Final month, whereas touring round to style reveals in London, one Instagram account stored developing time and again in my conversations with editors: @stylenotcom. Named after the beloved fashion-news web site fashion.com, which shuttered in 2017 and was finally consumed by Vogue Runway, the account is rapidly gaining followers for its equally obsessive protection of the trade. Posts are textual content primarily based and written in all caps on a blue background, making them immediately stand out in your feed. (The design is impressed by the Colette retailer emblem — one other loss.) They mix useful data (“RICK OWENS STARTS NOW”) with information (“SERENA WILLIAMS WALKED OFF-WHITE”) and commentary (“NOTHING REALLY COMES TO MIND ABOUT NYFW”) plus the occasional fashion-history lesson. In contrast with different style accounts like @dietprada, the tone is refreshingly simple and lighthearted, not trying to stir the pot however fairly reveling within the drama of all of it. As a result of there aren’t any visuals, it has a way of thriller as properly. Who’s posting all this? Primarily based on their stage of entry, they appear to work within the trade. However are they an editor? A designer? An intern?
The person behind the scenes is Beka Gvishiani. He’s 30 years outdated and lives in Tbilisi, Georgia. He has labored in style for years and was not too long ago featured on the Forbes “30 Beneath 30” checklist in his nation. However he’s additionally one thing of knowledgeable superfan, having logged many, many hours on boards and on his former Tumblr, Shiny Newsstand. He’s the type of one who can let you know who was on the quilt of Vogue Paris this month 5 years in the past or which mannequin opened the Miu Miu present in 1997.
Up to now two months, the account has gone from 3,000 followers to over 17,000 and counting together with designers Jonathan Anderson, Matthieu Blazy, and Marc Jacobs. In current weeks, Gvishiani has additionally used his account to boost consciousness about Ukraine. Dwelling in a neighboring former Soviet nation himself, he feels it’s necessary.
“I’m actually proud of the success of my account, but additionally burdened with all of the information occurring in Ukraine,” he stated from Paris final week whereas carrying a Stylenotcom baseball hat. Beneath, we spoke to Gvishiani about his work and his expertise to this point.
I noticed that you simply paused posting about style for a day to publish in help of Ukraine when the assaults started final month. Usually, what’s your strategy? How are you balancing protection of style with what’s occurring on the earth proper now?
With the scenario in Ukraine, I made a decision to take a time without work as a result of I’m Georgian. I reside very near Ukraine, and we skilled the identical factor in 2008 with Georgia and Russia, so I really feel for them greater than anybody. I used my Tales and am nonetheless utilizing my Tales for sharing information and data. I simply didn’t really feel like posting about style that day, about Prada’s present. However I nonetheless watched the present, and inside ten minutes, I had drafted at the very least ten posts about it. None of them had been in regards to the assortment, although — simply issues I believed folks can be occupied with. On the current Loewe males’s present, for instance, everybody was posting about fashions, however there have been 700 tons of sand underneath their toes, and I used to be like, I’m going to publish about this as a result of I work backstage in style. I do know that designers are on prime, however folks like me are backstage actually on their palms and knees, working nights, and I need to recognize the work they’re doing. So mixing this form of factor with the actual information and what’s occurring on the earth and reminiscences from, like, Miu Miu’s first present in London in 1997.
What’s it been prefer to be at Paris Style Week, attending reveals for @stylenotcom now?
Style insiders — everybody, together with me — are speaking much less and fewer about style; it’s all about conflict and the continuing scenario. Persons are realizing what a catastrophe is occurring in Ukraine. However individuals are nonetheless sharing Style Week tales as a result of, for a lot of of them, it’s only a common day at work.
How did you get began in style?
I generally evaluate myself with Nigel from The Satan Wears Prada as a result of he says that when different guys had been enjoying soccer, he was going by Vogue magazines. I used to be simply all the time very occupied with media, and I might accumulate every kind of magazines — not simply style. At the moment in my metropolis, round 2006 or 2007, the web was not a factor you would have. At some point, after I was ready for the bus to go house, I went to the newspaper kiosk and noticed a Vogue journal, and it was utterly totally different from all of the others. It had shiny gold lettering, and I believed, What is that this? What’s occurring inside? It was Russian Vogue. Since we’re so near Russia, it was the one Vogue obtainable right here. Nonetheless to this present day, you’ll be able to solely purchase Russian Vogue right here. So I purchased it. It value round 20 lari, which at the moment was round $10 and even $12. For a man who was in class, it was perhaps my weekly allowance. However I used to be actually obsessive about the quilt, so I purchased it.
Do you bear in mind what subject it was?
It was the Vogue Russia July 2008 subject. Natasha Poly was on the quilt, photographed by Terry Tsiolis. The subsequent month, I went again to the newspaper kiosk, and the lady advised me, “I get two copies a month, and I’m the one one on this metropolis who sells them. However I can name you each time it comes.” So I developed a relationship with this newspaper woman, who would actually ship me a message: “Beka, Vogue is right here.”
