“I feel like all mums are pretty stylish – there’s always something about them that's awesome.” Piper Weiss’s discovery of some of her mum’s old photos led to her start up the blog My Mom, the Style Icon in which she curates images sent in from contributors worldwide of their mothers in their glamorous hey days. In anticipation of Mother’s Day, I spoke with her about the blog and the secret style icons close to home.
Could you tell me about yourself and how you came to start My Mom, the Style Icon?
I had been writing and editing for a while, but every now and then I’d have blogspirations. One day I was at my mum’s house and I found some photo albums of her. They were incredible pictures, in really exotic locations and she had a story behind every one. The guys in the pictures were not my father, and they were really cute – not that my father's not cute – and I asked: “When did you date this sexy man?” And she said, “Oh, him? I just met him that night.” I knew that my mum had had fun – she grew up in New York, went to school in Greenwich Village – and I knew that there were stories about her life being cool, but I never had any proof.
Immediately, I thought of the blog title and put it up, really just to show my friends and I asked them to send me pictures of their mums too. A month later the website got a little attention and I started to get submissions from complete strangers from Chile, Australia and Canada. And that’s when it got really cool.
Do you share the same taste in style as your mum?
For years we used to battle over clothing and she used to try and tell me what to wear. Seeing these pictures of her, I realised that I want to look exactly like her.
What excites you about the blog?
I like that it’s a fashion blog, but also not a fashion blog: it’s somewhere in between a fashion blog and a humour blog and a photo blog. Looking at the pictures unlocks memories for a lot of people. There were things that mothers never shared with their kids, but all of a sudden it opens up the floodgates.
In a way, you are archiving social history as well.
Yes: through the styles of dress you can see what people from different economic backgrounds wore across the world. I remember my mum telling me, “It was so much cheaper to go to Europe then. The dollar, was strong and I’d have all these dresses handmade in Italy.” She continued, “I didn’t have any money, I was poor, but it was so cheap there.”
What is the future for My Mom, the Style Icon?
I’m working on a book version of the blog for Chronicle Books out in 2011. It’s going to include both text and images. I’m trying to interview some mums too, really pull out some of the stories that I don’t explore in the blog.
Caroline Lever is the Assistant Editor of Another Magazine and Another Man and PA to the Editorial Director