d definitely be interested in scoring a great internship for the summer, but I want to travel a lot, too. Like I said, I can’t wait to get back to Tokyo.
What’s in the works next for Jane Aldridge?
Studying for a very hard biology test.
Visit Jane’s fabulous site, www.seaofshoes.com
Jenna Fain is
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I love her blog, her style is pretty incredible. And her interview answers were great– she sounds smart and very confident and knowledgeable with her fashion choices! Inspiring…
November 24th, 2008 at 5:50 pm
A rich$$$ spoiled brat with luck!
November 25th, 2008 at 10:33 am
Money can’t buy style and luck is not even a factor. She doesn’t seem spoiled or bratty …she seems confident, talented and intelligent. I’m impressed. I don’t think any of what she does is easy - she effortlessly mixes high and low, she wears her looks, they don’t wear her and she’s basically a child with more fashion sense than most adults. Bravo, Jane. Boo, sad marie.
November 26th, 2008 at 12:19 am
marie, you totally missed the point.
November 26th, 2008 at 7:13 am
ok, i should save the vitriol for the Nylon comments pages (!), but its just ridiculous that ill-informed fame-seekers like Peaches Geldof get to interview Westwood, while the true originals like Jane stay relatively under the radar. not for long, though, by the looks of it! yes, she does seem to have been born into a life of privilege and Balenciaga shoes, but this girl is using her own initiative and her own innate style and making the most of the opportunuties afforded her. i cant wait to see a fashion future with people like Jane in it.
November 26th, 2008 at 8:23 am
I love her blog and her style she is sooo glam,i read her blog everyday
KEEP UP THE GRATE WORK JANE
November 26th, 2008 at 9:55 am
Love Janes blog, she is not only innately stylish but also intelligent.great interview Supermelon and some interesting questions!
November 26th, 2008 at 10:33 am
I have Jane on my tool bar and check her site like 4 times a day,I’m also interested in the Fashion industry, a road that is not easy to travel for a young Straight male with a 18 month old son, but Jane has done more than just inspire me from a visual point but her boldness and the thought she puts into her post has really inspired me to push forward regardless of what others may believe about me and show my son that your dreams can come true if you have the strength and boldness to pursue them.
Cheers to Jane& Sea of Shoes
November 26th, 2008 at 10:42 am
Jane is an original. Some people has the “it” factor, some doesn’t, it’s something not even money can buy. Jane was born into the right family that could afford her the fashion luxuries one can only dream of but she’s totally worth it. She’s a very artistic and intelligent young lady and I am impressed. Reading this interview, she seemed wiser beyond her years that in some of her responses, you’d be amazed that she’s still this teenage Texas girl. She’s way better than other 16 year-olds who cared for nothing other than makeup and boys. I admire how she’s bonded with her sister and her mom.
November 26th, 2008 at 2:28 pm
she is clearly beautiful inside out. I like seeing stylish people who are also intellectual. great interview.
November 26th, 2008 at 2:31 pm
What an intelligent, beautiful girl.
November 28th, 2008 at 3:35 am
she’s amazing. really an inspiration to everyone!
November 28th, 2008 at 8:46 pm
Jane is such a brilliant young woman, seriously, she amazes me. She’s definitely lucky, but spoiled? I don’t think so. She’s very creative and eccentric–I love that.
November 29th, 2008 at 3:18 am
I am reading Jane’s blog from Singapore! I must say she is a gifted fashionista stuck in a teen’s body
A source of inspiration to many!
November 30th, 2008 at 7:43 am
Jane is fabulous - great great interview with such an inspirational blogger and fashionista
November 30th, 2008 at 8:37 pm
What an inspid, boring, fawning interview
February 8th, 2009 at 1:31 pm
Jane is such an inspiration; I wish other girls her age were as self-possessed and intelligent. (I wish I was like that when I was her age!) I’m just sorry that the interviewer had such generic questions; they seemed almost patronising (loved the answers though–no prom! no Barneys!). Maybe if someone from i-D or Wallpaper spoke to her we’d get an article that more fully illuminates this intriguing person.
March 2nd, 2009 at 2:14 am
She is cute and has style but she’s not my fave!
