London has the Ronsons, Paris has the Courtin-Clarins sisters, and now NYC has the Weiners: Amanda, Farryn, and recent-NYC resident, Austyn. As readers of this column know, I work with Amanda (Senior Fashion Editor for Gotham and Hamptons) and through many long hours at the office and on shoots, I’ve gotten to know her equally talented siblings. Twin sister Farryn is a former editor at Gilt Groupe’s Jetsetter.com and has recently stepped into the Social Media Director role at Michael Kors Worldwide.
As of late, however, all eyes are on the youngest, Austyn [Austyntatious.com], who recently moved up from Miami (the girls’ hometown) to attend Parsons New School for Design (and to be closer to her sisters, natch). The 22-year-old fine artist and photographer is already taking the city by storm, generating buzz in the art crowd and catching the eyes of editors (this one included). I caught up with Austyn to chat about her work, her family, and why her father may be the most stylish Weiner of them all.
Julie Bensman: What inspires your work?
Austyn Weiner: Colors are what got me into art. I see a color and I feel something: freedom. The idea of freedom and expressing anything I want is power. Personal relationships and raw emotion fuel my fire.
JB: How does your family influence you?
AW: I was raised in a creative clan. Amanda began as an unbelievable oil painter and Farryn started as a model. My parents, both artists, condone all of our creative endeavors and have supported each of us on our unconventional paths from day one. We all ride our creative waves wherever they take us. We feed off of each other, support each other, and learn from each other everyday. Nothing inspires me more than my family.
JB: How would you explain your point of view?
AW: I want my viewer to be smacked in the face with originality. I strive for unconventional beauty in all of my work. I want you to notice the surpassed, the suppressed, the frowned upon, and the forgotten that lives within each of us.
JB: How are you enjoying NYC so far?
AW: New York has attitude, and I like it! She knocks me down hard, picks me up with love, and inspires me with the rhythm and life of the streets everyday. New York is exactly what I need right now.
JB: Who are some of your favorite designers?
AW: Alex Wang and Jeremy Scott.
JB: Favorite artists?
AW: Lucas Samaras, Sally Mann, Kanye West, Vincent Van Gogh, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Jean Michel Basquiat, Wes Anderson…
JB: Favorite musicians?
AW: I admire and respect all musicians, but Anthony Kiedis stole my heart a long time ago.
JB: What's the best fashion advice you've ever received?
AW: Shop in your Dad’s closet
JB: What's the last thing you Googled?
AW: Sri Lanka & Pogo sticks
JB: What's next for you?
AW: I am going to stay a sponge. Absorb everything. Limit myself to nothing. And stay open to the opportunities coming my way.