Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Inside the World of Emily Smith

A few weeks ago I was invited into the home and wardrobe of Emily Shepard Smith, Co-owner of Pacific Standard. Emily welcomed me with a lovely cheese plate and prosecco.  What a darling lady and what a fantastic sunday! 

So you're from Moscow, Idaho. What brought you to Seattle?
I went to undergrad in Seattle, met my husband, and then went to law school in NYC.

You studied at Columbia University and lived in NYC for ten years. Do you miss the city?
Yes, New York is such a great city and it's so inspiring. My ideal is to be bicoastal.

You're the Business Director for Pacific Standard. Can you tell me a little about the company?
I'm transitioning out of that role to focus on the magazine and some other projects -- but the name was created while traveling down south in 2005 and talking with my husband, Strath, about starting a Northwest-focused magazine when we eventually moved back from the East Coast. Strath and I would go out to bars in brooklyn and brainstorm ideas for the magazine and other creative projects, and Strath started the blog with the name while we were still in NYC. We set up the studio when we moved back in 2008, and it's mostly been a place for Strath's graphic design business, but we talked a lot about expanding the space to include a gallery, pop-up shops, that kind of thing. As we're about the launch the magazine, Strath is moving forward with some of those other projects at a new space. 

Where do you see Pacific Standard heading in five years?
Ideally I see the magazine as continuing to shine the light on the Northwest aesthetic and the creative things people are doing here. It really is a place like no other. 

What's been your proudest moment in the past year?
I taught a class at UW's law school and survived. I will also be very proud when the first issue of Pacific Standard is released on June 15th.

What are some of your favorite past times?
I love reading, sitting down with a magazine, looking at art, talking about art, camping, hiking, being outdoors, and working on Pacific Standard and making it a reality. 

If you could be anywhere, where would you be?
Out on the coast. I really like it in the spring when days are getting long and its still pretty cold. 

Do you have a daily mantra?
No I don't but I probably need one. 

Who are some of your favorite designers?
Alber Elbaz for Lanvin, Raf Simons, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Comme des Garcons, and Pierre Hardy (shoes).

Do you have any fashion faux pas?
Seeing a girl walk in heels looking uncomfortable and not natural. Everyone has a look that works for them.

Where do you gather your style inspiration?
Magazines and places. I think about matching clothes to the environment and vibe I'm in. Old photographs from the 70's, it reminds me of growing up in Idaho-- "the whole hippie, back-to-the-land movement."Bill Brandt's photos can also really set the mood. 

What's the last book you read?
Just Kids- A Patti Smith memoir

What are you currently reading?
Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion

What's on your personal soundtrack?
A$AP Rocky, Grimes, Burial. In terms of local bands I think Witch Gardens is amazing. 

How do you typically spend a sunday?
Recently it's been working on the magazine but normally I'd spend a sunday drinking coffee, reading the times, and cooking dinner.

What's your vice?
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

What are you looking forward to?
The completion of the magazine, first show of contributors, curating, and thinking about the second issue.

Emily Shepard Smith, Volunteer Park, Seattle, WA.


  1. omg. Emily is hella sharp -and so inspiring!

  2. Her style is incredible! I love all the looks but I think the first one is particularly brilliant.