Interviews

Off Duty: Reese Blutstein, Double 3xposure

Written By James Kicinski-McCoy

Photography by: The Bleu

Being that Atlanta is just a short, four-hour car ride from Nashville, I decided to make an early morning drive down to Georgia to photograph my long-time internet pal, Reese Blutstein, on a bright and sunny Thursday. I drive fast, so my Editor Tiana and I made it to The Peach State with 45 minutes to spare and hit up a little bakery called Zambawango that serves gluten and sugar-free baked goods and coffee before the shoot. If you visit the Sandy Springs location, be sure to order the snickerdoodle and the tiramisu — they are mind blowing! Of course, we were set to arrive to Reese’s home right on time (I am quite punctual), but because there are so many repeat street names in Atlanta (seriously, why?), we ended up at the wrong address. Therefore, arriving twenty minutes late — damnit!

After an embarrassing number of attempts to parallel park, which resulted in my car being half on and half off the curb, Reese greeted us outside in the courtyard of her 1920s apartment building. Although I have known Reese for a number of years online, we had never met in person. There is always a small sense of nervousness when meeting someone you know, but you don’t really know, for the first time. I can confidently say that she was just as laid back, calm, and comfortable as she portrays online, and we both share an equally dry sense of humor, which is always a good thing.

Reese recently moved from her parent’s house into her first solo place, which she purchased in November of last year. The apartment was charming, filled with character, and very little furnishings as she is in the beginning stages of accumulating her own decor. To recap our time in ATL: we spent the day with Reese gawking over beautiful clothes and lusting over designer accessories, chatting and laughing about relationships and life, and swooning over the fact that her outfits were perfectly imperfect and put together on the fly. After the shoot was over, we ventured out for lunch and hit up some of Reese’s frequented antique and vintage spots before a quick Ikea stop on the way out of town. Note: During our escapades in Atlanta, I found a mid-century globe light to hang in my dining room, similar to Reese’s below, and it’s still sitting on my office floor, untouched, five months later. I think it’s time to hang it. Now, let’s dive in…

Proenza Schouler turtleneck, vintage jacket from Clothing Wearhouse, Lorod zip-through jeans.
Proenza Schouler turtleneck, vintage jacket from Clothing Wearhouse, Lorod zip-through jeans.
Reese's bedroom.
Reese's bedroom.

How do you spend a day off?  “I enjoy taking long walks outside on a nice sunny day. I love going vintage shopping or eating lunch and getting drinks with my friends. I also like to watch YouTube, but that is a time-stealer, so I try to avoid that during the day. I also love hanging out with my dogs. Just hanging out doing whatever it is I feel like doing in the moment. No rules!”

What do you wear when you’re spending the day at home, off duty?  “Usually a vintage t-shirt and grey sweatpants, if I truly have no where to go.”

Do you sleep in on your days off?  “I am not the best at sleeping in. I usually wake up around 8 a.m., but sometimes I manage to sleep ’til 11, but that’s rare.”

What’s on your bedside table?  “Always a glass of water and chapstick.”

Coffee or tea?  “Coffee, black.”

Favorite local cup?  “I really love Muchacho.”

Breakfast or brunch of choice?  “Matzah ball soup and a bagel with cream cheese and salmon.”

Must-read books you can share?  “This is embarrassing, but I don’t remember the last time I read a book. I really need to start.”

Globe lamp from Ikea.
Globe lamp from Ikea.

Describe your style.  “Forever evolving, structured, thoughtful.”

Is there a philosophy behind your personal style?  “I wear what makes me feel good. The way you dress can really change your mindset for the better. I dress for myself, and I try to never care what anyone thinks of my outfits.”

Your first luxury purchase?  “Gucci cat eye sunglasses with yellow lenses. To me, they were a lot of money to spend on sunglasses, but I wore them everyday for two years straight, so definitely worth the price tag.”

What trends are you loving this season?  “I feel like I don’t pay too much attention to trends, but I am loving oversized suits and puffer jackets.”

Who, what, where inspires your style the most?  “Other people inspire me! All kinds of different people, not just one specific person. Basically, anyone who wears what they love without thinking about what others will think inspires me most.”

You have three minutes to change, what do you wear?  “A favorite vintage tee, my crazy checkered pants, Calvin boots, and my black square bag by Kara.”

A roundup of favorite shoes.
A roundup of favorite shoes.

