Known for her blog, journalistic writing and urban skater-meets-ladylike style, Apneet is a true creative force. Though it’s not unusual for bloggers these days to dip their toes in an array of projects, her talents and instincts impress: Apneet also studies music, writes creatively, and has a voracious appetite for the consumption of culture. A quick look at her Bushwick-centric Instagram inspires you at once to create, go thrifting, and explore our neighborhood.
To many, the epithet “fashion blogger” raises eyebrows, especially in a neighborhood like Bushwick. Sure, one Saturday stroll down Bogart St. makes it obvious that the inhabitants of the hood care about clothes, at least as a mode of self-expression. But there’s a good chance you live in Bushwick to avoid all that is the stereotypical, SoHo type of fashion world bullshit. Apneet is badass lady you immediately respect for her refusal to conform to fashion industry standards. She won’t compromise the curation of her blog for any brand that comes knocking, and she engages personally with her readership. This authenticity has garnered her a dedicated following.
I mined Apneet’s brain for insights on fashion and media. Read on to discover her must-follow Instagram accounts, learn about Bootleg Magazine, her new project, and for general musings on style in Bushwick.
BD: How has Bushwick affected your sense of style? Do you identify with the neighborhood, or more with NYC in general?
Apneet: I’ve been in Bushwick for almost five years now (WHAT?) and I’m not so sure whether the neighborhood has affected my style, but rather it lets me be creative and wear what I want. The freedom in itself allows creativity. I do shop and thrift in Bushwick heavily, so it’s affected my style in the sense that I appreciate the stuff that’s sold here, and I buy it.
BD: Tell me about Bootleg Magazine!
Apneet: My boyfriend and I created Bootleg in our shitty basement apartment this winter when we were too cold to go out and do stuff, but needed an outlet to do stuff. We had had this idea for a magazine for a long time, it’s launching this spring. It’s about the stuff we dig and want to talk about, a platform for what’s out there that isn’t being talked about. Bootleg is heavy on short stories and photography, it’s story telling with a purpose and a place where our friends can share their worlds too. Taking my background in a newsroom and marrying it with my blogging experience, I founded this magazine with Stephen as an outlet for cool people doing cool shit.
I’ve reached out to several artists and photographers via Twitter if I’ve found their work compelling, and they signed on for articles. This gave way to Bootleg featuring a lot of people from around the world, from Taiwan and Singapore to Maryland and Los Angeles. Really, it’s a collaborative effort from about a dozen or so individuals at this point, and we only see the community growing.
BD: Back to Bushwick- do you ever see fashion week events moving to Bushwick?
Apneet: Fashion, just like any other industry, is being decentralized. I think more than anything it will be up to the Bushwick community if they want to bring FW events to the neighborhood. On the other hand, everyone loves to talk about how “cool” and “hip” Bushwick is, so maybe it would be a smart move for fashion brands to host events here.
BD: What fashion blogs do you religiously read? If that’s not your thing, what are your go to publications for inspiration.
My inspiration for style mostly just comes from what I see on the street, in nature, when I’m traveling, and Instagram. I do really love reading Booooom for art stories.
BD: Speaking of inspiration, what are your 5 “must follow Instagram” accounts? Anything Bushwick-centric?
I enjoy my friend Emma’s account tremendously, she’s a Brooklyn photographer and you can check out her account at @emmajanekepley.
I follow Patrick O’Dell as well, he posts photos of dogs and skaters he interviews for his show, Epicly Later’d. I watch it religiously. One time he “liked” a photo of mine and I just about died. He’s @epiclylaterd.
@theadventurehandbook is a group of kids who have created a travel guide website that is far from cheesy 5-star hotel brunches.
Iana Glazer is a bad ass bitch – YASS QUEEN – and I love her show, so I started following her, too. She’s @ilanusglazer.
Evan Rossell is an artist I connected with via a video I found online. He posts his artsy stuff and is a really nice guy. Follow him at @evanrossell.
BD: In addition to chronicling your personal style, you’re a writer for several publications. How do your personal projects intersect with outside work? Do you draw a line?
Apneet: I started out as a fashion journalist covering Fashion Week and Sample Sales for Racked NY. I created a blog to have a place to put my writing, but outfit photos resonated more with my readers and I just went from there. I still take work if I’m commissioned, but since blogs are mini-media hubs of themselves, it has created a different dynamic to writing for other outlets. Instead of coming at projects with a journalistic perspective, many publications now want a personal perspective, from a blogger’s point of view.
Everyone in this city is insane.
BD: You’re an all around awesome chick- a photographer, writer, skater. IN addition to Bootleg, what other projects do you have going?
Apneet: Oh, wow, thank you! At the moment my big project is finishing college! It’s been a long path. Getting in, dropping out, changing course on my study of focus, flourishing, failing, and finally being *this* close to graduation.
I’m constantly working on a few new projects at any given time with my blog. The latest was a project in which I hosted a three-day event. An upcoming undertaking is a collaboration with a footwear company. That’s what I love about blogging, you get to wear many different hats at once. And I love hats.
BD: How do you feel about print media vs. digital? What, in your opinion, does the “future” have in store for each?
Apneet: This is a topic that has come up with my professors many times, and I’ve spent a long time thinking about it. In the end I think it comes down to print media carving out a digital presence if they want to stay alive, and to reach younger audiences who mostly get their information from a digital landscape. Media creation and consumption is being democratized to anyone willing to create content, read it, or share it thanks to digital platforms.
My generation turns to the Google when we want to solve problems, YouTube when we want to learn a recipe, and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook when we want the news. This interconnectivity gives way to an overflow of information, but also allows niche topics a place for discussion, and news stories to be reported when they aren’t deemed “newsworthy” enough to corporate media. We’ve already seen many blogs turn into books, and even celebrated authors like Gay Talese are writing for digital platforms like GILT.
The recent resurgence of popularity of zines is also something to note. I think people are creating zines because they feel nostalgic toward the DIY subculture, to express themselves and as a way to reclaim the media space. Anyone can make a zine if they have something to say.
BD: I have to ask: Could you ever live outside of NYC? If so, where would you go?
Apneet: Certainly. I’ve been in NYC for the greater part of a decade, it feels time to leave. At least, for a little while. I visited Detroit last year and fell in love, so that’s where I’d like to go next. What’s keeping me here is finishing school, and these crazy opportunities that keep popping up. I don’t know how long I’ll stay here, I have a love/hate relationship with this city. I want to leave, and in wanting so, I tell myself: “New York will always be there.” It’s like this intense FOMO anticipation or something. Everyone in this city is insane.