On this week's edition of the Thrift Shop, we sat down with Tanisha Pina in her Brooklyn apartment. Tanisha is someone who we've admired over the years for her honest writing. In person she's even cooler than she is on the internet. Read on for our conversation on work, fashion, and all things vintage.
OR: How’d you end up in New York?
TP: I’m a really unprepared, go with the flow type of person, so after I graduated college I didn’t really know what I wanted do. After I graduated school in Chicago, I interned in New York for a summer while living at my aunts and uncles. And I was like this is cool, but I didn’t have any money. I lived in Philly for a bit and would take the bus into the city to freelance on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The goal was to be able to live in New York. Finally, I found a full time gig and moved.
OR: Did you study fashion in school?
TP: I went to art school but majored in PR. I interned at Paper Magazine, we’d throw events. After that I went to KCD. It got my foot in the door and helped me to understand the foundations of writing. My first full time job was working at Vanity Fair. I worked from 8:30am to 9:30pm but it was so cool. I hate to reference “The Devil Wears Prada” but that’s what it felt like. I felt really privileged to be there.
OR: What’s your favorite thing about the industry? Least favorite?
TP: I love people, and I love what people are interested, and I love extravagant things. Like Vanity Fair was outrageous, and art and culture and that’s what I loved. It felt like magic sometimes. What I hate about it? The pay is shitty. With media in general, there’s a weird distinction. Some people are with change and some aren’t. People feel threatened by bloggers and influencers. It’s a strange and exclusive hierarchy in fashion. There’s an issue with diversity, and not with just the models. It’s an issue with who works where and controversial articles – there’s a lot of things that can change.
OR: So how’d you get your current gig at Racked?
TP: I was at Teen Vogue on the print side. I’m a very impatient person, from my first job to being an editor took a year but I felt like I needed to fast track it. People were there for years and I was like I can’t be stuck in this. I wanted to be more in control of what I was doing so I applied to Racked to be their social media person. While I was interviewing, a market editor job popped so in interviews I consistently reinforced that that’s what I’d ideally be doing, which she caught onto. She connected me with my now boss, we hit it off and that was that. It’s nice because if I think there’s something missing in the digital space I can fill it myself. I can write about things I like, it’s so much more relaxed. I started writing fashion and then voiced that I wanted to do beauty, so they said go for it. It’s a great place to hone in on different skills.
OR: What do you think of thrifting in New York?
TP: Thrifting in new York is so much more difficult. In Rhode Island where I’m initially from it’s so much easier because there’s less people doing it. So I kind of got turned off from it for a while. It was either really expensive, or I couldn’t find stuff I wanted. Then I started buying stuff online. I shop on Depop like twice a week – it’s so easy, I just click away. Vintage is amazing because no one else has it. My vintage pieces are usually pieces that people always ask me about.
OR: What’re some tips you have for people just starting to thrift?
TP: Find sellers and go through their likes. When you find people who have similar style and taste to you, it’s turns into a rabbit hole of clothing.