Why The Queen Of Fashion Harnesses Isn't Mad At Taylor Swift

Photo: Courtesy of Zana Bayne.
Your selfie stick may not be welcome at art museums, historical sites, or music festivals, but there's one bastion of high culture that seems ready to embrace it: fashion. The selfie stick featured prominently in Vogue recently, appeared as a motif throughout Emilio Pucci's resort collection, and takes a starring role in an Interview Magazine editorial appropriately titled "Selfie."

Photographed by Mikael Jansson, the shoot stars Saskia de Brauw as a digital-age Narcissus, all dressed up to vamp in the woods and record her every move via multiple iPhones (so, pretty much your typical fashion blogger).

Those iPhones are attached to de Brauw's body by a notable fashion first: a selfie-stick belt and neck piece, custom-made by none other than Zana Bayne. We spoke with the queen of artisanal leather accessories about her most unlikely collaboration yet, the fashion world's unexpected embrace of the selfie stick, and why, despite the recent furor, she's not mad about the mainstream-ification of her signature leather harnesses.
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Photo: Courtesy of Zana Bayne.
How did you feel about the concept for the "Selfie" shoot?
"I've worked on several custom projects for Interview and [creative director] Karl Templer, so at this point whenever I receive requests from them, I know it's going to be something wild! After talking to the Interview team, I knew it was going to be something completely modern and glamorous that I definitely wanted to contribute to."

How do you feel about the selfie stick's growing ubiquity in fashion and the world in general?
"I think the fashion world is drawn to selfie sticks because they're so ridiculous, so overt, and so human-meets-technology. The first time I saw a selfie stick in action was a couple of years ago on vacation in Cabo, where this one group was joking around with a waterproofed selfie stick in the pool. I had no idea what it was at first! Now I can’t stop seeing them everywhere, so they’re probably here to stay."

Would you ever use one?
"So far I haven’t seen any that I’d be proud to carry around — maybe if there was a Pucci print on a selfie stick, and not just a print of it."
Photo: Courtesy of Zana Bayne.

How do you feel about harnesses' growing popularity? Taylor Swift wearing one felt like a tipping point.
"Harnesses come in such a wide range of styles, from minimal to fantastical. I don’t necessarily see every variation becoming mainstream, but I do see more celebration of the harnesses as a great styling element for powerful women. While Taylor Swift may not necessarily share the countercultural aesthetic of the past, she still embodies the spirit of a strong woman with incredible influence — I’d say that her singlehandedly forcing Apple to change its policies is pretty powerful."

People having selfie fatigue is almost a cliché at this point. How do you feel about them? Any tips to share?
"I love selfies! As far as tips, I would say that less is more — one great selfie can be far more impactful then 10 mediocre ones. And make sure that your camera lens isn’t smudged before taking the shot."

Any plans to make the harnesses available for sale?

"You never know — I had so much fun designing and engineering the pieces, they might be something that our customers would be interested in owning."

The June issue of Interview is on newsstands now.

Photo: Courtesy of Zana Bayne.
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