HERE SHE COMES TO SAVE THE DAY!
She’s got the kind of looks that will stop any man, hell, any woman in their tracks. No, really. As we sat on the beach in Coney Island, Vintage Vandalizm aka Jasmin, was responding to a question and a woman walks up and says, “Wow, you’re really a beautiful girl.” But there’s more to this multi-talented one-woman show than meets the eye. She’s got substance and passion that is unmatched. Jasmin is an artist, designer, blogger, vintage fashion enthusiast and an exhibitionist. In fact, that’s the title she proudly stamps on her one-of-a-kind style.
“I’m an exhibitionist, period. I can’t put myself in a category. Most people would say I’m a pinup, but I feel like I am so much more. I can bust out rock & roll baggy jeans with my combat boots and wifebeater. The next day, I can be all pinup. The next, I can bust out some type of gothic Lolita,” the Vintage Vandal proudly describes of her ever-changing sense of style. Fashion has always been a form of self expression and that is exactly what Jasmin is using her threads for–she’s just expressing her self a little louder than most. “I’d like to call myself a mad scientist. I really love mixing, clashing and bringing different elements to the pinup world–whether it be ethnicity, being inspired by candy, lipstick, animals, people, ethnicity, life, poetry. I like to mix everything up–even opposites and somehow make it work.”
Opposites do attract and when done so in fashion, the way Jasmin does it–the result is an intense mash-up of genres decades that gives her attention from designers, photographers and pinup lifestylers alike. And to think it all started when this little Latin tomboy decided that she wanted to dress up and be considered pretty too! ” I’ve always had people ridicule me and make me feel like I was the ugly duckling or odd one out. I started dressing up. I wanted to be able to separate myself despite everybody separating me from society period. I learned to embrace that and in embracing it, I gained my own style and ran with it.”
Jasmin has been running a marathon and laps everyone she comes in contact with. There’s no one like this girl. Sure, like most women she’s got a passion for fashion, but it doesn’t stop at the latest trends. Jasmin’s style goes beyond trends and learns to appreciate the past by paying tribute to it and remixing it with her own modern twist. “It’s more than just clothes. My style is an art form.” Jasmin wants to introduce the world to this art form, this lifestyle, by designing her own line. “I want to design a line that embraces what a woman is. I definitely want to bring back the 1950’s because I think that’s when curves were more embraced. I want t
o bring back real women, real curves and itty-bitty waists. I want to bring back corsetry, Cuban leg stockings, matching hats and gloves, muffs–I want to bring back full frontal fashion because people are half-assing it out there.” She wants to do more than redesign the way we look at clothes, she wants to also redesign the way we look at ourselves.
Jasmin’s substance is what makes her extraordinary. As a designer, she hopes to give women confidence that they may not even know they’re missing. ” Behind this face, all of my clothes, there’s a person with a voice with something to say. It’s about changing the world and how women feel about themselves. It’s being able to completely help women when it comes to confidence. I feel like there are so many women in the world that need guidance. They’re on a constant pursuit of confidence when they should be in a pursuit of happiness. I can bring back the comfort to those women that have curves or don’t feel beautiful everyday.” It’s almost as if she’s a super hero, saving us from ourselves. Jasmin’s passion gives fashion a pulse.
We need a superwoman to come in and save the day. Fashion’s either a bore or way too over-the-top to be worn by an everyday woman. Jasmin realizes that before she can come flying in with her vintage cape, she’s got lots of work ahead of her. “It’s definitely going to be difficult for me to really put it out there full frontal. I don’t necessarily have the sponsorship or anything to fall back. It’s all me, doing it on my own. I’m trying to start small, get stylists to look at my stuff, get my stuff on women who are daring with the balls to wear it, then work my way into mainstream.” There certainly are perks for doing it all on your own–Jasmin will have full creative control of everything she produces. However, she has to financially back herself. There are many designers who started just as meager and Jasmin’s got the passion to push her forward. She also has a gaggle of loyal followers that have seen her growth online from blogger, to fashion commentator to style icon.
Jasmin’s online fame started with her blogging on Myspace about her personal life, offering up raw and real emotions on whatever she was going through at the time. Once girls started flocking, empathizing with her, Jasmin realized she needed a bigger platform and joined Blogspot. “I started posting pictures from there. People really loved it and gravitated towards it. I realized this was going to be somewhat of a business for me when I started getting contacted by clothing companies to model for them. I had to keep promoting myself to get gigs. The more I promoted, the better the gig. I had to keep the ball rolling at that point because I knew I had something.” And that, she did. “I’ve already accomplished my goal. I’ve affected women all over the world and have gotten them to love themselves, embrace who they are and not be afraid to show the world who that person is,” Jasmin proudly admits of her blog’s effect on her readers. Her blog grew exponentially and now her followers stand solidly behind her, giving her the confidence she needs to continue branching out and finding new ways to release her passion.
“I turn my pain into paintings, my anger into fashion–any type of feelings I have that are f*cked up or amazing, I turn it into art. That’s my inspiration. It’s something that drives me to do better and to be better–a different person.” It’s a beautiful thing to be someone that is so immersed in their art, they can’t help but find multiple creative outlets for it. “I never thought I would be some fashionista. I just loved art–painting, drawing–everything was art to me.” Well it’s a good thing she thinks in artistic expression because everything she touches, turns to art.
Jasmin’s future is just as bright as her optimistic eyes and we can’t wait to see her fabulous destiny unfold. “I really don’t know where my life is going and I think that’s exciting. I’m not even scared. I’m never going to quit. I’m going to have to die to stop trying. It’s just not going to happen. My way of getting the struggle and the pain off of my chest is to be creative and productive. I think the only way to fill up that empty void that we all have and are born with, is to follow our dreams and everything that makes us happy.”