Day one.

Hi there. I’ve been totally remiss in updating Closettour, which you may know is because I started a new job at Quartz. It’s my first full-time position since I started this site, and began working as a freelancer in 2008. Quartz, if you’re not familiar, is the Atlantic Media’s standalone global business site. I was hired as a lifestyle reporter there, but editors at Quartz encourage reporters to turn their interests into beats. So naturally, a lot of my coverage falls into the category of clothing.

Actually, a lot of it would fit right in here at Closettour, which is part of why I took the job. It’s also why I haven’t been updating this site—many of my posts and ideas have a home now at Quartz. I haven’t quite worked out what that means for Closettour. Should I simply post a link here too? Cross-post? Update this site every month or so with links to my Quartz stories that may be of interest? I’m really not sure, and I’m open to suggestions.

For now, you’ll find a handful (and fraction) of my recent pieces for Quartz listed below. The first one, an interactive exploration of the fashion community on Instagram, is an example of another great reason for going there: the team.

One of my favorite projects here at Closettour was Sweden.closettour, an interactive, multimedia story (created in anticipation of the iPad) about searching for sustainable fashion in Sweden. It allowed me to work with fiercely intelligent, creative, and generous innovators. (Also, fun!) The money for that project, and for the webisode series that followed, came from grant funding I won at the CUNY J-school, which—speaking of sustainability—eventually ran out. People need to get paid, so those independent projects became calling cards that led to our separate freelance jobs and projects. (One of them, Lina Plioplyte’s Advanced Style documentary, opens in New York this weekend!) I loved the teamwork, and the excitement of building something from scratch.

At Quartz, I found a team of similarly curious and talented journalists, designers, and developers equally excited about finding the best ways to tell stories online. It’s energizing to work alongside them and, increasingly, with them on projects like that interactive Instagram map.

I obviously did not make this thing myself.

Also! What did I wear to my first day at Quartz? It was a sunny day in early May, and I wore a midi-length sleeveless dress from Esprit that belonged to my older sister in the nineties. (She may have even worn it to a first day of high school.) It has beetles printed all over it, and in my family we just call it “the bug dress.” On top, I tied a black crepe Steven Alan button-down at my midriff, and on my feet I wore vintage navy and white Ferragamo loafers purchased at Byrd, a consignment shop near my mom’s house in St. Louis. I suck at selfies, so I had a tourist in Union Square take a quick picture on my way to work that morning. (Blurry, above.) I was so excited, and I still am.

Here are some of the things I’ve worked on at Quartz since then:

Explore the hidden patterns of the fashion Instagram universe

Why caring about style doesn’t make you shallow

Gender-bending, torso-triangles, Amish ninjas, and seven other things that made us think at New York Fashion Week

How to build a startup that keeps you going for a lifetime

The woman who may be Brazil’s next president has an unusual beauty hack

A British investment firm owns the Dutch company that printed the Indian design on the African dress for the US vice-president’s wife

Factory safety is improving in Bangladesh—but it still takes three months to get a new fire door

You can find my author archive here.


Fashion Revolution Day (Plus Shopping)

Thumbnail image for Fashion Revolution Day (Plus Shopping) April 27, 2014

This week marked the one-year anniversary since the deadly collapse at Rana Plaza that killed more than 1,100 workers. It’s difficult to gauge the progress in improving workers’ safety. Two main coalitions of western fashion brands have formed — the Bangladesh Accord for Fire and Building Safety and the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety — [...]

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J.Crew Resurrects the Scoop-Back Swimsuit…As Requested!

Thumbnail image for J.Crew Resurrects the Scoop-Back Swimsuit…As Requested! April 7, 2014

If you’ve followed this blog (or just known me) for any length of time, you know my search for the perfect swimsuit has for years been unrelenting. It turns out, all I had to do was ask the right person: Jenna Lyons. Last August, I wrote an open letter to Ms. Lyons, J.Crew’s beloved creative [...]

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Rachel Comey, High Maintenance

Thumbnail image for Rachel Comey, High Maintenance April 4, 2014

I highly enjoyed this video. High Maintenance // Rachel from Janky Clown Productions on Vimeo. I was a little late to the party on this one, but found it fortuitously while late-night window shopping on Rachel Comey’s website, where it’s currently the background. My sister was sitting beside me and we snuggled up and watched [...]

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Tazreen Factory Owners Jailed in Bangladesh

Thumbnail image for Tazreen Factory Owners Jailed in Bangladesh February 14, 2014

While some of us were wrapped up with New York Fashion Week, two fugitive owners of the Tazreen garment factory in Bangladesh—where 112 workers died in November of 2012 when they were trapped by a fire—turned themselves in to authorities on Sunday. The Guardian reports: Witnesses said several hundred people gathered at the court and [...]

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Save Your Fashion Week Swag Bags for Foundation Onda

Thumbnail image for Save Your Fashion Week Swag Bags for Foundation Onda February 7, 2014

A couple years ago Erin Dixon, my dear friend and editor at Dossier Journal, stepped away for a moment during New York Fashion Week to attend a seminar with Safe Horizons—an organization that helps women overcome domestic abuse by offering shelter, counseling, and court assistance. Needless to say, that seminar, and the horrific circumstances faced [...]

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“Salute the Generals,” For the Wall Street Journal

Thumbnail image for “Salute the Generals,” For the Wall Street Journal January 12, 2014

It took all my resistance not to shop my way through the reporting of this story about next-generation general stores for the Wall Street Journal: There’s nothing generic about the new general store. “We felt like a certain quality, craftsmanship and timeless feel would be more than enough to unify the things we carry,” said [...]

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