Analisa Nguyen on Sustainable Minimalism
Drenched in a late-90s aesthetic, Analisa Nguyen is an expert in minimalist style. Her wardrobe is rich with neutral tones—various shades of khaki, deep greys, and washed-out forest greens—all in a unanimously inviting way. Pairing vintage Chanel and Prada Sport with timeless, ultra-wearable staples, Analisa's style is effortlessly modern. We spoke with Analisa about her journey as a style-tastemaker, her soon-to-be clothing line, and what keeps her style grounded day in and day out.
Shop Analisa's grails here or browse her exclusive listings below.
Kate Marin: Your style and aesthetic have garnered a large following, but really your career is just about to start. How do you see it unfolding?
Analisa Nguyen: This is always a hard question for me to answer because I want to do a little bit of everything! I've been working on launching a clothing line on and off for the past few months, but I also like working with others to create things. I'm passionate about styling so I usually jump on opportunities related to that no matter where it takes me. I feel that some people don't take me seriously because I'm still young, but I'm working on proving people otherwise.
KM: Can you tell me more about the fashion line you are launching?
AN: All I can say right now is that it will be a unisex brand with staples that challenge traditional ideas while still being wearable every season! I always find myself searching for clothing that only exists in my head so the whole idea spawned from that. It's an extension of myself creatively and what I like.
KM: Where do you seek out inspiration today? Do you think this change (from blogs to elsewhere) was influenced by social media?
AN: I definitely think the rise of social media has played a big role. Inspiration naturally comes to me while doing everyday things like visiting somewhere new or watching old movies, but nothing burns into my memory more than scrolling through photos on social media. It's just easy and convenient, inspiration can be found as close and quick as refreshing my Instagram newsfeed. Most of my inspiration these days come from what I'm exposed to and social media is a huge contributor.
KM: What are you studying in school?
AN: I'm majoring in fashion merchandising and minoring in art history.
KM: When did you first realize your interest in fashion?
AN: I was always into expressing myself creatively through art when I was younger so my interest in fashion developed naturally. However, I got into fashion seriously when I started reading blogs about six years ago. Back then, the blogging community was like a band of outsiders but somehow, I was more inspired by a community I found on a screen than the people in my own proximity. I went to school in a suburban beach town full of surfers and kids whom I hardly felt a sense of connection to, so my attention was diverted online. I used to read a ton of style blogs daily and was really into checking street style by Tommy Ton and Adam Katz Sinding too. I couldn’t afford designer items at the time, being 14 with no means other than saved up lunch money, so I would thrift and alter the clothes in my closet. I took sewing classes in 9th grade and learned how to sew my own pieces as well! I surround myself with more creative people now and get my inspiration from other sources these days, but that was the beginning of when I first started being interested in fashion.
KM: Your style has changed quite a bit from your Lookbook days. Do you think style comes with age or knowledge (as in a better understanding of the fashion industry/different brands and designers)?
AN: It definitely comes with knowledge! I've learned so much about not only myself and what I like throughout the years but also about practices within the fashion industry. I try to be an ethical consumer because fashion is among the top three most polluting industries in the world. I do my part to help reduce landfill waste by buying secondhand sometimes or reducing the amount of things I buy... which has actually helped me stylistically, because I think about every purchase and limit myself to only things that are genuinely true to myself. I sold most of my clothes over a year ago and downsized my closet by 60%. It has really helped me develop my true personal style because I was only keeping the clothes that I felt attached to or wear over and over again. When you work with less, you start to wear your clothes and not let them wear you.
KM: What advice would you give to someone who is trying to be a more ethical shopper?
AN: Think ahead, avoid fast fashion and start investing in pieces that you can wear years from now.
KM: Do you wear clothes based on how they make you look or how they make you feel?
AN: A bit of both. I believe that what you wear contributes to your confidence and self-esteem, and when you wear anything with the right attitude, it becomes cool. If I don't like what I'm wearing, it coincides emotionally and I don't feel like I'm my best self.
KM: What does your closet look like? Is it archival or modern?
AN: My closet is a mix of everything, old and new, with lots of black and neutrals and a pop of color here and there. It's a clash of subtle femininity with slightly masculine elements. I rotate through a lot of my clothes and experiment with something different every now and then.
KM: Who are your favorite designers? Why?
AN: I always go through phases with favorites, but Ann Demeulemeester and Margiela have a special place in my heart because they were both the very first designers I had ever looked up to when I first got seriously into fashion. I don't just admire these two fashion houses but the designers who found them as well. I love how Ann's designs reflected her passion for the creative process and the fact that she generally ignored trends and how Martin Margiela remained anonymous and wanted the spotlight to be on what truly mattered: the clothes, philosophy, etc.
KM: I noticed there's a lot of architecture on your Instagram—many of the photos you take are in interesting spaces. Do you think architecture and clothing work hand in hand? Are there any elements of architecture that you try to emulate in your wardrobe?
AN: Yes! I think architecture and clothing go hand in hand because they're both a mesh between concepts, cuts, shapes and forms. I think good design in either field is always intentional. I believe in Frank Lloyd Wright's philosophy that
form follows function and the way a structure looks should be determined by its purpose. It applies sartorially too. I love zippers and pockets because they're ornamental without losing out on their original functionality. I also enjoy being outdoors so I wear clothes that embrace practicality, movement and freedom rather than restrictive pieces that I can only wear once or can't feel comfortable in.
KM: What item have you owned the longest?
AN: Probably my basics. I definitely consider them the core set of pieces that form the foundation of my wardrobe because I can throw them on with anything, anytime! I still wear some of the same t-shirts and jeans as I did five years ago.