The BoF Podcast | Avery Trufelman on the Meaning Behind the Clothes We Wear



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Background:

On her award-winning podcast “Articles of Interest,” host and producer Avery Trufelman dives deep into the stories behind the clothes we wear. From the evolution of prep to the origins of wedding dresses, Avery guides her listeners through the multi-faceted layers behind the aesthetics of fashion.

“It’s crops, it’s the earth, it’s handwork, it’s culture, it’s society. You tug on a thread and you get everything,” she said. “That’s what I’m slowly realising [about fashion].”

This week on The BoF Podcast, BoF founder and editor-in-chief Imran Amed sits down with Trufelman to discuss her path into podcasting, taking her lifelong passion for clothes and what they mean into an audio format, and what she’s learned about fashion along the way.

Key Insights:

  • A self-proclaimed “public radio nepo baby,” Trufelman has audio in her blood — her parents met working at New York Public Radio. But while she grew up with audio, she didn’t start experimenting with fashion until she was a teenager, expressing herself through quirky thrifted fashion ensembles, much to the confusion of her peers. “I knew in the back of my mind that it was too much, that I was sort of alienating people,” she says. “It just made me realise how powerful clothing was. That dressing in this wild way sort of set me apart.”
  • Trufelman initially came up with the idea for “Articles of Interest” while interning at the design and architecture podcast “99% Invisible.” Presenting a fashion podcast to an audience more focussed on architecture, Trufelman began to see the ways in which fashion touched every facet of life. “In the beginning, fashion was sort of a dirty word for me,” she says. “Now it’s all about fashion because everything has fashion. Buildings have fashion, cars have fashion, colours have fashion. Fashion is just taste over time and the most easy way to measure that when you look at a picture of any era, it’s the cars maybe, but mostly the clothes.”
  • Four seasons into “Articles of Interest,” Trufelman now finds herself with a rich archive to draw upon. “I don’t ever kill stories. I love to reuse interviews that I collected years ago. I’m always cutting them up and revisiting them because I believe that knowledge isn’t like one and done. It isn’t a single use thing. I believe in making this a long sustainable living archive.”
  • Trufelman also sees the parallels between podcasts and fashion in the ways in which both allow us to engage with the world. “People are listening to your voice while they’re walking down the street and they’re like noticing what people are wearing or they’re noticing what people are doing. It’s not undivided attention. It is divided attention. It’s beautiful.”

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