Welcome to Favorite Follow, a new series that introduces NYLON’s favorite creators and the stories behind some of their most memorable content.
Scrolling through Instagram can feel monotonous at times, especially when it comes to fashion inspiration. A brand or item can take off on the platform, and pretty soon you’ll see very similar outfits and content over and over again. However, following someone like the creative director and self-proclaimed “sock fluencer” Gia Seo is a breath of fresh air for your feed. Her fit pictures are packed with colors, textures, and patterns that feel like a dash of dopamine on your eyeballs, and her casual approach to getting dressed feels achievable too.
“Aside from certain things I have to post for work, I really try to show the bigger picture of who I am as a person. I would really love it if someone met me and said, “Oh, you are exactly who you are online like you are in real life,” because that’s how it really should be, “says Seo, who works in New York lives and she also runs her own creative agency called Department Of.
As their business expands, Seo wants to focus on nurturing both young creatives and marginalized communities. “At the forefront, we’re trying to provide space and voices for the underrepresented, especially in the BIPOC community,” she says. “We’re trying to give opportunities back to young creatives who may not have access to some of the resources I am fortunate to have access to now.”
Working with UGG on the latest campaign was an easy decision for Seo. “I’ve always really loved the brand and the ethos of who they are since I was 12 or 13, and more recently with the really great collaborations and representation of these young and incredible designers,” she says, noting Telfar. Eckhaus Latta and Y / Project as examples.
Partnering with UGG resulted in a pair of virus-worthy, thigh-high boots discovered on Rihanna and Dua Lipa, and Seo had the opportunity to try on a pair during their photo shoot with the brand’s newly launched ready-to-wear collection.
“It was freezing that day, but I definitely didn’t feel it because the UGG jacket and sweater were pretty warm,” recalls Seo. “And that’s honestly said by an Alaskan who grew up in negative 70-degree weather.”
Below, Seo shares some of her favorite social media posts and outfits with details about the process, inspiration, and meaning behind it.
About the styling (and importance of) face masks
“I’m all about personalization [face masks] and show them off. When I shot this in winter I was super bundled and the only place where I could really show my personal style was in the color combinations of my cool sunglasses or my more versatile masks and hats. For most of these masks, I wear a disposable mask underneath because they still need to work at the end of the day. The whole point of these masks is that we are living in a pandemic. While these looks are inspiring and fun to show off, safety definitely comes first.
“I also had so many people who said to me, ‘Oh, I can no longer recognize you with your mask on. ‘Or: “I cannot recognize people because they are wearing masks.” And I was like, “Well, if you can’t recognize me for my face, then I hope you can recognize me for my style.” So I thought this would be a fun test to see how many of my friends could recognize me from a very small area of style. It wasn’t successful, to be honest, but it was still fun to try. “
If you don’t define your constantly evolving style
“I’ll probably sound like a broken record here, but I feel like it’s really difficult for me to categorize my style. I don’t even know which fashion categories are trending anymore. I feel like I’ve always just totally dressed based on my mood and the eventful things that are going on in my life. I think my style changes when I keep growing and my environment changes when I develop as a creative or as a person. “
About superimposing textures as “Texturenaut”
“I created @texturenaut because I was very scared with my personal Instagram account. I felt really pressured here and there by certain pressures on social media and certain brands, and I really felt like I was losing my authentic voice and myself online. When I discovered fashion, color, and patterns, I was always a big proponent of it. I almost feel that “more is more” is always better, but my only approach would be where to start, which is my combination of shoes and socks when I am wearing socks. I am also very fond of color theory and have studied it since high school. I always look to color theory, logic, and books, especially when I’m really feeling uninspired. “
On the way to the “Sockenfluencer”
“The ‘Sockenfluencer’ came about because I realized that there is a market where people can specify what they are influencing. I found it so interesting because when I first started Instagram there weren’t any real influencers that way. It was more like brands or products being pushed, but not really people pushing the product, so to speak. When I was labeled an influencer, I wanted to know if I would indicate the type of influence I was having, be it food or media or a specific product. Would this create traction?
“But it came from an authentic place because I always collected socks. It was the only thing my mom would really allow me to buy every time we were somewhere. And so one day I changed my name to Sockenfluencer and it stuck. I’ve worked with a lot of really great sock brands, actually on a creative level and only on an Instagram level. It is really amazing what the internet can offer. “
About getting dressed to “look good, feel good”
“These [fit pic] was in the back alley of my former apartment in Williamsburg. And to be honest this is just an outfit that I wore outside and I thought it looked really funny so I took a picture. The gloves are work gloves that I wear when I build sets. But I also wear them in winter because they’re lined and pretty warm and durable. The ski mask came from a surplus army store and I used it every time I went skiing. Both tie dye pieces are from Ganni, and the pants are just your ordinary dickies.
“During that time I felt a little down and I really try not to live in this moment for that long. So I decided to wear the brightest, most colorful things I can find. I really believe in the “look good, feel good” mentality. It always really worked for me, including some of my more difficult moments, so this was one of those moments. I felt like I was just starting from the bottom, but now I’m shining the brightest in a really weird way. ”
Follow Gia Seo on Instagram.