March 6th, 2009 at 5:02 pm
Jane has a great sense of style, and the thing I’m wondering is whether she buys all the designer clothes at full price or not. I respect people sense of fashion a lot more if they create amazing outfits out of finds from Target or Wet Seal. I also loved her responses, which made her seem eccentric and not the “I don’t care how much this Gucci barrette is I’m buying 15 of them” kind of fashion-obsessed persona you’d think she would be. Go Jane Aldridge!
March 15th, 2009 at 6:25 pm
yes. i totally agree with hadley!
i love sea of shoes
March 15th, 2009 at 6:26 pm
GENUINE + FABULOUS + ECCENTRIC + STUNNING + NEW + CREATIVE = Jane Aldridge
March 15th, 2009 at 6:28 pm
Thank you so much for this great blog. Jane has so many different colours that show through her artistic clothing. Her sense of fashion is spot on. I love you, Jane!
PS-could you come visit London some time?
March 15th, 2009 at 6:30 pm
I LOVE YOU JANE
April 25th, 2009 at 5:43 pm
[…] it’s kinda creepy that he’s even looking at her blog website. I’m talking about Jane Aldridge, a Trophy Club, TX socialite & owner of an impressive shoe collection that could rival some […]
June 5th, 2009 at 7:04 pm
People would be surprised at how difficult it actually can be to start a blog and in her case, she really is interesting enough to have a fanbase, which I am a part of. She’s going to be a big fashion name, soon. (or just bigger). I can tell.
August 6th, 2009 at 8:04 pm
Hey, awesome, check out my blog:
August 30th, 2009 at 9:47 am
She’s incredible! Talented, beautiful, and has sense of humor!
August 30th, 2009 at 4:04 pm
Wow, just wow! I so thought she was waaaay older than that!
She looks it.
September 16th, 2009 at 1:25 am
I love Sea of Shoes. Jane is amazing , and so is her mom.
September 25th, 2009 at 9:55 am
Jane is amazing! Her sense of style is impecable. Worldly, grounded, ambitious, eclectic, articulate, beautiful. Jane will be in the fashion spotlight for many years. Her style is timeless. Shoot for the stars. xxoo
September 25th, 2009 at 1:15 pm
She has style like no other and everything she wears looks utterly amazing.
Congrats to your success Jane, your becoming known everywhere. I loved your tribute window from Holt Renfrew!
September 27th, 2009 at 7:16 am
I want to be her, all she did was just start a blog about your style, her love of shoes & so much more, and now she is big talk around here. Maybe i’ll start my own blog, hm
September 29th, 2009 at 8:19 am
Girl you’ve got style!! i love shoes myself. its like chocolate actually, once u eat one you gotta have a second one ha. im glad for you and i hope you will accomplish your dream. goodluck and hope to buy me some of your high cuality shoes. ta-ta
October 2nd, 2009 at 11:59 am
Love her style. Its different. But very nice.
October 2nd, 2009 at 4:29 pm
I just don’t get it –? If we all had infinite amounts of disposable income I’m sure many of us could do impressive things and could craft a unique look if we cared to. She has great style, but I’m not getting the ‘inspiration’ factor. To me it’s a relic of the heady days we’ve all just seen come crashing down, where the extent of idolatry of material goods defined the (wo)man. Perhaps now that we’re all a little poorer more substance will be needed to define ‘inspirational’.
October 8th, 2009 at 4:06 pm
I agree with heather. Even though she is very intelligent and original i feel as though anyone could out together a unique look with an income like hers. Theres alot of people who could put together beautiful outfits if they had more money. We all know the top designers, and top haute couture stores to find amazingly beautiful garments in to put together a beautiful ensemble….but do we all have the money to shop whenever we want at those stores or at all like Jabe? No we dont.
October 9th, 2009 at 11:24 pm
Love your eye of style
Come check out my website to receive helpful hints
October 14th, 2009 at 2:55 pm
Just imagine what any fashion-informed girl would do with her parents’ money? She’s just been offered the possibilities, something 99,9% of the population will not be gifted with. It’s also kind of sickening that in the midst of all this economic downfall, she’s been made to be seen as an “inspiration”??? As for her answers, she’s definitely not stupid, but she’s not the only one to have a functioning brain, there are tons of teenagers out there in college reading more interesting/artistic authors than japanese mainstream bestseller Murakami. C’mon, I was reading Zola, Gogol and the likes when I was 14 (and I do appreciate Murakami for entertainment, but he’s no genius…). I like her second blog though, far more interesting. All in all, she’s privileged, pretty and not dumb, but not someone I would look up to.
