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At Home with Angie Venezia

STORY BY RACHEL SCHWARTZMANN – FOLLOW Angie – PHOTOS BY BRIDGET BADORE FOR THE STYLE LINE

From fashion to literature, Angie Venezia is an inherent

storyteller. Whether she’s crafting engaging communications strategies through her work as a publicist at Vintage & Anchor Books or sharing her sartorial flair on her Instagram account, we’ve loved seeing Angie’s creative acumen flourish via her endeavors. Though what struck us most during our recent visit with Angie (at her gorgeous apartment we might add), was learning more about her penchant for championing emerging voices; especially as it relates to the next generation – and as she mentioned in our interview below: “What I always tell young people who ask, is to spend time figuring out what it is they love, rather than being obsessed with careers and money and lifestyle… I don’t think we encourage young people to experiment and explore enough.”

With that in mind, exploration is ever-present in Angie’s personal style, as her wardrobe includes an impressive rotation of some of the industry’s most promising designers. As you’ll discover more of in our interview, when it comes to aesthetics Angie contends that function weighs just has heavily as fashion. Though at the end of the day and based on what we saw, Angie has been able to seamlessly extend her thoughtful approach into her Brooklyn dwellings, which further celebrates her love of style, storytelling (read: floor-to-ceiling bookshelves of our dreams) and a whole lot of plants!

All of that to say, Angie’s story is one of inspiration and intrigue, and we were thrilled to step into her world to chat more about her thoughts on the synergy between fashion and publishing and interior style. Without giving too much away, discover our full conversation below (featuring her compelling advice for the next generation of creatives) along with beautifully captured moments from our morning by Bridget Badore for The Style Line.

Angie Venezia the style line brooklyn

Books and fashion have been my two greatest obsessions

all my life. When I was really little, I would apparently throw giant, crying with my face on the floor, tantrums if my mom tried to leave the house at night  (on a date, for an event, etc.) in a casual outfit. And I would ride my tricycle around the neighborhood wearing black stockings on my arms as opera gloves, and a scarf tied in front and thrown over my shoulders, as a dramatic shawl (yes there are embarrassing photos of this). Book-wise, Nancy Drew was my first style icon, I think. I collected them, and I think what initially drew me into those books were the descriptions of her (and George & Bess’) outfits. I am fortunate in that I get to work in one of those realms professionally (as a book publicist at Penguin Random House). I work with authors to promote books that have recently been published or are about to be published. I wish that fashion could be a part of my everyday work life too! So to compensate I use Instagram to broadcast my passion for independent and emerging designers, and by following stylish women that also post their outfits.

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Would you say that there is a synergy between the literary and fashion world? What speaks to you the most about both industries?

That is a fascinating question! I think that book and fashion people have aligned interests because both are about telling a story. I suppose not all readers care about fashion, but I would guess that aesthetics must be on the mind of the writer, and fashion might often fit into that. It’s hard not to imagine what a character is wearing, or what their setting looks like. And often those are the kinds of details that I live for in books–those details greatly enhance a story for me as a reader.

How do you celebrate personal style and how has your profession informed your sartorial identity? 

I celebrate it in my private life by taking an interest in what I wear and how I present myself each day. My friends and I also discuss style constantly. We talk about what we’re coveting and what designers we’re excited about. I also love posting my outfits on Instagram (whenever I’m able to get my boyfriend take a photo of me, haha). Sometimes I worry that it seems vain, but it’s just fun documenting my style and putting it out there. I love to see what other women are wearing, so in a way, I’m returning the favor. That’s one of the things that I value about social media–I get to see what a fabulous woman in California, or Paris, or St. Petersburg is wearing every day. A woman living in Vilnius, Lithuania started following me the other day. So excited to see what she puts out there.

  • Angie Venezia the style line brooklyn
  • Angie Venezia the style line brooklyn

“It’s hard not to imagine what a character is wearing, or what their setting looks like. And often those are the kinds of details that I live for in books–those details greatly enhance a story for me as a reader.”

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With a nod to your love of contemporary fashion, if you could choose a fashion designer and author to meet for coffee who would you bring together and what do you think they would talk about?

I love this question, even though it’s incredibly difficult to answer. I would enjoy being a fly on the wall during a conversation between Patti Smith and just about any female fashion designer whose clothing she wears. I admire her attention to detail and her appreciation for good design and high-quality clothing. Is there anyone more innately stylish?
Elena Ferrante and Sylvia Avanzi, who founded the shoe line Gray Matters, would be very cool (and impossible I suppose, as Ferrante doesn’t give interviews and is famously anonymous). One of Ferrante’s characters in the Neapolitan quartet comes from a family of cobblers, which provides a pivotal storyline. I’m sure Sylvia has a lot to say about having a shoe line made in Italy. I’d love to hear all about that, and their respective experiences being from there.

What are your thoughts on the synergy between fashion and interior style and do you feel you have a similar approach to both your wardrobe and interior preferences? 

I’m sure there is a synergy there, but I have trouble with this question because so much of my interior style is influenced by utility. My interiors at home are also influenced by objects that have been passed down to me in my family, and in many ways, I see my interest in fashion as inherited as well. So many of the women in my life are incredibly stylish…I like to think I get it from them, just like I got some of the gorgeous things in my home that I adore.

Angie Venezia the style line brooklyn

What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

Who do you think the most stylish character in literature (or film) is? I think I would have fun debating this.

“I celebrate [personal style] in my private life by taking an interest in what I wear and how I present myself each day.”

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How do you think creativity contributes to some of the world’s bigger conversations and based on your experiences working with some of the most prominent women authors in the industry, what role are they playing in this movement?

I think women in most professional areas, including creative ones, often have to justify their interest in style and the way that they look, because men aren’t judged in the same way by their appearance. I’m sure many women authors, especially when they were starting out, felt that they had to disown their interest in style in order to be taken seriously, or to make a statement about how seriously they should be taken because fashion is “dismissed” as feminine. Chimamanda Adichie wrote an incredible essay about this for Elle –-about embracing her interest in fashion again. It’s a great message to send because whether or not a woman is taken seriously shouldn’t have anything to do with her appearance, whether she cares about style or not. I’m glad that we’re having these conversations now.

How would you advise the next generation of authors/creatives/style mavens to leave an imprint in the world simply by doing what they love?

Oh gosh, it’s hard imagining that anyone would want my advice, but what I always tell young people who ask, is to spend time figuring out what it is they love, rather than being obsessed with careers and money and lifestyle. I think in our culture we underestimate how difficult that is, and people feel adrift or inadequate when they don’t know. No one should be expected to know what that is when they leave school. I don’t think we encourage young people to experiment and explore enough.