I’m embarrassed to admit the insane number of hours I’ve spent on Style Like U. If you’ve never heard of the site, it’s an inspiring hodgepodge of fashion editorials, content, images and documentary-style videos that feature the closets of interesting people with interesting style.
Shooting a stylish person’s closet isn’t a new concept, but Style Like U is definitely in a league of its own. Unlike most fashion publications that solely cover the closets of celebrities and socialites, Style Like U features everyone from New York City students to RZA of the Wu Tang Clan to fashion industry bigwigs like artist Terence Koh and super stylist Lori Goldstein. And the videos go beyond the subjects’ clothes. Founders Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum uncover interviewees’ thoughts and philosophies about style and life.
Big changes are on the horizon for the site–their book Style Like U will be available next April–so I caught of with the mom-and-daughter team at their East Village
apartment, the Style Like U headquarters, for this installment of “How I’m Making It.”
How did the idea for Style Like U come about?
Elisa: I was a freelance fashion stylist and fashion editor for a long time in the business, and I just felt very frustrated. I felt unable to express myself more and more in what I was doing, and I felt like it just wasn’t creative anymore. I was feeling ultra frustrated with magazines trying to marry fashion and celebrity. It was so contrived and there was such an emphasis in the editorial world on pleasing all of the advertisers. It was just sucking out all of the soul. Around this same time Lilly was in her late teens and very much coming into her own. She was very aware of my frustration. (Lily takes it from here).
Lily: I grew up with my mom, a very stylish woman, and my dad who is in the music industry. I’ve always loved style and been infatuated by people with interesting style, but I never was interested in fashion as an industry. I still don’t know anything about it. I’m not up-to-date on designers or anything like that. We both loved to just people watch, and we wanted to get to know those people that made our heads turn when they walked down the street. We knew that they were interesting people because it was more than what they were wearing. What they were wearing was telling an interesting story about all of their interests and passions.
Elisa: She was pushing me to do my own thing and the internet was coming around and becoming more and more important, and I was questioning what would the next thing for me be because all I knew is what I was doing over the past 20 years. I didn’t know what the alternative to that was, and yet that alternative was on the horizon and she was the one that showed me that alternative. It’s sort of like this union of generations in that way. Somewhere in all that we thought about the person and the clothes. Not the clothes on the person.
When did you launch the site?
Elisa: We launched a year and a half ago and started working on it two and half years