|Vancouver is home to a thriving fashion industry made up of individuals committed to its growth and success. Get to know these personalities in The Inseam and discover what makes the Vancouver Fashion scene so awesome.|
Photo: courtesy Lily Nguyen
Peter Ty is the Chanel-clad, Balenciaga-bag-slinging, Prada-loafer-wearing fashion aficionado behind The Starving Stylist. A bold and sassy read that consists of personal adventures, style inspirations and outfit posts, the blog has garnered a following that has made Peter the talk of the town.
After befriending Peter a few years ago, I can attest to his strong and vivacious attitude, but what most people would be surprised to learn is that he wears his heart on his sleeve. What’s more? He is genuine, smart and hardworking to boot (He spends his 9 to 5 as a Visual Merchandiser at a high-end menswear label). Contrary to his persona, the man can eat. We chat over bellies full of pizza, wine and chocolate prepared by the blogger himself. He speaks candidly about his views on the fashion world, his blog and why he has a soft spot for East Van.
Valerie Tiu: What was your motivation for starting your blog? Why did you choose to name it “The Starving Stylist?”
Peter Ty: I just finished [fashion] school. I didn’t have a full-time job yet, so it was a just a hobby. Being a recent graduate, I had to pay off tuition, so I got the name “The Starving Stylist” – that idea where I would rather skip a meal so I could afford the next outfit for the weekend. I love going out for dinners, but sometimes I would rather save the money, let it accumulate, and buy an outfit. People always ask me where I get the money for a new handbag, but really I just save up for those little luxuries.
VT: Can you describe your first fashion memory?
PT: It was Christmas and I was about six years old. My sister bought me my first pair of designer jeans. They were a pair of Calvin Klein’s and it was a big deal back in the early nineties.
VT: Where do you get your inspiration?
PT: My inspiration is anything! People being in love, people in relationships, my friends and family. People who are themselves and don’t care about impressing anyone and just living as they are. Just seeing that gives me the inspiration to live my life freely
Working in the fashion industry, you’re put in this box, where everyone needs to be a certain way. But being able to do your own thing and whatever makes you happy – that’s what my inspiration is.
VT: What is the best piece of advice that you have received in your career?
PT: Never take no as an answer.
VT: In your opinion, who is the ultimate style icon?
PT: I have always loved Kate Moss. She’s that crazy rocker chick who does her own thing. John Galliano was fired from Dior and she went and wore his dress for her wedding. At the end of the day, what you wear should make you feel good. That’s what style is.
VT: Are there any particular fashion designers that you look up to?
PT: Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen. They both have completely different aesthetics, but they’re both geniuses. YSL is very classic, clean and androgynous. McQueen is very out there, avant-garde and super opulent.
VT: Can you take us through a typical day in the life of The Starving Stylist?
PT: I usually keep it low-key on weekdays. I work five days a week. I blow off steam by working out. I do yoga, Pilates, spin class or run on the seawall. Thursdays are fashion industry nights, so after work I change my outfit, relax for a bit and go to a couple of events. Of course, I also check emails and update my blog.
On the weekend, I wake up at the crack of dawn. I do my daily workout routine. My favourite meal of the week is brunch with my friends. We catch up and have a couple of mimosas and caesars. We go window-shopping and check out the newest stores. I like to relax on my day off. I go out on decadent dinners in the evening and then I go wherever the night takes me!
VT: Did you ever anticipate the success of your blog?
PT: Not at all! It started off as a journal where I could complain, bitch and be my sassy self. But it got so much attention that it became a lot more than what I had anticipated. I started getting invited to fashion events and parties. It got to the point where I really had to be careful of what I had to say. I learned that the hard way. Being in the public eye, people always want to know what you’re doing and expect me to be a certain way, so most of the time they’re surprised when they meet me. The Starving Stylist is an exaggerated persona of who I am. I’m a normal person.
VT: Where do you see yourself in the next few years? What does the future hold for the blog?
PT: I want my adventure overseas. I’m ready for bigger things, more opportunities. If anything, I would move out east. Toronto, New York, or even San Francisco or LA. I would take my blog there, take my readers along with my travels and be in a different setting. I’m at the point where it’s given me so many opportunities and amazing recognition. I want to take the blog to the next level, to a more professional point of view. As I am growing up, I want my blog to grow up as well.
VT: What is it about Vancouver that makes it so special?
PT: I was born in East Van so I have love for the hood. Everything about it – Commercial Drive, the vibrant personalities, the different cultures. If you were born and raised here, and you move to a different city, you’ll always look back because it’s beautiful. It’s laid back and relaxed, a place you want to settle down. I’m really proud of our city. Vancouver is where it’s at!