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Laia Garcia

"1997, but also the future." 

MONOGRAM: List your name, profession, and place of residence:

LAIA GARCIA, Deputy Editor at Lenny. Brooklyn, NY.

MONOGRAM: How did your interest in writing begin? Was there a piece of literature – a book, magazine, article, etc. – that inspired you?

LAIA: In a way I have never not been writing. When I was little I used to write poems about a made-up flower called Mactine. I wrote poetry all through my teens and then I just sort of stopped. I never really showed anyone my poetry though. Then I was in a band in my 20s and I guess the poetry manifested itself through lyrics, but no one could understand what I was saying (we were very noisy!), so I think that part of me remains a bit of a secret.

MONOGRAM: In addition to Lenny, you’ve contributed work to other great publications, such as the New York Times, Rookie, and i-D. What’s your favorite story of all time?

LAIA: Ah, this is so hard to pick! Right now I think I would pick the interview I did with Lisa Yuskavage for Lenny because she is such an incredible woman, a true force, and I’ve adored her work for so long; and then also the story on the white turtleneck I wrote for The Cut because I love to get ridiculous with my fashion opinions and take them as far as they can possibly go.

MONOGRAM: Who, past or present, would you love to interview, and why?

LAIA: Miuccia Prada and Fiona Apple because they have been the most influential to me. (These are both also extremely terrifying prospects.)

MONOGRAM: Your voice is at the forefront of a major movement of women creating culture, groups, and safe spaces for other women. Why is this is happening right now?

LAIA: Because it had to! I don’t know exactly why it’s happening now, but at the same time when I look around at the world we are living in, well of course it makes sense that it *is* happening now. I do think the internet has quite a hand in it, as it’s become a way to disseminate information, both in theories and concepts that have traditionally existed in the academic realm, and in stories, videos, and images of what it’s really like out there for people who are in the minority, people who are different from the status quo. It’s opened a lot of eyes, and when you’re faced with all that is going on, you can’t really just ignore it so much.

MONOGRAM: I’ve seen your desk at the Lenny offices – you're sent an unbelievable amount of material! How the hell do you decide what to write about?

LAIA: We have weekly meetings where we discuss everything! Books, pitches from writers, ideas that we have, etc. But it’s also like, I am never not working in a way. Everything I read and everything I see and everything I come across comes with a little side message like “is this a story?” and if it is, then we do it!

MONOGRAM: You were a stylist in your past life. How did you decide to switch paths to focus on writing full time?

LAIA: I didn’t really decide as much as the opportunity presented itself. My motto is “Let’s see what happens if I do this thing,” so if the opportunity presents itself, I go after it. I was writing and styling and it so happened that I was offered a full-time writing job so I went with it. I do miss styling a bit. In an ideal world, I’d be able to do both.

MONOGRAM: How would you describe your personal style?

LAIA: Puerto Rican woman loves The Gentlewoman, but can’t let go of her “Gwennabe” past.

MONOGRAM: Do you have a favorite vintage t-shirt? How and when did you acquire it?

LAIA: Yes! It’s from the Festival de Claridad, a yearly, weekend-long event in PR that Claridad, the local newspaper that supports the movement for Puerto Rican independence, puts on. Bands play, local craftsmen sell their wares, and there’s food and drink. I’ve had it for I guess…26 years(!!!). It’s a baby tee now but when I first got it it was a “regular sized” tee.

MONOGRAM: What’s your favorite way to style a t-shirt?

LAIA: With a suit! Gotta love a business casual look.

MONOGRAM: Do you use graphic t-shirts to articulate your point of view? How so?

LAIA: Totally! I think they show my sense of humor and you know, reveal my roots as a girl that grew up in the ‘90s loving baby tees and Gwen Stefani. 

MONOGRAM: Lightning round: describe yourself in terms of the following…

COLOR: Forever live for Cerulean Blue but lately very into Mustard Yellow
ERA: 1997, but also the future
FETISH: Taco Bell
SYMBOL: ¯\_()_/¯
LOCATION: The beach
OBJECT: The November 1997 issue of Spin Magazine with Fiona Apple on the cover aka “The Girl Issue”
BEVERAGE: A Sprite
VEHICLE: The subway
RITUAL: Coffee in the mornings
TAGLINE: “I’m an Extraordinary Machine”

PHOTOGRAPHY: Clement Pascal