As a native daughter of Chicago, there's a heightened joy in finding really cool things coming from the region I still consider home. Even though Chicago is massive, it will never outgrow a certain small-town friendly feel—which is exactly what the company Fair Coast Goods exemplifies—a particular brand of folksy sophistication. Fair Coast is a small husband-and-wife team that makes practical goods out of leather, canvas and cotton using their hands and an industrial sewing machine. Everything they make is simple and durable, in a true Midwestern fashion, and I love that. All their goods are available online.
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Photo of photographer Jeannette Montgomery Barron by James D. Barron.
A few weeks ago I posted a photo of Vogue editor Lisa Love taken by Jeannette Montgomery Barron from her book Scene that captures creatives of the downtown art world of 1980s New York. Her portraits of heavy-hitters like Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger, Jenny Holzer, Cindy Sherman, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat are all so unforced, like you're sitting with them in their living room on a random Tuesday night. Barron has published several books since and continues to exhibit her work. Her next big show opens May 3rd at Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Below is Barron's Q&A, which incidentally reveals her affinity for the 70s, not the 80s!
If not in Rome or New York, I would live...I wouldn't mind living in Los Angeles for a while. I feel most comfortable in places with palm trees.
My dream vacation would be to...go to a small island in Italy with my husband and do nothing but swim, eat fish, draw and read.
My current obsessions are...
Food: It doesn't matter as long as it's not too fussy. I love to cook but it's always simple.
Music: I am eclectic, with a strong focus on the early 70's.
Fashion: I love J. Brand jeans, Church's boots, shirts from my friend Sabine Schomber in Rome, A.P.C. and Laura Urbinati. I like hats and in winter wear an old Borsalino my brother gave me about 20 years ago. In the summer I wear a summer version of the hat. Both fold up and can go with me when I travel.
Retail Stores: I buy a lot of things from my friend Ann Mashburn in Atlanta (I go there often) because she has great taste and everything is edited.
I channel my childhood self when I...swim in the ocean, ride my bike or play tennis.
The fictional character I most relate to is…Gosh, that's a great question! I have no idea.
If I had to be outdoors all day I would...be on a beach. Under an umbrella.
My favorite quality in a man i
s...the ability to cry.
My favorite quality in a woman is...honesty.
I'm terrified of...really cold weather.
My cocktail of choice is...Italian wine.
My friends and I like to...eat lunch and play Scrabble.
If I could go back in time for one decade it would be...the 70's!
As a teenager I was totally into...T. Rex.
I tend to splurge on...jeans, boots and sandals.
Always being so relieved when I can take off my high heels (on the rare occasions I have to wear them)...is what makes me have Tomboy Style.
Photos by Angi Welsch and Gabe Sullivan.
YES. Almond Surfboards out of Newport Beach just launched their first women's collection. I've been a fan of the simplified and sophisticated surf brand since its launch and had wished, as I often do, that they had a women's line. Now they do. Creative Director Chad Cress said he was getting a consistent message from the women that were buying surfboards from Almond (and sometimes the men's tees and wovens too) that they needed some Almond clothing in their lives. Designer Heather Heron was brought on to the task and the result is a big wow. The Almond women's line thankfully doesn't scream surfer girl, but instead provides timeless year-round styles for a sophisticated female surfer. From the Shibori-dyed sweatshirts to chambray button-downs, count me most definitely in. I love it all. Most price points are under $100 and each piece is made in California. Pre-orders are available for late April shipping.