Zoe Buckman is the kind of person to compliment your outfit without realizing that you’re admiring hers. “I want to be wearing that!” she insists. “I just got back from spinning!” Sitting on a couch in her art studio on the top floor of her East Village town house, her neck is covered in gold chains; one is a nameplate for her daughter, Cleo, another reads #1Mum. Her grey hoodie and striped pants look like they were made for one another. Even if she says she just got back from the gym, we don’t see any sweat, and there is no sign of a rush. The air of nonchalance just might have something to do with her East London accent, which makes us feel both equally at ease and completely jealous.
Buckman is also the kind of person to grow wide-eyed when you mention her work. When she strayed away from photography, which she originally studied, she made sure her art followed, and now it hangs from the ceiling, moving with the city breeze of her studio’s open windows. Some pieces are on pedestals; others sit on the ground. Her latest work, titled “Mostly It’s Just Uncomfortable,” is mostly in response to the attacks on Planned Parenthood. She is unabashedly feminist, and in creating visually arresting images around feminism, she’s been able to spark countless conversations about what it means to be a woman in 2017.
As we walk through her art, which takes the form of everything from lace white boxing gloves to lingerie embroidered with rap lyrics, she mentions preconceptions. “As an artist, there’s an expectation that you are going to wear something that is a bit of a statement.” With gallery openings every other night and frequent studio visits, Zoe relies on kimonos and lingerie. She’s reminded of Halloween one year, walking down 2nd Avenue, where someone mistook her slip paired with Dr. Martens as a costume. In that moment all she could think was, “This is just how I look!”
And about that closet—there are carefully selected shapes, cheerful colors and eccentric patterns (her sparkly Marc Jacobs leopard platforms are a personal favorite). You can see the references to British icons like Kate Moss and those of her stylish best friends, Sienna Miller and Jemima Kirke (who all also coincidentally possess an unconcerned British cool), everywhere.
Since our visit, we’ve stocked up on anything that reminds us of our Zoe, fully aware and unconcerned that someone may mistake us for being in costume. But if a stranger on 2nd Avenue happens to think we look like Zoe Buckman–well, that’s a compliment we’d blush over.
Click through to see Zoe’s closet and read about where she buys those cool gold chains, how she feels about Carrie Bradshaw, and her biggest fashion regrets.