Monday, April 27, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
As far as we’re concerned, Krystal Simpson IS 60s and 70s California rock n’ roll style. Not to mention she’s practically her own brand! Krystal was a contestant on MTV’s 2007 reality show, I’m With Rolling Stone. Since then, she has ventured into several industries, like writing, modeling, and designing, and she truly is a breezy manifestation of the “Be Who You Want To Be” philosophy. Her sharp wit and golden locks turned heads in the workplace and on the streets. If her stylish lifestyle ever slows down, she could make a killing as a motivational speaker! We admire Krystal’s her constantly recycling vintage collection, unwavering work ethic, and commitment to confronting and challenging negative media truths. Should we mention her skill at making flower chains?
Krystal, will you be our big sister?
TSM: Your style defies categorization! It’s loud, color, and frenzied, but it always works and looks classy. How would you describe it?
KS: I have always been influenced by the 60s and 70s, especially the era’s male musicians and their girlfriends as well. Half of my wardrobe is secondhand or vintage, and the rest is a collection from where I’ve traveled. I have a lot of great basic things that can be mixed around with fitted leather jackets, leggings, scarves, neckties, black trousers — skinny and high-wasted, and tons of $3 blouses from thrift shops. I think it gives the illusion that I have invested millions into my wardrobe, when really it is an ongoing collection. You don’t have to spend much money to have your own style. Phillip Lim, Diane Von Furstenberg, as well as H&M and Zara put out amazing pieces that hold their own through seasonal changes.
You are the queen of achieving high fashion looks through vintage, with that always present hint of California rock ‘n roll. What are your most beloved finds?
Los Angeles has a lot of great vintage. Every shop I pop into, I end up finding something. I find so many great things at Savers, and all are usually under $7 — I wore a $5 vintage Biba dress from Savers to the Rachel Zoe event at Decades! I always tell people to spend more on their footwear and bags, which I like to buy vintage to save money. I treat my feet well, they carry me around, so I never wear shoes that hurt — at least not anymore, cute isn’t worth sacrificing a part of my body. I have a huge collection of flat boots from Vivienne Westwood and Dr. Martens, plus a ton of cowboy and Beatle boots. Although, I do love my Gucci studded sandals and ankle boots if I need a heel.
Do you have any wise words or a style philosophy that you try to follow or emulate? Who do you admire?
Do what you love, do what makes you happy — not what makes your parents happy, or friends happy, or society, or any of that. You have to live for you. Society is becoming more confused on what really is reality because what is superfluous and completely unimportant in the world has become most important. I stopped reading most mainstream magazines, and have no television for that reason. For inspiring styles, I always end up in the 60s and 70s music scene with icons like Anita Pallenberg, Keith Richards, and of course Freddie Mercury — I attribute my PVC vinyl pants and cat suits to him. The film Performance with Mick Jagger and Anita Pallenberg is a great inspiration, and quite the trip. But the main thing is being happy with yourself first, as cliché as that sounds, you really do have to fall head over heels for yourself before you can go any further.
Tell us about your experience on I’m With Rolling Stone on MTV. How did it influence you to be where you are right now? What did you learn about yourself? Any regrets?
Before, I really romanticized (among countless other things) the idea of being a traveling journalist, with the band. I am so thankful that I was able to experience all of that so young because it really widened my perspective and altered my path. At the magazine and through MTV, I learned a lot about the world of the famous, big time money, and the people that come with it. I am from a regular old town in California, I didn’t grow up having money or any of the celebrity culture that is so prevalent today. I think that is what my mom tried to keep me away from. She was a professional photographer, so I got into modeling at age seven, and I have done it off and on ever since. People have criticized every aspect of my physical body like a slab of meat, so you have to have a strong sense of what is really important if you don’t want to get eaten alive — and fame is so pointless anyway. Seeing and experiencing that stuff firsthand was one of the greatest teachers in my life, it has given me so much more compassion and a viewpoint where image means nothing, and one’s true substance is what really matters.
You were just featured in Quiksilver’s campaign rocking an adorable anchor dress. You also recently penned a really empowering piece for Foam Magazine. Seems like you dabble in a bit of everything! What are you working on right now?
Through the website and continuing to model, write, play music, and travel — I am only going to do what I love. Writing has always been a great love of mine, it is complete freedom — and with empowering publications and outlets like Foam Magazine, there are still people who want a new truth that isn’t run of the mill, as well as those who hire models who aren’t starving pre-teens. Women only get better with age, although mainstream media doesn’t want you to know that. People are bored with the same old, so they are starting to look to blogs as an untapped gold mine. Most blogs are about individuals with their own style and voice. We’re entering into the time of the mold-breakers, and it’s about time! I have been working on a book for a few years now, and I am finally having some time to sit down and fine-tune it.
Well, it doesn’t sound like you’re wasting any time! You just designed a jean for Quiksilver! What was that experience like?
It really hasn’t hit me yet — none of my life in the past three years has. In high school I was obsessed with Quiksilver and Roxy because I spent all my time outside skateboarding and at the beach, so I always loved those brands. I thought all the girls in the Roxy ads looked so cool, just effortless, and I never, ever thought that I’d be one of them, let alone designing a signature jean for them — it’s really a dream.