Art and fashion have been intermingling for eons, but in 2013, architect-turned-blogger Pari Ehsan changed the game when she started pairing designer looks with museum masterpieces on her wildly popular blog Pari Dust. To date, Pari has garnered 207,000 followers on Instagram, received a CFDA nomination and become a sought-after collaborator for brands like J.Crew. And that’s just the beginning.
theFashionSpot: Background, please!
Pari Ehsan: After graduating from architecture school at USC, I started my first job with a firm in New York. I liked it, but I gravitated toward the interior design aspect of our projects. I’d end up designing the furniture or selecting the fabrics. That’s when I discovered that interior design was more up my alley. So, I went back to school and got my master’s degree in interior architecture from UCLA. At that point, I moved back to New York and started my own interior design firm. Simultaneously, I started the Pari Dust website.
tFS: How did you come up with the idea of pairing your outfits with art?
PE: One day I was taking a portrait for my interior design website. We did a portrait at Gagosian Gallery at the Helen Frankenthaler exhibition. My jacket happened to match the painting and that’s when I thought, “This is it.”
tFS: At what point did Pari Dust take off?
PE: After I was nominated for Fashion Instagrammer of the Year at the CFDA Awards last year, everything started moving very fast. Getting that validation was important for me because I was able to pull from the designers I wanted to wear.
tFS: What opportunities presented themselves after the nomination?
PE: Brands wanting to engage and work with me on a more professional level.
tFS: What was your strategy behind getting designer clothes?
PE: Some of the clothes were my own. I’d also borrow clothes from friends. Or sometimes I’d go into a boutique and show them the idea. The worst they could say was no. But the pairings were more simple in the beginning.
tFS: Have you ever gotten kicked out of a museum?
PE: I didn’t ask permission when I started the blog because I was afraid they’d say no; I’d just guerrilla shoot. I was kicked out of a gallery once and they made me delete the pictures. Like anything, some people are going to get it and some people aren’t.