Brenna the Great
As the Los Angeles-based editor of Refinery29, Brenna Egan is the curator of cool. We wanted to know more about this rad girl-about-town.
Sure, being the LA editor of Refinery29, every fashion girl’s must-read website, is hard work, but Brenna Egan makes it look like a
breeze—a well-heeled and-accessorized breeze, that is. Before taking on her current gig, Egan worked at Vogue and OK!, and once owned an online vintage store. Basically, she’s our hero. But perhaps the best thing about Egan is no matter what event she’s
attending or how late she was up slaving away on deadline, she always looks fabulous. Like, “where-did-you-get-that-and-how-can-we get-one” fabulous. We sat down with the It Girl to talk about her gig, her style and the advice she would give her younger self.
Tell us what it means to be the LA Editor of Refinery29.
I wake up every morning around 5 or 6 a.m. A typical day includes five deadlines, which involves conceptualizing stories, writing, editing, Photoshopping, researching and coding, and, of course, there are some fun nighttime events, too. I also do all of the talent scouting and publicist outreach for shoots and the styling and art directing on set. I’ve met so many incredibly chic, talented and hardworking people who make all of those long hours 100 percent worth every second.
What is the best part about your job?
The most rewarding part of working at Refinery29 is that I can have an idea on a random Tuesday, breathe my own life and a
lot of hard work into it and then hundreds of thousands of people can enjoy it, possibly even the next day. There’s nothing more gratifying than getting to see your creativity blossom.
You are from Omaho, Nebraska, which is a little surprising considering your fierce sense of style (no offense to Nebraska).
I believe sincere style exists everywhere. My mom always pushed the envelope. And I am very aesthetically driven—I refused to wear anything but dresses until the age of five—but I think what set me apart was that I was always striving to be different. I wouldn’t be caught dead in that cookie-cutter outfit everyone was donning.
Describe your personal style.
My closet holds a serious range of eras and personalities, and tons of color. I’m an intensely emotional person, and my clothing choices inevitably reflect the mood I’m in that minute. Spontaneity rules my sartorial world.
You are a fantastic thrifter. Without giving away too much, what's your secret?
When it comes to vintage-hunting, I love to imagine the fab woman who wore it before me and try to visualize how she’d piece it together. In LA I get my thrills at Squaresville, The Way We Wore,
Resurrection and the Goodwill on Beverly Boulevard. Since having my vintage business, I also have access to a super-underground warehouse that’s so sketchy you have to put gloves and a hairnet on to dig. Also, having an intimate relationship with your tailor is the key to vintage life. You have to have vision for your finds and constantly be thinking about how to morph them into something modern and indicative of your style.
Name the three items in your closet you can't live without.
At this moment, I would say my Haider Ackermann fuschia and gold-brocade brogues, a vintage Lucite purse I found at The Way We Wore and a Ports 1961 gray wool vest-coat that has this
insane Spaceballs-esque detachable collar.
You're a fashion girl, but you're not afraid of a little camping and getting dirty. How do you balance those two extremes?I love this question. I’m just as content in a tent playing Scrabble at Jalama Beach with a Pacifico as I am at a swanky dinner at the Chateau swilling Veuve. My outfit choices may be a little different for each, but you’ll still get the same girl in any setting.
Your go-to holiday party outfit. Go.
Two words: statement-making. And never black. This is the one time per year you get to see all your friends in a few places, so you have to make it count!
We have a girl crush on you: Who do you have a girl crush on?
Diana Vreeland, always and forever. Among the living, I'd have to say Mira Duma, Grace Coddington and Diana Kruger.
What advice would you give to the younger you?
Considering I just turned 30, this is a questions I've asked myself a lot lately. I wish I had taken some time off and traveled. And I guess the one resounding things is not to say no to anything. Like, anything.
Learn more about Brenna at Refinery29.com!