Your five wardrobe staples, go…  “Good vintage jeans that make my booty look good, a slip dress I can layer with, an oversized blazer, boots that go with everything, and crazy, cool sunglasses.”

Favorite designers/brands?  “Lorod is one of my favorite brands at the moment because they’re doing simple pieces, but from a new perspective I’ve never seen before. Kwaidan Editions because I love the way they use color and pattern. And, Maryam Nassir Zadeh because she is always evolving and doing something new. She plays with pattern, color, and texture that you don’t see in everyday clothes.”

What are three things on your want list?  “An oversized black blazer, Gucci plaid skirt, and a good suit.”

Very favorite online shops?  “The RealReal, Need Supply, Matches Fashion, Net-A-Porter, and Shop Super Street.”

What’s an up-and-coming brand that’s doing something different and exciting?  “Super Yaya.”

Cool brands you discovered via Instagram?  “All of my favorites: Saks Potts, Eckhaus Latta, and Aalto.”

What are the fashion pieces you spend the most on?  “I think accessories will always be something that I splurge on because you can take the simplest outfit and add a really cool pair of shoes or bag, and it just makes it!”

What’s the one thing in your closet you would save in a fire?  “A vintage pink checker sheer dress that is my all-time favorite.”

Favorite places to find vintage clothing in ATL?  “Kudzu, Clothing Warehouse, Highland Row, and Antique Factory.”

If you could raid one person’s closet, who’s would it be?  “Iris Apfel.”

Take us through a typical work day. What’s your process?  “In the mornings, I spend a good amount of time looking through Tumblr for inspiration. I love Tumblr because you can see an outfit that reminds you of pieces in your own wardrobe and then play off of that. Some days, I know exactly what it is I want to wear, but most days it takes a few good try-ons and accidents to lead me to the exact outfit I want. I try to come up with something fresh and new, and something that I think will inspire the people that follow along everyday. I also answer a lot of emails, run errands, and I am in the process of slowly decorating my house, so I run out often for things I forget to buy. I make sure to take a photo of my outfit every day, so all day, until I take my photo, I am thinking about where and how I want the photo to be taken. I always want to do something that is different and that really highlights the outfit. Every day looks different for me. I do most of my work when I’m traveling, as there isn’t much of a fashion industry here in Atlanta.”

Your twin sister Molly is in the industry as well, and you’re best friends, what’s it like working alongside her?  “I love it! She is my built-in best friend and she makes everything so much more fun. I always feel more comfortable doing things with her by my side.”

Have you ever experienced sibling competition?  “Nope! We want each other to succeed, so we’re not competing.”

How are you both similar? What makes you different?  “We have the same exact personality for the most part. I think Molly is a lot more chill and easygoing, and I am kind of uptight (I’m working on it! Ha.) We love the same clothes and we have pretty similar style, but mine is always a little bit more over-the-top or weird, and Molly’s is just effortless and more toned down.”

You started your career on Instagram. Tell us how that evolved.  “About four years ago, I started posting pictures of my outfits every day, and I just kept doing it. For a whole year, I didn’t go one single day without posting. Slowly people started following along, which I did not expect at all! I didn’t even know you could have a job in social media. It just slowly evolved into what it is now, and I have had the best time and I can’t believe I get to do this as a job. I am so thankful for everyone who follows along day in and day out.”

What do you think attributed to your success?  “Consistency is pretty much the main answer. Also, caring about the quality of images I am putting out there, and making sure it is content that I would want to see in my Instagram feed.”

Did you always know that you wanted to work in fashion?  “I didn’t know how you could work in fashion as just a regular person. So, no. I never thought about it, but I’ve always loved fashion. Style has been something I have deeply enjoyed playing around with my whole life.”

Has there been a favorite brand that you’ve worked with thus far?  “I really love most of the brands I have worked with, but I think working with Paco Rabanne is super fun because they let you do whatever it is that you want. They trust you creatively, and I find that I create my best content when the brand believes in me to create something they will love without having to tell me what they want from me.”

Dream collaboration?  “That’s so hard! I think doing an editorial with my sister Molly for Miu Miu.”

Advice for others looking to break into the industry?  “Create content you truly love, do it for all the right reasons, and be consistent every single day!”

How does it feel being a homeowner?  “It feels crazy! I always feel like a child. I just sit in my house and think, “Why did they let a child buy a house?” [Laughs] But, it is a great feeling and I am proud of myself.”

