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Jazzelle, a.k.a. @uglyworldwide is a model, artist, and now host of Complex’s newest series, Vintage Shopping, which releases every Thursday at 10 a.m. EST. With a following of over 600K, they’ve solidified themselves as one of the biggest style stars and visual artists of the moment. While vintage has always played an important role in their wardrobe, they’ve discovered that there’s still much to unearth in the beast that is vintage shopping. With an eclectic personal style, it’s no surprise that they have a lot to say about clothes. Below, they talk to Complex about their greatest vintage finds, what they’ve learned while filming the series, and what vintage shopping means to them.
Why did you want to get involved in a series like Vintage Shopping?
I really relate to vintage shopping, it’s something I’ve been doing my whole life. I don’t come from money, so if I wasn’t vintage shopping, I would be shopping at a place across the street from my house called Value City—like the equivalent to Ross. I remember being like 5 years old telling my mom I gotta be different. These kids are already making fun of me, I need something on my side, you know? I gotta have control of something in my life. I love vintage shopping, it’s something that’s been with me for a long time.
What would you consider your greatest vintage find of all time?
You know, that’s just such a hard question just because my style is so varying and it really depends on the day or how I’m feeling. When I first started modeling and really getting into like my art or whatever, I think the biggest purchase vintage wise, like that moment, like the thing that everyone will know that I always talk about (that I also talked about in the series) was this 1990 portrait collection Vivienne Westwood corset that I have. She’s been with me for a long time, I really love her. Then also, you know, there’s another really great coat that I also talked about in the first episode where it’s like a really colorful plaid suit jacket that I got in Paris at a place called Nice Piece, on one of my first excursions to France. It’s kind of hard for me to like, really narrow it down, but if I had to pick it would be those.
What does vintage shopping/vintage style mean to you?
Vintage style means just being unique! It’s different, and it’s very likely that no one’s gonna have the same look you’ve got on—it’s the easiest way to time travel! Vintage is just a blast from the past.
What are some things you’ve learned from the series as a host and as a shopper?
I’ve met a lot of different shop owners and learned about their authentication processes, which has been very interesting because I definitely come from a background where it’s like if it says Chanel let’s call it Chanel. But I’ve learned a lot of cool techniques and I feel like I now have a keener eye as to what’s fake and what’s not after hosting this show.
What are some of the standout vintage stores that you’ve visited?
I love Squaresville, the owner, Banco—she’s amazing! Yesterday I was at Replica with the owner Danny, who is also amazing. They really only carry things like vintage Mugler, Margiela, and they’ve got Hysteric Glamour. They also got a lot of Westwood shit. It was just really my style, I really appreciated it. Also the layout of the store and the interior design, Danny had repurposed a lot of stuff like the furniture and whatnot and had it set up real nice. It was all very thought out. And he’s only been there one year, so I really appreciated that.
Why should people be watching Vintage Shopping?
I mean, it’s just a fucking cool show! You learn weird facts about some of your favorite artists, you learn weird little facts about shopping. It’s not some pompous show where I’m saying I know everything and you guys should be watching me. We’re learning together. As I’m getting to know the guests, we’re getting to know the clothes—it’s the easiest way to time travel. I keep saying it!
What are your goals with the series?
I just wanna find cool shit! I wanna talk some bullshit to new people and make new friends. Hopefully I can find cool shit around the world in random, strange corners. I hope we can continue this and go for like Paris and London, but also those weird antique shops you see on the side of Route 69. I just wanna travel the world and gather tchotchkes and mementos.