Social Entrepreneur Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor Shares Her Unexpected Oasis
Sometimes it’s just as simple as walking the dog. In collaboration with Emporio Armani.
If you’ve ever scrolled through Instagram, you’ve probably come across Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor’s feed, a colorful hodgepodge of vintage clothing, pep talks, mental health resources, and aspirational outfits.
Whether she’s posing in side plank, lingerie, or just the coolest coat you’ve ever seen, the self-described social entrepreneur makes bopping through life look like fun. But that’s not to say she pretends everything always comes up roses—one of the many reasons her almost 100k followers hang on her every post is that she stays authentic.
Lest you think de Cadanet Taylor is merely an Instagram powerhouse, model, designer, DJ, and advocate, don’t forget she’s also the host of I’m Over It, which delves into everything from pop culture to mental health, with a healthy dose of self-love on the side. We rang her up in L.A. from our office in Brooklyn to discuss heading west during quarantine, wearing stilettos as a special treat, and discovering a hidden prowess in the kitchen.
During quarantine, what has been your unexpected oasis?
“For me, it’s definitely been the moments that I take my dog for a walk and get in touch with the rest of the world, even if it’s just seeing another person for some sense of normalcy and what’s going on aside from what’s happening in my apartment.
“Having an excuse to go outside and taking my dog for a walk has been so great for me. I have to take him for a walk—I have to go out as opposed to just hiding at home all day for days on days. So I would say that just getting to go out and be in the world. I find that to be grounding.”
What has been the most unexpected thing you’ve learned about yourself in the past six months?
“That I can be OK with not doing a lot. That I can still feel OK about myself—I’m not being as productive as ever… So much of what’s put on me, these expectations, if I can put that aside and just be with myself, that I’m OK without all of that and I don’t need labels of what’s going on, who I am, or what I’m doing in order to be a full person.”
You are, as you put it, a social entrepreneur. Can you talk a little bit about that?
“Everything that I do workwise, or businesswise, or any kind of work-related thing, I am [doing] something beneficial, something that can be helpful in today’s world. I want everything to work towards being a part of what’s happening in the world and that everything that I do, I want to have it be more deep than just money. I want everything to be connected to what I stand for and what I believe to be true and what can be helpful and how I can give back.”
You host the podcast I’m Over It, about pop culture, mental health, and self-love. What aspects of mental health do you find most important right now?
“What I bring to mental health and wellness that I think is different from a lot of people is that I feel like we live in a world of ‘push through it, get through it, keep moving, keep moving, you’ve got this, you [can] do it, get out of bed, do this, do this.’
“What I really try to stick with is that it’s really about accepting ourselves and where we’re at, and if that means that for a week you can’t get out of bed, or you just want to watch TV, or whatever it is you do, it will pass, right? It’ll go away. But if we just keep pushing forward, pushing it under the rug, it’s going to come back and bite us in the ass.
“I am a big believer in accepting ourselves with where we’re at. I do believe in constantly trying to push myself to be better—of course I have goals and things that I work towards, but not at the expense of throwing myself into the shitter to do better.
“This whole thing has really been about learning to just be content with where I’m at. There were really rough times [in quarantine]. A lot of things went out the window. It’s funny, I feel like there’s two types of people right now, in quarantine. There are the people who, when quarantine first hit, were cooking and working out, all that shit. Then there would be people like me, who were just, like, ‘I can’t even get out of bed.’
“Now, six months later or whatever, I’m like—all right, here we go. Now I’m feeling really good. I feel like I’ve calibrated to the reality of what the world is right now and how I can still exist in this world doing what I want to do.
“There were other people who were like, ‘How are you doing that?’ And I’m like, ‘Well, because I went through my shit, I didn’t try and push it away.’ There are so many people who are just burning out now. And I’m like the phoenix from the ashes.”
You describe yourself as an advocate, model, designer, and DJ. What aspects of your career do you find most rewarding right now?
“I’m beginning to work on more creative projects. In this time that I’ve been in L.A., I had to think of how I can make things that don’t depend on someone else. That’s my thing—how can I make something that’s just me, that I don’t need anyone to co-sign?
“And then, normal life shit that has nothing to do with the internet, getting really involved in everything happening to do with Black Lives Matter and on educating myself. I’m really educating myself on the realities of systemic racism in this country and what we’re built on. That’s been rewarding. It’s horrible and heartbreaking, but it felt like a necessary thing for me to do and I love that I had the time to do it.
“It’s just been finding things that don’t have to do with a gold star or a like. I hardly posted a picture on Instagram for probably, honestly, two months. I just couldn’t. I was focusing on getting well and educating myself, things that weren’t going to be reflected online. As important as Instagram is for my job, it’s not my whole life.”
What activities have you found yourself doing more of this year?
“Cooking! I literally think that when I was living in New York, I might’ve cooked maybe three, four times. It was crazy. I pretty much cook every night now. For the past six months, I think we ordered in maybe five times. I got super into cooking and that’s been so much fun.”
What about style—how has this year affected your sense of style and aesthetics?
“I moved to L.A. temporarily with a suitcase in March thinking, ‘Oh, I’ll be here for two weeks and then I’ll go back to New York.’ So I literally had no clothes. I was living out of a suitcase. The last thing I was thinking about was ‘What do I look like?’ I did not give a fuck about what I was wearing. It was not even on my mind. I was just wearing what was available to me.
“I like wearing clothes. I love shoes—that’s been the hardest thing. I’m a shoe person. Not being able to wear the shoes I want to wear—it’s tragic. The first time I went to outdoor dining, I threw on my stiletto pumps. Recently I started going through all my vintage clothes. They were all in storage in L.A.—I’ve been collecting my whole life.
“We have an extra room that’s become our second closet here. I put out all of my stuff in there. I go through and get in touch with my L.A. vintage—it’s definitely fun for me. I love it. I really connect with California vintage styles, and I have so much of it.”
Where have you spent the majority of quarantine?
“I was very lucky that I came to L.A. [from New York]. My family lives here; Dave, my fiancé, his work is here, his music studio is here, and it was just the better option for us. And we left literally right as the city was getting shut down. Again, it was supposed to be a short trip.
“I’m very grateful for it. It’s been incredible to have my family so close. In the first week, actually, my dad got COVID. He was fine, but it was in the very beginning, so he didn’t know what to expect. I couldn’t see him for so long, but it was just good to be in the same city as him and my mom.
“It felt safer to be here—when I’m in New York, I’m really far away from them. We are super grateful to have gotten to be in the same city as my family when all this was going down.”
Photos: Courtesy of Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor
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