Wow, I like that you simply nonetheless bear in mind the precise subject.
Then I received one other subject and one other subject. After which my dad and mom stunned me with an web connection at house. I began looking, “What’s Vogue?” And I found that there’s American Vogue, French Vogue, Italian Vogue — there are such a lot of Vogues! At the moment, there have been round 18 editions. Then I found Harper’s Bazaar journal, i-D journal, and W journal, which was my absolute favourite within the early 2000s. I used to be on this world, and I believed, I need to do one thing right here. So I dove in additional and located this on-line discussion board known as the Style Spot. I noticed that individuals had been discussing magazines prefer it was an important factor in life, and it was changing into the identical factor for me. My English was not excellent, and the discussion board was probably not welcoming to new members as a result of they had been all critical specialists. However I wished to make a reputation for myself. So I attempted to be one of many first to start out a dialogue about new covers. After two, three years, I’d made 20,000 posts on the discussion board, and I used to be the primary contributor. So I made a decision to start out my very own weblog known as Shiny Newsstand on Tumblr. Then magazines began sharing covers and editorials themselves to me.
So that you’ve been doing this for some time! Do you continue to work in style?
After I moved to Tbilisi for college, I met a Georgian designer named Anouki and, on the age of 21, grew to become the overall supervisor of her model. Me and my good friend additionally began a inventive company known as Arial Daring, which nonetheless operates right here in Georgia, and we assist native manufacturers to supply shoots and runway reveals, and so on. However I nonetheless continued accumulating magazines. I used my 18th birthday cash to purchase three problems with Vogue together with the Vogue Paris February 2008 with Naomi and Kate on the quilt. I’d been dreaming of this subject, and I nonetheless take a look at it like as soon as per week. After I opened it for the primary time, even the scent and contact of it introduced me to a very totally different world. At this time, I’ve greater than 1,000 copies of magazines in my hometown.
When did you resolve to start out @stylenotcom?
I began the account in July of final yr. It was in the course of the pandemic, and I didn’t have many tasks occurring. I stated to myself, Okay, there are individuals who can write higher than me. There are people who find themselves massive journalists, who know style historical past, who expertise all the pieces themselves within the second; they’ve an opportunity to fulfill with the designers. However perhaps I may fulfill my curiosity within the information. It began to catch on after I went to Paris Style Week final September. One of many reveals I had the prospect to attend was the Balenciaga red-carpet present. I posted, “Standing ovation for Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga,” “Naomi at Balenciaga,” “Cardi B at Balenciaga.” Individuals had been like, Oh my God, you make us want to see extra, as a result of I publish no visuals. An editor as soon as advised me, “It’s type of erotic, even seductive, such as you’re teasing us with all you say.”
Have been you a fan of favor.com earlier than it shut down? I noticed that you simply posted when Tim Blanks gave you a hug.
I nonetheless get goose bumps after I hear the sound of “Model dot com.” Actually. I used to be obsessed. I used to be super-sad when it closed. I nonetheless have some archival hyperlinks to articles from 2001 to 2003. Some are damaged, however you’ll be able to nonetheless discover some gold details about the events and in regards to the folks from that point. And I saved all of the YouTube movies as a result of I used to be scared they may very well be deleted in the future. It was 1,400 movies, however I downloaded all of them.
Your account is quickly gaining followers. Marc Jacobs himself not too long ago engaged with you. Weight-reduction plan Prada is an instance of a fashion-commentary account that had lots of success. They had been alleged to have this form of “outsider” perspective, however then they received invited to reveals and have become “insiders,” in a method, and misplaced a few of their credibility. Have you ever thought in any respect about doing sponsored posts?
Thus far, I can say that I’ve already stated no to a couple partnerships from very, very, very massive manufacturers in January and February. And nonetheless, I’m going to jot down two or three noes proper after our speak as a result of, I imply, it’s my private house. If I share ten posts about Glenn Martens’s fabulous Jean Paul Gaultier present, it’s as a result of I actually beloved it. I’ve discovered to by no means say by no means, however for this style week, I’ve stated no to all partnerships as a result of it’s nonetheless early. I’m not too massive. It’s my private house, and I’m so completely happy that these manufacturers actually perceive that. Some folks suppose I’m doing the PR for them, however no, I’m simply writing the info and my actual emotions.
Effectively, it’s been such a pleasure chatting with you. Your enthusiasm for style is one thing I believe individuals are actually craving proper now. And I’m certain folks within the trade are grateful that you’re recognizing their work and are enthusiastic about it.
I’m grateful that they exist! These folks make me excited daily. After I’m in a nasty temper, I actually stroll by the streets to the soundtracks of Balenciaga reveals. After I get up and wish power, I simply placed on the Balenciaga fall 2019 present soundtrack, and I’m up. It’s stronger than a double, triple espresso for me.
This interview has been edited and condensed for readability.