Piera Gelardi, Executive Creative Director and Co-Founder of Refinery29


SPD: What year?
Piera Gelardi: 1995

SPD: What were you up to?
PG: I was looking to find myself, a creative alt-teen in a small town in Maine, feeling a bit out of place and searching for inspiration and my tribe. 

SPD: What magazine?
PG: Sassy Magazine

SPD: What was it that so enthralled you?
PG: I remember the first issue had Jennie Garth from 90210 on the cover and in the inside spread there was a photo of her wearing a pretty dress and clogs. Her feet were in the foreground turned to the camera and the price was written in Sharpie on the soles...they were from a thrift shop. I was enthralled by that mash-up...thrift shopping with fancy New York brands. I also loved the way they did product reviews. The staff would review them (didn't have to be a beauty expert) and give really honest feedback using colloquial language. I felt like I knew the people who made the magazine and I wanted to be part of their cool girl world. 

SPD: Do you know now who the creatives were?
PG: Of course I know Jane Pratt and that Chloe Sevigny was an intern...I don't know beyond that I'm embarrassed to say. (Googling around now...)

SPD: How does that inform your creative now?
PG: I'm still inspired by the independent spirit that Sassy embodied and how relatable it was...how it gave me a sense of belonging to a special sisterhood. How it inspired me to be unabashedly myself, to keep it weird, to have fun with style. The sense of inclusion, self expression, and having fun with feminism are still alive in my work today!