We all buy clothes, but no two people shop the same. It can be a social experience, and a deeply personal one; at times, it can be impulsive and entertaining, at others, purpose-driven, a chore. Where do you shop? When do you shop? How do you decide what you need, how much to spend and what's "you"? These are some of the questions we're putting to prominent figures in our column "How I Shop."
You might recognize Sita Abellan for a number of reasons: Perhaps you scrolled by the Spanish-born and Italy-based self-proclaimed "technoprincess" in a recent street style gallery, or you watched her onscreen thanks to a co-starring role in Rihanna's "BBHMM" music video. Maybe you recall her face from her plentiful modeling gigs for magazines like Nylon, Teen Vogue and Purple, or on the runway for Fenty Puma, Misbhv and Moschino. No matter the recollection, the reason why Abellan caught your eye is most likely because of her eccentric personal style, which she documents regularly for her 349K followers on Instagram.
Abellan's effortlessness towards experimental outfits — while championing under-the-radar designers — has made her a fashion industry darling, resulting in a number of clothing collaborations, including her latest capsule collection for Faith Connexion, a Paris-based atelier that's reportedly run by former Balmain designer Christophe Decarnin. Abellan designed nine pieces that reflected her own aesthetic (and signature blue hair), the '80s and the DIY sensibility of the label's collective of designers.
Some standouts from the collection are a calfskin leather jacket in metallic blue covered with 2,500 studs, a pair of leggings made from almost 18 feet of black gathered tulle, and a crop top comprised entirely of "Faith" patches. "I really enjoy doing these collaborations," says Abellan. "I love fashion and so whatever that has to do with fashion, I'm more than happy to be a part of it."
While preparing for her debut show for Faith Connexion in New York City, we chatted with Abellan to learn more about her favorite places to shop, her personal (usually half-naked) style and what collections she liked most from the Spring 2018 shows. Read on for highlights from our shopping-centric conversation.
I don't really shop online because it's cooler to go to the store and see the vibe of it. I like to feel the fabric of the clothes and see the shapes. Those are things you can't see on the internet. I shop for vintage because I [like] having stuff that others don't normally have; I love the way clothes were made in the past. My favorite vintage piece from many years ago is a Vivienne Westwood shirt with studs and paint and patches. It's really simple for me but I love it.
My favorite vintage stores are One of a Kind in London and Planet X in New York. That's actually my friend's store in Chinatown. It's a really cool shop with a lot of vintage —everything from Moschino to John Paul Gaultier. And then in Tokyo, there's a place called Dog. I like it because it's really crazy. It's kind of like cyberpunk. They have some vintage brands as well as new brands from Tokyo. My favorite city to shop in is Tokyo because I can find the best vintage there — but you have to really search.
I find a lot of new brands and emerging designers through Instagram. Some of my favorites are Dilara Findikoglu, Maria ke Fisherman and I love, of course, Misbhv. These are all people that I met through the internet. I found Dilara on Instagram and now she's getting bigger. With Misbhv, we also met each other through Instagram and now we're friends. With Maria, I had just started modeling and I got in contact with them, maybe six years ago.
I don't know how to describe my personal style. It's very natural and spontaneous. It's all about how I feel. I think the designers that I just mentioned really represent what I like. Well, most of the time I’m naked, so maybe that says something. The other day at a show someone asked me, 'What are trying to express with your clothes?' and I was half-naked.
Before, I used to have really long hair. I'm talking about four years ago. When I had long hair it was my natural color, and I didn't want to dye it. But when I cut it, I was like, 'I don't care.' When I dyed my hair, I chose colors that influenced my style and also wore more color in my clothes. Before, I used to wear a lot of black clothes. I've already dyed my hair pink, purple, brown, red and orange, but my favorite is blue. That's why I stay with blue. I don't have favorite colors to wear but I wear a lot of them. And when I wear colors, I always try to have the same color in the entire outfit. No mixing.
I'm really picky with what I wear, too. I only like to wear one thing once. I don't really like to repeat stuff, and if I repeat the piece, I'll probably wear it another way. I don't wear the same outfit. Never. I don't like that. Even if it's not fashion week. It's just boring.
I really enjoy going to fashion week. There wouldn't be any point in going if I wasn't interested in the shows. I'm not going just to show up. I'm going there because it's good to see these collections. I really liked Y/Project. I didn’t go to Chanel but it looked super cool. Paco Rabanne was a super disco collection, so I’m really into all of those pieces. Moschino, too. I really love the shoes that Jeremy Scott did. I’ll actually wear all of those crazy pieces that he made, like that bouquet dress that Kaia [Gerber] wore — I'd probably wear that."
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.