ACCORDING TO MERRIAM-WEBSTER, REFINED MEANS: "FREE OF UNWANTED SUBSTANCES; IMPROVED TO BE MORE PRECISE OR EXACT; HAVING OR SHOWING THE GOOD EDUCATION, POLITE MANNERS, ETC., THAT ARE EXPECTED OF PEOPLE WHO BELONG TO A HIGH SOCIAL CLASS." ON A WHOLE, THE CONTEMPORARY INTERNET — A REPOSITORY OF SMARTPHONE PHOTOGRAPHY, PORNOGRAPHY, POOR GRAMMAR AND FACELESS TROLLS — DEMONSTRATES NONE OF THE ABOVE ATTRIBUTES. WHEN THE AGGREGATE IS SPLINTERED, HOWEVER, POLISHES PIECES APPEAR.
Among these digital slivers is the suitably named Refinery29, a fashion and style website that self-designates as “a modern woman's destination for how to live a stylish, well-rounded life.” The New York-based site is also the fastest growing independent fashion and style website in the United States, thanks in great part to its lead “refiner,” creative director Piera Gelardi. Since Refinery29’s launch in 2005, Piera has distilled the contemporary digital landscape into refined, pretty daily missives that draw over 36 million visits per month. She’s also exceedingly polite.
WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY?
My earliest memories are from a family trip to Hawaii, when I was three. I remember drinking from a coconut in a jungle, going down a water slide surrounded by banana plants and going underwater at the end — and waking up at the crack of dawn to climb Mount Haleakala.
A QUOTE YOU LOVE?
"The best way out is always through." — Robert Frost. This is one of my personal mantras when I'm feeling scared or stuck. Gotta keep marching forward.
A SONG FROM THE FIRST ALBUM YOU OWNED
A SONG THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY
Here's one of the 'rents with Darth Vader! I got my sense of fun from them.
A FAVORITE VACATION
With my mom on Mount Haleakala when I was three.
A SONG YOU HAVE LISTENED TO 10 TIMES IN A ROW
A SONG YOU HAVE DANCED TO AT HOME
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD GIVE YOUR 14-YEAR-OLD SELF?
Don't worry so much about what other people think... take time figuring out what you think.
WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB?
Making my own creative dreams come true and working with whip-smart, talented, FUN people to do so.
TRUTH OR DARE?
YOUR GO-TO OUTFIT IN 2001
My roommate (pictured) worked at Jeffrey and got me this jersey dress which I basically wore every night out with snakeskin pumps and crazy 80s earrings.
A SONG YOU'RE EMBARASSED TO LOVE
A SONG WITH AMAZING WORDS
YOUR FAVORITE CHILDHOOD PICTURE
I love this Xerox I took of myself at my dad's office. It was a whole series where my brother and I got on the copy machine. My dad calls it the "girl in a box" series.
A SUNDAY MORNING SONG
A SONG THAT MAKES YOU NOSTALGIC