the biggest fashion blogger of the moment is an indonesian teen
Evita Nuh opens up about her utterly unique appeal.
The 16-year-old Indonesian style star, Evita Nuh, has been making waves in the fashion community ever since she turned on her laptop (when she was eight) and decided to start blogging about her boyishly playful personal aesthetic. Nuh's look ranges from superhero costumes— from ages three to five, she wore a Spiderman costume as her personal uniform—to bright monochromatic tulle dresses paired with oversized men's sports jackets and top hats she sources from Paris. Recently, Nuh was included in The New York Times' How To Spot A Member of Generation Z story as the definition of normcore, and multiple publications have called her the next generation's Tavi Gevinson. Yet unlike Gevinson, by age 12 Evita had already successfully launched her own brand that was sold out of shops in Jakarta, before she, "got bored." Her look and voice represent Generation Z's yearning to be authentically independent.
Using ask.fm, the social media platform where users ask each other questions anonymously, her wildly popular website, JellyJellyBeans, and an Instagram account with over 40k followers, the teenager shares her latest personal style tips, future ambitions, and a glimpse into how she is dealing with teenage angst. Endless images of Evita, photographed and styled by herself, appear. In a recent entry on her blog titled, "I seem like an adult but I am really a child that's really tall," Nuh expresses she has a crush. "You know that moment when everyone is talking so loud and suddenly you noticed the quiet one?," she writes, who started blogging as a way to better communicate with people because of her Asperger Syndrome.
Nuh's style screams individuality. Asked about her fashion rules, the designer behind the newly launched EN.PENS handbag line says, "The rule is no rules!" Nuh's confidence has led her to stylistically embrace "eclectic androgyny," because she loves "wearing boys stuff."
We sat down to talk about fashion, social media, and writing, with the girl with the bowl cut who sometimes dons a pink wig, "because why not."
You have established such a strong personal aesthetic at a young age. How did you know you really liked clothes?
Have you ever had sweaty hands and a heart that goes all thump-thump over a pair of shoes? Or a dress? It happens to me all the time. Not that I need to own these things, I just love staring at the beauty of them.
When did you first notice people distinguished themselves with style?
When I was around five. I was playing doctor and looking for something to use as a bandage and I went to my dad's wardrobe got a tie. I cut it and wrapped my doll with it. I had never seen him so mad at me. I remember thinking, 'What's special about this tie?' I asked my dad to buy me another tie and I opened both ties, took note of the details and the difference between the fabrics and stitching. I guess that was my first encounter with fashion, where I learned about how in fashion two things so alike can be so different, and it's all about details.
How did you start blogging?
I started all the way back in 2008, when I was an eight year-old naive little girl. Honestly I can't really recall why I made a blog. All I can remember is, like the other city girls who are really attached to their gadgets, I found myself browsing around on my laptop, and googled "cute dress." Mr. Google sent me to this beautiful blog that belongs to a French woman named Alix. I was obsessed with her blog. So I said to myself, "A blog sounds like a great idea, I'm sure I can make one."
So that's when you started JellyJellyBeans?
Yes. People also always ask: why "jellyjellybeans?" I always say, "Because I was like those jellybean candies. I could be wearing all pink and looking cute but be sour inside." Yes, I was one of those obnoxious 8 year-old girls. But I never knew that my age would be such a big deal. I don't think blogging is a hard thing to do, you just play dress up and write your diary online. I swear my math homework is way harder. It's funny how my name is still on the list of young bloggers, while I'm actually an old player - I've been blogging for 7 years now.
How do you use the ask.fm platform?
I was born with Asperger syndrome. As an aspie even normal conversation sounds so awkward and nerve wracking because I have zero ability to lie and I've learned that people need to lie every single day. Well, it's not that I can't lie, but if someone asks I will naturally tell that person everything. I love ask.fm because people can ask me anything. On ask.fm I can easily delete questions I don't want to answer. How I wish real life work the same way.
From where do you draw your style inspiration?
Movies, music, books, and people I see on the street. I love to hear a song and imagine the clothes the singer is wearing, or read a novel and imagine all the clothes every character is wearing. But when I choose my clothes for the day, all I need is five minutes max. It comes naturally.
How has your fashion sense evolved?
I find myself more into local Indonesian designers nowadays like Mel Ahyar, TOTON, Peggy Hartanto, Albert Yanuar, and Sean & Sheila.
What are your favorite things you are wearing now?
I have this top hat which a friend got for me in Paris, and a varsity jacket with "Mrs. Ezra Miller" written on the back, because I love Ezra Miller.
Do you want to work in fashion when you are an adult?
I still have a long road ahead of me. I really like photography and music too. I am a columnist for Go Girlz Magazine Indonesia. Back when I was 12 years-old I created my own clothing line and it was fun at first but then I got bored and stopped. Right now, I'm focusing on my bag brand, EN.PENS. So I don't know, we'll see.
Text Antwaun Sargent