Where do you shop for home decor?  “I always try to buy vintage! Atlanta has great vintage furniture, so I am really lucky to be able to find most of my pieces locally. I also love Etsy. I have bought all of my favorite lights fixtures from there.”

What are the best shops in ATL to purchase vintage home decor and furnishings?  “All of the antiques shops: Highland Row, Decades, Antiques and Beyond, Antique Factory, and Kudzu.”

The dining room.
The dining room.

What are your favorite finds so far?  “My dining room table. It fits perfectly in the space and has cheerful yellow seats. My bathroom light is a pink 1930s art deco lamp that I found on Etsy. And, my coffee table because it’s big enough to put all of my favorite magazines on.”

Magazines or coffee table books you love?  “Puss Puss puts together really beautiful magazines to look at. I also like Unconditional, and I love architectural books.”

Tell us about the art in your home.  “I moved in recently, so the art in my home is lacking, but I have a few old pieces I took from my parents house because they have so much art. I think the pieces I took are just from antique shops or thrift stores, nothing fancy, but they’re cool.”

Favorite candles?  “Maison Margiela and Malin Goetz.”

Top left: Beaded bag by Shrimps. Top right: Marco De Vincenzo Twins Bag. Bottom left: One-of-a-kind, hand painted vintage bag by Prawn Cocktail. Bottom right: Paco Rabanne Chainmail bag.
Top left: Beaded bag by Shrimps. Top right: Marco De Vincenzo Twins Bag. Bottom left: One-of-a-kind, hand painted vintage bag by Prawn Cocktail. Bottom right: Paco Rabanne Chainmail bag.

Any other hobbies outside of fashion?  “[Laughs] I love and am obsessed with dogs, so I do spend quite a lot of my free time with my pups. If I’m not with mine, I’m visiting dogs at the Humane Society. I also love interior design, so I have a lot of fun with that as a sort of hobby.”

Night in or night out?  “I am usually a night-in person, but I think that makes me enjoy nights out much more!”

Favorite Netflix series/shows/movie?  “My favorite movie on Netflix is Short Term 12. It’s such a sweet movie! I also really loved was Stranger Things and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”

Song on repeat?  “Anything by Frank Ocean.”

Bag by Saks Potts. Boots by Helmet Lang.
Bag by Saks Potts. Boots by Helmet Lang.
The living room.
The living room.

Fave cookbook?  “Dining In is really good.”

What’s your go-to dinner recipe when at home?  “I am not the best cook, but I make a lot of spaghetti. I do make this kale and corn chowder soup that I love. It’s in the Whole Foods Cookbook, but I don’t follow it very strictly.”

Favorite local restaurant and what is your go-to order?  “General Muir. I always get the fish and potatoes. It’s potato latkes with apples, arugula, apple sauce, and sour cream. Delish!”

Regular Postmates order?  “I don’t really order food in because I don’t like how wasteful it is. It always seems to come in excess packaging.”

Hair clips by Valet Studio.
Hair clips by Valet Studio.

Any supplements you take/magic elixirs you make or swear by?  “I take vitamin D in the winter, but that is all.”

Kitchen essentials:  “My favorite pink dishes by Year&Day.”

How do you keep active?  “I try to do hot yoga at the very least once a week, and I always try to go on long walks.”

What does self-care look like for you?  “I usually watch YouTube videos with a cup of hot echinacea tea.”

Where do you see yourself in five years?  “Oh wow, I think this is the hardest question because I honestly have no idea. I want to be doing more, like maybe owning a business with my twin sister. I don’t know exactly what I want to do, but I do know I want to do more and more, and be busy all the time while I’m young.”

What’s next for you?  “I just want to do more things creatively and to try things that I maybe haven’t really thought about before to see if I like it. So yeah, I just want to try new things.”

Written by: James Kicinski-McCoy

James Kicinski-McCoy is the 40-something Founder and Editor-In-Chief of The Bleu. She likes tequila, picks fights with her husband so she can have the bed to herself, and is trying to figure out that work / life balance.

3 Comments

  1. Jamie

    April 1, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Nothing says fashion influencer like a beautiful wardrobe and incredibly sparse home.

    Reply
  2. Morgan

    April 2, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    Loved learning more about Reese. Been following her for years and it’s been so cool to see her style evolve and star rise. Can’t wait to see how her gone turns out when she finds more pieces to collect!

    Reply
  3. Connie Matisse

    April 6, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    Reese! Come see us at East Fork in West Side Provisions!

    Reply

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