For the past ten years, pop culture changed thanks to the arrival of reality stars (i.e. The Kardashians and Jenners) and self-made aspiring Internet-savvy musicians (i.e. Justin Bieber) whose careers started rather unconventionally at that time. Then, minor reality stars (e.g. Gigi and Bella Hadid) and celebrity kids (e.g. Paris Jackson) suddenly blew up with lucrative modeling careers thanks to their status. Now that we can’t escape headlines featuring Kardashian, Jenner, Hadid or Bieber, is it hard to believe that pop culture really died in 2009?
Not so fast, though. As a fresh alternative to today’s celebrities, Instagram has blessed us with @velvetcoke, who reminds us of the good old days of pop culture when no one used a reality show or social media to build their career. Deep inside her treasure trove of pop culture archives, each post comes with a little mini history lesson. It’s won the hearts of celebrity fans such as David Spade alongside publishing bigwigs such as Paper and Interview, who featured a collaborative column with journalist Trey Taylor.
As a fan of pop culture and history, we had a long chat about how she started @velvetcoke, why loves pop culture from the 20th century, our mutual love for Guns ‘N Roses and an iconic ’90s trend she’d love to bring back.
How did you start your account and what made you want to share pop culture history on Instagram?
I started my account on a long, summer day in July, 2016. I’ve had an old, empty spam account and decided to do something with it. I wanted to use it as my moodboard, just casually post whatever inspires me. The first post already made it to the explore page, and the rest is history.
I find it so fascinating that you have an interesting username. What does it mean?
When I first started my Instagram, I was at a turning point of my life. I met one girl who was starting an account and we decided to change our usernames. We came up with velvetcoke and glamcoke (I couldn’t decide which one of these to pick!) Now velvetcoke stands for all the bizarre, tragic or fabulous events, people and feelings from the decades I post. A lifestyle!
Most of your content focuses from Old Hollywood to the ‘90s. What do you see in these eras? If you have to pick a decade, which one is your favorite?
In general, I tend to look for best in life. So I usually look up to the fashion or aesthetic of each decade. However, it’s more than that. I find it so interesting how each decade is like a separate little world. Sure there are connections but you can see how all these generations had completely different mindsets and although some trends may seem similar, they lived so differently. Over the years many tragedies happened too and formed us in certain ways. I think that’s also important to acknowledge. It’s a bit different to pick my favorite decade. There are many parts of me, I’m in love with the old Hollywood charm and elegance and then another part of me simply lives for the crazy 70’s or 80’s rock. However, I think the 80’s win for me. They have a special place in my heart.
Not only are you into movies, I noticed that you are into music, too. Specifically, old school ‘80s heavy metal and hard rock. When did you discover it?
Growing up I heard a lot of Springsteen, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. As I was growing up[,] I wanted to hear more. I’ve heard Guns N’ Roses and Marilyn Manson around the same time of my life and they left a huge impression on me. Then[,] I kept discovering more. I can safely say metal and rock are a huge part of my life even though I don’t show it that much on my page. It’s my favorite genre and I also believe it’s a way of living. Most of my idols are rockstars[,] anyway. It’s more than their phenomenal music, [but to me,] their lives are something unreal.
From one Guns ‘N Roses fan to another, most of your feed has a lot of photos and quotes from Axl (alongside Slash and Duff). Why do you feel connected to him?
Axl Rose is my biggest idol and favorite person (I think everybody knows that haha). I believe you simply have to feel a certain something with someone. That happened to me when I first saw him on TV singing “Sweet Child O’ Mine”. After I listened to his beautiful music[,] I was dying to know who is he really. I’ve read and watched so many things and I’m still deeply fascinated. I’m aware of the image that surrounds pretty much every rockstar. However, listening to his interviews and reading his stories I was just falling in love more and more. He came from a pretty bad place and managed to fight against so many odds. He’s so strong personality-wise and it inspires me too. He’s actually also quite emotional and he pours those feelings into the lyrics. All I can do is thank him.
Apart from music and movies, you talk about fashion a lot. Who is your style icon (either dead or alive; real life figure or movie character) and what are your favorite outfits from her?
Oh[,] fashion is a huge part of my life. I’ve always loved it and will. I find my fashion inspo anywhere. I love watching 80’s and 90’s underrated indie movies. Or even sitcoms like Kelly Bundy in Married With Children. I always find some badass girls with sick style there. From Carolyn Bessette and Grace Kelly to Pamela Anderson and Liv Tyler or Christy Turlington. These few names are all different because my style can be quite diverse. Honestly, legends like Mick Jagger or David Bowie? Hell yes to them[,] too. I think the worst thing you can do in fashion is restrain yourself. It’s supposed to be fun and artsy! Also[,] the best way to pull something off is to be confident. Fashion is way more than pieces of clothing.
If there’s one bad (but really good) fashion trend you have to resurrect, what will it be?
I always say this but[ ,] I love thin brows. I feel like they give off sultry vibes. I also miss the creative aspect of fashion. Nowadays[,] everybody has a stylist and looks get repetitive. Not saying that’s completely wrong, but my guilty pleasure is browsing through long lost looks from 2000s red carpet when stars were feeling themselves in unique and daring outfits. And big hair! Ugh[,] I wish we all started channeling our inner Fran Fine again.
Lastly, do you have any plans to expand outside of Instagram?
I’m very thankful because this account opened so many doors for me. More than I could ever even imagine. I’m not stopping here and I’m looking forward to more! Who knows what’s on my way.