For the first post in our new series on “Office Style,” we didn’t have to look far for inspiration…just a few blocks away actually. We headed to the SXSW Headquarters in Central Austin (across the street from Whole Foods’ corporate offices, making this quite possibly the coolest creative intersection in Austin) to catch up with three gals with totally unique senses of style. They somehow found time for a photo session with the great photographer Morgan Blake (the Atlanta-based shooter is currently on a cross country road trip which she is beautifully documenting here) just a few weeks before SXSW, where all the staffers are working late in to the night in preparation for the over 200,000 festival attendees set to go to a seemingly boundless line up of music, film and interactive events. Rebecca Feferman, the Head of Media Relations for SXSW Film & the Programmer SX Sports, describes the scene at the office — “The year-long SXSW season is a crazy roller coaster ride and the last two weeks before the event are a full-speed ascent to the top. Most nights, you’ll find half the staff grabbing a beer out of the Miller Lite fridge around 6pm, and kicking off the second shift of the work day when the incoming calls, emails and meetings stop and you can finally focus on the little details that will have the biggest impact.” SXSW kicks off this Friday and runs through March 16.
*This is the first post in our new series “Office Style,” where we will spotlight fashionable folks from our favorite creative companies. They will inspire with new ideas for dressing for the office and share tips on how they landed their dream jobs.
Cristina Fisher, Rebecca Feferman and Jessica Pickett (pictured left to right) pause for a brief moment in the SXSW headquarters before the festival madness begins.
photography by morgan blake
Cristina, who is drawn to vintage looks with a bit of a modern twist, works in special projects. This will be her fourth festival as a SX staffer, and she thrives on the energy leading up to the big event. “There’s this really beautiful cycle that happens between festivals that allows us to anticipate the speed of each season,” she says. “The dark post-Christmas gloom of late nights, endless emails and excessive caffeine transforms in to spring happy hours and summer festivals in what feels like almost seconds.”
Cristina describes her style best — “if American Apparel married a highly curated thrift store.” At the SX offices, anything goes. “It’s lots of creative types, and not everyone cares about ‘what’s cool,’ so it’s a fun smorgasbord of style.”
A few favorite mementos hang on the wall near Cristina’s desk. She especially loves this photo from last year’s Cinco de Mayo celebration that was taken by Chris Smith. What’s on Cristina’s office playlist?
“As We Follow” by Quilt
“Forgiven/Forgotten” by Angel Olsen
“Winges” by Haerts
“Who Needs You” by The Orwells
“Swimming in ’99” by Golden Suits
“The Heat” by Jungle
Check out her SXSW 2014 Spotify Playlist.
A collection of Cristina’s Austin City Limits TV taping programs. The popular show has been running on PBS for 39 seasons, and Cristina has many fond memories from interning there in college.
Rebecca Feferman is the Head of Media Relations for SXSW Film & Programmer for SX Sports. She moved to Austin in 2008 and started her career in LA working for the national publicity team of Warner Brothers. She shared some career highlights from her publicist days — escorting Clint Eastwood down red carpets during the campaign for Mystic River (“the crowds would part in an awed deference as he walked through them.”) and having John Krasinski as a client at the start of season two of The Office (“I remember booking his first major cover for Men’s Health and feeling such a huge sense of accomplishment.”)
Rebecca describes her style as “unfussy, feminine classics with a city twist…In an ideal world, I am achieving some sort of blend between Reese Witherspoon and Keri Russell, who always looks effortlessly cool, sophisticated and comfortable at the same time.” She usually has at least one Madewell piece on and in the winter months, it’s a simple equation of skinny jeans + ankle boots + slouchy top, and repeat. Accessories are always simple — a gold Helen Ficalora “F” charm necklace, family heirloom baby jewelry on a long, rose gold chain from XIV Karat, a Nike Fuel band watch and a gold, faceted smokey quartz ring from Fab.com.
Rebecca is the Captain of the company’s softball team, the SXSW Swingin’ Narwhals, which is a part of the Alternative Softball League. This trophy sits proudly on her desk because the SXSW team won second place in the tournament that was held on the last day of SXSW. “We were a team full of staff members running on fumes,” she says.
Rebecca’s favorite moment of the job happens on Opening Night of SXSW Film — “When the red carpet is set up and ready, the attendees are lined up and pumped to see movies, and that first limo pulls up to the Paramount Theatre. It’s a huge release…there is no more planning to be done, I can finally soak in all the energy and excitement, welcome the talent to our event, and get the show on the road!” Rebecca shares the playlist that fuels her through the festival:
“Habits” by Tove Lo
“Hello World” by Kid Ink
“#GETITRIGHT” by Miley Cyrus
“Saturday Night” by Natalia Kills
“Teen Idle” by Marina & the Diamonds
Jessica Pickett books official nighttime showcases throughout Music Week and assists in general coordination of the SXSW Music Festival. She is also the host of a weekly rock geared specialty show on their radio channel SXSWfm called The Backbeat.
Jessica’s style in three words — “trendy rocker chic.” She wears a lot of black paired with fitted pieces like blazers, vests and cardigans. And, there is always some of her favorite band merch mixed in. She says: “Three months ago, I cut all of my hair off, so big funky earrings have become one of my new favorite staples. My shoe closet has officially reached capacity as of late…too many pairs of boots and high tops!”
“For me personally, one of the coolest things about my job is that I get to work with bands and artists who I am truly passionate about and who I really want to help ‘break out’ while they’re in Austin,” she says. “I typically have 2-3 bands annually who’re my ‘babies’ that I really try to support and promote as best I can.” Jessica shares her current top five favorite albums:
Sleepy Sun’s Maui Tears
together PANGEA’s Badillac
G-Eazy’s Must Be Nice
Mozes & the Firstborn’s Self-Titled
Gap Dream’s Shine Your Light
Soon after SXSW officially ends on March 16, you will find these gals, along with the rest of the staff, at a special dinner at the Four Seasons to celebrate their momentous feat. “Once the event wraps, we’re all just so thrilled to have made it to the finish line together,” Rebecca says. “We’ve got a pretty strong bond as a group. The staff dinner is one of the only times all year that the entire gang gets dressed up. Austin is a pretty casual town, and SXSW even more so, so it’s nice to have an excuse to get properly decked out.”
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