I’ve had a girl crush on Christene Barberich for quite some time now. I mean, how can I not? She is a boss in the digital media space, as a founder of Refinery 29, and kills it when it comes to personal style. Her wardrobe is so original, as is her home (which I 100% freaked out about when I stepped inside and you will see why below). Not to mention her collection of vintage dresses are the most fun, quirky pieces I’ve seen to date and perfectly suit her fun-loving, eccentric personality. Can you sense how much fun I had meeting her yet? Because I did. I really, really did. Meet Christene, everyone!
Describe your style in 3 words.
Un-precious, ephemeral, personal.
What’s most important when it comes to style: comfort, beauty, or innovation?
I don’t think you can have one without the other, at least not in my world. To me, true style is what emerges when you let yourself fully explore what all three mean to you.
Most valued thing in your closet?
Oh, I just went to the mat on ebay for a vintage chiffon Ossie Clark gown — I was determined! I’ve never found one as perfect as this one, and the print is such a beautiful reference to his partner Celia Birtwell, a textiles designer. Even though this dress was probably designed and made in the early ’70s, the cut is so current. I am ridiculously in love with it.
Do you have a fashion muse?
Leandra Medine, Amy Sall, Marisa Berensen, and Linda Rodin are my current hall of famers.
Are there things you don’t wear?
Skinny jeans. I love them on other people, but they make me feel trapped…I just can’t.
You mentioned your love for history and all things vintage, but which love came first? And how have they influenced each other?
I’ve just always been drawn to things, people, and places with stories… old houses, books, recipes, dresses, you name it. When something makes you think about another time when it might have been active in someone’s life, or what role it played, like a dress or piece of art, I just find that so interesting and magical. On the other hand, this sentimental streak can make it hard to part with things, so I make a regular focused effort to routinely clean out my cupboards. That constant rotation of images and colors and things to touch is like a drug for me.
As the founder of one of the fastest growing digital media companies, Refinery 29, you are a role model to so many women. What is the best advice you could give to someone trying to make it in this industry, as well as tips for developing a unique personal style?
It might sound rote, but I firmly believe in learning to trust your gut, in ANY industry and absolutely in life, too. It takes time and some trial and error, but there is such a strength that comes with leaning in to your inner compass to guide you… and trusting that! Another thing that’s helped is allowing myself to ask questions or be vulnerable, even in situations that feel highly charged or intimidating. The more I push myself to keep growing and learning, the better I feel, in every aspect of my life. And I think those are the kinds of people most of us want to be around and work with, the people that remind you by example to keep moving forward and never stop reaching even when it freaks you out!