Stacy London Talks Fashion Industry Issues, Vulnerabilities, and Learning How to Walk Again
This week on Refinery29’s UnStyled, the top-rated style and culture podcast, global editor-in-chief and co-founder, Christene Barberich hosts stylist/fashion consultant, author, and magazine editor, Stacy London to chat about her recovery after spinal surgery and being newly single in mid-life.
During the episode, London discusses how the fashion industry runs on insecurity:
“I mean, the industry itself, I think, you know, runs a little bit on the idea that people are insecure and to make them feel more secure if they buy this coat or that hat or this mascara, it will somehow make them feel relevant and maybe even trendy and we rely on that sense of being less than in the industry to make money. Like, I mean, that’s really what it’s about. You know, why would anybody buy clothes every three to six months, over and over and over again if we weren’t sort of told that, you know, what we have is out and there’s something new that’s in? There’s psychology in everything that we do”
London also shares how she’s done with telling people what to wear:
“I am not going to tell you what to wear anymore. I don’t wanna be that person, also because I’ve learned from my own experience that we all evolve and we all need to have clothing that makes us feel beautiful and safe and comfortable and things are gonna change at different stages of our lives, so to say you have this body type therefore you should wear this, right, is a little too many ‘shoulds’ for me and, so while I don’t believe in concrete rules anymore, you know, when I say I believe in open end prescription, I believe in being the ‘guardrails’ to help somebody find their happiness.”
And, many of you don’t know, London is recovering from spinal surgery which she shared with us during our recent FashionSpeak interview. During episode 204 of the top-rated podcast hosted by Refinery29’s Christene Barberich, London had this to say about the surgery:
“…I think anybody who’s had spinal surgery out there knows what I’m talking about. It is so physically traumatic and I had no idea. I had no idea that I was gonna feel so helpless. I had no idea that I was gonna feel so powerless and the funny thing is that I had to have the surgery because, you know, basically from L3, that’s a vertebra to S1, which is at like, your tailbone, my spine basically just collapsed, so I guess I didn’t feel like I could support myself in some way or I wasn’t feeling supported in some way…”
Here’s what London also had to say about her previous relationship:
“I was trying to pretend like I was fine in order to be in that relationship ’cause I have always been afraid to ask for help and I’ve definitely been afraid to ask for help from significant others…”
If you’re not already aware, Refinery29 is a digital media company for millennial-minded women, presents the second bigger, bolder season of UnStyled featuring intimate conversations with trailblazing women on how their identities and worldview have been shaped by life, work, love, and personal style. Heralded as “particularly illuminating” by The Guardian, UnStyled will continue to explore what style means on a personal level, contextualizing conversations around fashion and brands. Earning a 5-star rating and featured as a New & Noteworthy arrival on iTunes, UnStyled was a Top 20 performer in its category and rose to the Top 100 list of all podcasts on iTunes.
Where high fashion is traditionally presented as off-limits with a “look but don’t touch” mindset, Refinery29’s UnStyled is making it less about aspiration and more about self-expression, passions, life goals, and informed shopping choices. Deconstructing the notion of what it means to be “stylish,” the podcast creates a new space for luxury and contemporary fashion brands to connect with its audience in a personal and accessible way.
Season Two Episode List:
- Oct 10 – Rodarte/Kate & Laura Mulleavy
- Oct 16 – Miranda Kerr
- Oct 23 – Chloe x Halle
- Oct 30 – Stacy London
- Nov 6 – Gabrielle Union
+ Bonus episode: Refinery29 CCO Amy Emmerich & Elisa Kreisinger AKA ‘Pop Culture Pirate’ and host of Refinery29’s ‘Strong Opinions Loosely Held’
- Nov 13 Alexa Chung
- Nov 20 – Bethann Hardison
- Nov 27 – Naomi Wolf
- Dec 4 – Sesali Bowen
- Dec 11– Laura Brown
- Dec 18 – Sophia Bush
Listen and subscribe to the UnStyled podcast here.