This statuesque Fashionista makes thrift store finds look anything but thrifty. Her suede, military-inspired jacket with gold buttons was hard to miss, as were her structured booties and tortoise “Jade” necklace. Even her knit headband and scarf, which she sells as a part of her already successful brand, Animabella, are fashioned from thrifted sweaters.
Under the beautiful arches overlooking LSU’s Quad, I chatted with this Fashionista about her style, her professional goals and her business, which you can check out on Instagram, Etsy and at Time Warp Boutique.
Name: Jade Owens
Major: Fashion Merchandising
CollegeFashionista: What are you wearing?
Jade Owens: Everything cost less than $25. This BB Dakota jacket is from the thrift store, and I made the headband and scarf from old sweaters. This shirt was my grandma’s way back when; I stole it from her closet! The Express pants are from T.J.Maxx, and my shoes are from Forever 21.
CF: Where do you draw inspiration for your style?
JO: From people I see on the street. I second-guess myself when I try on outfits that seem like “too much” for Baton Rouge. There are so many styles that you don’t think of wearing, and then you see people wearing them and think, “Well they wore that, so I probably can, too.”
CF: Tell us more about your brand, Animabella.
JO: It means “beautiful soul” in Italian. I refurbish sweaters from thrift stores into accessories like ear warmers, leg warmers, scarves and cardigans. It started while I was procrastinating from studying for exams. Urban Outfitters had ear warmers for $25 in really cool prints, and I realized that thrift store sweaters had those same prints. I thought, “This is going to be more important than making an A in math,” which I still did!
CF: Where do you see yourself after college?
JO: I definitely want to move to California. The brands I want to work with are based in California—all the surfing/skating brands like RVCA, Volcom and Roxy. I want to be a personal buyer or a buyer for PacSun…I work there part time. When I found out there was actually a major for buying clothes, I thought, “This is real? I can get paid to buy clothes?”
CF: Do you think it’s easy to look too thrifty?
JO: Oh, definitely! My goal when I wear thrifted clothes is for people not to know they’re from the thrift store. For sure don’t buy clothes with holes and stains. And if you just wear vintage, oversized sweaters with leggings, everyone knows where they’re from. Instead, you can pair a thrifted flannel shirt with jeans and booties, and then it looks like a high-end flannel shirt. I’ve even found an authentic Dooney & Burke purse for $5. Finds like that are accomplishments for me. They get me excited.
How To: When you’re shopping at thrift stores, quality is most important. Take this Fashionista’s advice and pair old with new. Try wearing a vintage shift dress with black tights and block-heeled booties, or a new statement necklace with an old band tee and ‘70s fringed bag. Buy the funky pieces for your wardrobe at thrift stores. You won’t feel guilty when you tire of them.