October 15th, 2009 at 6:51 pm
I like Jane’s blog, have any of you seen http://www.putucos.com ? this is a pretty cool blog too with home goods as well. I like it
October 26th, 2009 at 8:56 pm
I like that she’s a little more intelligent than the average teen and that she embraces that. I really like her confidence and that she has her own take on what looks good.
To be dead honest though, her choices are a little over intellectualised for my own tastes. Though they stand up well as fashion-art, I think in some ways and with some pieces she misses out on looking young when she is only sixteen. I don’t want to pigeon hole anyone but still, somehow she looks a little too put together to me. For all her talk of deconstruction and decay she always looks too “Fashion”. It’s a bit unnatural and forced.
While I do appreciate her effort and her thought processes and I do think she’s good, the outfits shown here from what I’ve seen on her blog are among the prettiest and least overthought.
That said this is all just about aesthetics too, she’s might well be aware of the preciseness and be shooting for it.
November 19th, 2009 at 12:07 pm
I do like her looks
but I mean c’mon ..
I find it way more interresting when people look great/gorgeos/interresting/innovative/artistic or any of that kind with an outfit that’s more affordable..
like it’s hard and “a talent” to put together these outfits when you do have so much money .. !!
I don’t get why you guys give her so much credits for this ..
November 23rd, 2009 at 4:02 pm
I´ve just found out about her. She is amazing…Hard to believe she´s a teen u know? Her sense of fashion, her classic beauty. Loves her.
and yes, she must be pretty rich Marie. and Lucky, I´d say. But she doesn´t seem to be bratty or spoiled AT ALL! by the way…is she trying the modeling career? once in a while I hear she does some kind of photoshoot for some magazine…wanted to figure that out!
December 1st, 2009 at 11:20 am
What kind of 18 year old can afford those shoes?! Sure the girl has style. But she also has the resources to spend thousands on shoes and designer clothes… I dont see how people talk her up so much discussing the amazing style she has at such a young age…and dont mention the money involved. Your average 18year old isnt ussually able to strut around in the latest runway creations…no matter how much they want too.
December 12th, 2009 at 3:19 pm
Jane is an amazing girl, with great artistic taste, I relate to..
I love how she is daring in her choice of pieces…thats how it should be
keep doing what your doing girl… all the best!
December 14th, 2009 at 10:40 pm
yeah I totally agree with allroundgyal.com
she’s lucky..she should have a lot of money to afford all her designer belongings. I dont give her so much credit. I mean, a lot of people out there, including me, that love fachion could pull those looks and even better outfits than jane´s if they had enough money to buy famous designers stuff. It is not that complicated.
December 23rd, 2009 at 1:07 am
Yeah, I totally agree with allroundgyal.com. she’s not my favorite, but yeah, she’s ok.
she’s lucky..she surely has a lot of money to afford all her designer belongings. I don’t give her so much credit. I mean, a lot of people out there, including me, that love fashion could pull those looks and came up with even better outfits than jane´s if they had enough money to buy famous designers creations. It is not that complicated. there is so many talented people with great taste…she just has the money, that’s it.
December 23rd, 2009 at 1:22 am
I’d be far more impressed if your mother, the designer/photographer/rich person/adult wasn’t part of the equation.
January 24th, 2010 at 8:13 pm
jane is a wonderful girl!
she has a great fashion sense and a gorgeous wardrobe.
i love her shoes especially. they are splendid and very stylish
i’m definitely the fan of Sea of Shoes.
February 15th, 2010 at 2:48 am
It really is true that money is the main factor in her “amazing” style. She does put together fabulous outfits, but I would be impressed if she could do that with a realistic, average income family, budget. If you gave anyone a million dollars and a designer mother they could put together outfits and buy cute shoes too. I also think that people who can design their own clothes are more impressive than those who go and buy designer everything. Making your own outfits takes real skill.
February 21st, 2010 at 9:03 pm
Better than Peaches Geldof. But still bleh.
March 17th, 2010 at 11:45 pm
i like it………….
March 30th, 2010 at 4:59 am
April 16th, 2010 at 3:09 pm
I love her blog. I appreciate her style, but I am more impressed by someone who gets looks like these on a budget. Her blog is sort of like a glimpse into an idyllic life- the clothes, the house, the lifestyle, and of course, the shoes.
April 20th, 2010 at 1:11 pm