Interview: Kristin Prim, “Prim and Proper”
Kristin Prim’s resume is nearly triple the size of industry professionals twice her age. With a widely successful magazine, fashion blog, and booming modeling career, Prim’s achievements would impress even the most ruthless of haters. The key to her success is not just in her enviable closet or stark contoured face, but in her hard work, course wit, and rare charm.
Keesean: It sounds bizarre, but being that you started your career at such a young age, some may very well consider you a veteran. How has your perception of the industry changed over the years?
Kristin: It hasn’t, really! Although things are much more hackneyed and I find myself, at times, a little jaded, the magic is all still there.
Keesean: I’ve always been a fan of Prim Magazine for its edgy and oftentimes subversive takes on femininity and fashion. Were you taking any particular stance with your editorial photography and avant garde styling?
Kristin: Yes, absolutely! I think gender categorization in terms of gender identity is one of the worst most catastrophic lapses in judgment to hit the modern world. We’re so progressive as a culture and I cannot even begin to grasp why we set personal boundaries for ourselves based on genetic makeup. It’s kind of silly when you think about it, but we all use it anyway.
Besides that, I love women and as an editor I want to see women as “women” and paly around with the idea of women as “men.”
Keesean: After creating a successful magazine, what’s one common misperception people often have about the world of fashion-in-print?
Kristin: That it’s glamorous! There’s a ton of work and not so much play, especially in print.
Keesean: I know that you’re taking a hiatus from Prim Magazine. Do you plan on returning to the project and how do you intend on using your time, creativity, and energy now?
Kristin: I absolutely plan on returning to Prim. It’s not something I want to close the door on; I love editing.
But right now, I’m focusing on more independent projects, all revolving around modeling, co-designing, creative directing, and quite possibly some television.
I could always go back to Prim – it’s copyrighted and mine. On the other hand, these opportunities will not always be here, and many, sadly, rely on my youth. They’re way too good to pass up and I couldn’t possibly give my all to both the publication and these collaborations simultaneously.
Keesean: What campaign are you dying to be featured in and why?
Kristin: A campaign that I’m actually shooting on Sunday would totally be listed here, but other than that, Versace! Maybe some Ohne Titel too – I’m a little obsessed with Flora and Alexa!
Keesean: How has your well-known love for Balenciaga influenced your own style philosophy?
Kristin: Balenciaga was the first designer to stick out to me as art. I was way interested in art before I liked fashion. Balenciaga showed me that clothing could be boundless and ever innovative.
Keesean: How’d you feel about Nicolas Ghesquière’s spring 2012 collection for the house?
Kristin: I loved it; it was very Balenciaga! If you are devoted to the house, I don’t know how you could dislike it! As simple as they were, I was especially a fan of the pants paired with the asymmetric white tops… so casual cool.
Keesean: Agreed. Did you have any other spring 2012 favorites?
Kristin: Mandy Coon for life. A.F. Vandevorst, and Rad Hourani too! Nicole Miller played amazingly with color and Givenchy made me die. My Mark Fast mania deepened and Balmain blew me away. Also, Ann Demeulemeester, Haider Ackermann, and David Koma were equally amazing, as if they needed to be said.
Keesean: Are you still hopelessly devoted to Balenciaga, or have any other brands captured your heart?
Kristin: Oh, I’m hopelessly devoted to a ton of designers! To name a few: Versace, Haider Ackermann, Ann Demeulemeester, A.F. Vandevorst, Givenchy, Nicole Miller, Altuzarra, Celine, Cushnie et Ochs, Cynthia Rowley, Elise Overland, David Koma, Helmut Lang, Graeme Armour, Rad Hourani, Julien Macdonald, Mandy Coon, Rick Owens, Mark Fast, Margiela, Mary Katrantzou, Michael Angel, NAHM, Ohne Titel, Preen, Proenza Schouler, The Row, threeASFOUR, Tim Hamilton, Tom Ford, Wayne, and Acne.
Keesean: Is there one piece in your closet that has gotten the most mileage this season?
Kristin: My Helmut Lang leather pants. Hands down. I will wear them until they disintegrate.
Keesean: As temperatures continue to drop, what are some of your f/w 2011/2012 must-haves?
Kristin: High leather gloves, fur, some goat hair, and taller combat boots!
Keesean: If you could be featured in a multi-model shoot for a major gloss publication, who would you ideally love to be shot with?
Kristin: Freja [Beha Erichsen], as if that was a question… I have the biggest crush on her ever. Also, [the late Gia Carangi] of course, provided this could be a fantasy shoot. If we could include non-model models, then Maja Ivarsson and Mila Kunis. I’m melting already.
Keesean: Who are your favorite male models?
Kristin: I’m not going to lie my male model IQ is seriously lacking. But if I had to pick, it would definitely be Jaco van den Hoven. Andrej Pejic, too.
Keesean: How do you prepare for shoots now, after having been featured in Exit Magazine, ELLE Italia & Korea, French Glamour, The New York Times, THAT Magazine, Time Out New York, Vogue Italia, etc.?
Kristin: I don’t prepare in any particular way, really. I don’t focus too much on things; it should come naturally, anyway.
Keesean: When did you first discover that you were going to make a career for yourself in fashion?
Kristin: I first discovered that I was going to make a career for myself in fashion when I was about thirteen. That’s when I first became interested in fashion at all. When I discovered it, I knew right away.
I was such a “tomboy” when I was younger. I still am! I wore long basketball jerseys, shorts down to my shins, and sneakers until the time I was thirteen. But they had to be the most expensive and most specialized, of course! Now I have just swapped the sportswear out for an occasional blazer, tailored shirt, and flat shoes. It’s funny how things turn out.
I was also a major athlete. I still love playing sports; I play everything… basketball, soccer, baseball, hockey, tennis, etc. I think it’s because I’m super competitive. It’s really bad.
Keesean: Were there any great obstacles in your journey?
Kristin: Oh, absolutely! No one took me seriously until the time I was about sixteen. I did so much of my work online just so I wouldn’t have to meet anyone face to face. Dealing with PRs at Fashion Week was always a difficultly though up until about four seasons ago. It’s hard to convince people that you’re actually a fourteen-year-old print magazine editor; no one believed me.
Keesean: Do you have any advice to our readers that may have similar dreams and aspirations as you?
Kristin: Never care about what people say and if they’re speaking badly about you, at least they’re speaking about you. Thank them. Do whatever the fuck you want. You can do anything.
Follow Kristin Prim @kristinprim and keep up with her on her blog http://kristinprim.typepad.com/