Interview: Shae Acopian Detar of Everything Style

 I first fell in love with Shae Acopian Detar a few years ago when I obsessively stalked her oh-so-perfect Ebay shop, Lullie Vintage. I remember the first time I saw this beautifully styled photoshoot, and the times my girlfriends and I would sit around scheming a way to style shoots half as beautiful as hers. In the time since—what I like to call the Golden Days of vintage on Ebay—I've kept up with Shae and her vintage store through her blog, Everything Style. She's since quit selling vintage all together, but she's found a whole new talent which I'm willing to bet is going to take her pretty far.

I'm so pleased she agreed to an interview with me—seriously, Shae, you have no idea how much I appreciate this—and I'm so thrilled to know more about here fascinating life. She's a passionate lady with a heart of gold, and I really can't wait to see the amazing work she does in the future.

1. Can you start out by telling everyone a little bit about yourself and how you got started in the fashion industry?

My name is Shae Acopian Detar and I'm a 32 yr old aspiring photographer! I've been with my husband Brett since we were just turning 20. He is the only boy I have ever kissed (haha...really crazy I know) and the only boyfriend I have ever had. We've been together 12 years (and married 5 of those 12 years). I'm a huge animal lover, and a vegetarian. I have a Shar pei named Waylon (named after the Great Waylon Jennings!). The most important things to me in life are my family and my spirituality.

I started out as a model at 17 and that was my first real introduction to the fashion industry. I was with Next Models in Nyc, London and Milan. After that, I quit to go to SVA for 2 years and then Parsons for a brief moment. I left Parsons to intern at Zac Posen's and then left there to begin Lullie Vintage. I quit Lullie Vintage a year ago and now I am going back to The School Of Visual Arts to major in photography.
2. What made you decide to stop selling vintage full time? Was it hard to walk away from?

I was working REALLY ridiculous hours for Lullie Vintage and I was completely exhausted. Owning an online vintage shop where you sell around 55-70 items a week, without a team of people behind you is too much work. I had no life outside of Lullie, and It was very rare to even have a weekend off. Then my dog Crumbles died suddenly on June 1st. June 1st...is the day I fell apart, it had been a long time coming, and her death was just the tip of the iceberg. The exhaustion, missing home (I was living in Los Angeles), and Crumbles passing...it made me re-evaluate where I was at in life. I decided I needed to make some changes and so I quit selling vintage.

I don't regret it at all...it's the best decision I've made in a long time. I'm where I need to be now and aside from Crumbles being gone (which is still quite painful), I am so much happier, my quality of life increased by leaps and bounds.
3. What are your photography courses like? Any favorite technique so far?

I haven't started school yet!! I start on September 7th! I'm soooo anxious to begin. I have SO much to learn, I know virtually nothing at all. Ask me this question in a year and I may have a whole book to write about techniques etc.
4. What's a typical day in the life of Shae Acopian Detar?

Wake up, make Brett (my husband) and I a cup of coffee...feed my dog Waylon (my Shar Pei) and take him to the dog park. Then It all depends on what shoots I have planned. I often research things online or in books, I style and plan my shoots, I steam the clothing for the shoots, print out my organized plans and thoughts for theshoot. Figure out what lenses and cameras I need.

Lately, I've been meeting a lot of new people and having meetings with them. Different PR people and companies that want me to see their new lines or bloggers that I might be photographing etc. I do a lot of research right now, so spending time reading photography books or reading about history is something I make sure happens throughout my week. I also pop in to see my husband Brett at his music studio in Soho. I try to hang out with him as much as I can, because sometimes he is gone a lot for work.

As of Sept. 7th, I'll be in classes from 9-6 3 days a week and I'll have 6 classes! The days I am not in class, I'll be photographing nonstop for assignments and reading ALOT for my history of photography class and the Photo lecture series course. I imagine I will be a crazed lady in a few weeks time, but loving every minute of it. I am so excited to learn!!!!
5. Do you have an ultimate goal as a photographer? Any specific magazine or project you'd like to see your work published in?

I would love to take portraits of artists, singer/songwriter's and models. People like Loretta Lynn, Lou Doillon, Karen Elson, Chuck Close, Ryan Adams, Dolly Parton. Most important to me is artistic freedom...that my vision or mood for the shoot would be something that I have control over. I have no interest in shooting editorials in a studio with backdrops. I love the careers of artists like Tim Walker, Annie Leibovitz and Ian Teh. It would be fun to shoot for magazines such Lula, Jalouse and W. I have a few side projects I have interest in. I met an amazing young woman the other night at my husbands rock show, and she was very ill. It took all the strength in her to come to this reunion show he was playing, and after talking to her for a long time, I just felt completely inspired by her outlook on life. People that are sick, they see life differently than most of us. The nonsense and drama that most of us are flustered by, it doesn't seem to phase them. When you are forced to think about life and death on a daily basis, it does something to you. I've volunteered in hospitals in the past, and it has always really affected me deeply. I just want to make some people feel good about themselves, give them a great day of being girly and dressing up and getting some photos taken of themselves. It's something I am very excited about beginning to do. I also have a coffee table book I want to make one day where I photograph old country legends in their homes or on their properties, before we lose them. I need to hurry, because some of them are getting quite old.

I'm not sure entirely what direction my photography career will take. I know one thing for certain however, that I do not imagine myself with a ton of assistants and being apart of some big intense machine. I would like one assistant, a MUCH better camera and open doors to photograph entertainers, musicians, artists and people that have some substance. Then again, I will have to pay bills, so I may have to compromise somewhere. Maybe I won't even end up photographing fashion at all, I have no idea where I will be in a years time or 4 years up the road. Life can take you down very interesting paths. If you would have told me a year and a half ago that my dog Crumbles would be dead, that I'd be going back to school at 32 yrs old or that my husband and I would live in Greenwich Village, I would have never believed it. I'm just going to take one day at a time.

Be sure to follow Shae's blog to keep up with her work!


Laura Gerencser said...

Amazing photos!!

CocoCherie said...

I have been following her too since, her eBay days and I love her blog! She seems like such an amazing woman. I am always browsing her blog for inspiration. I can't wait to see more of her photography.

Little Monarch said...

holy schmoly this girl is amazing! im only 24 and im too scared to take the leap back into education. I love her drive and passion.

p.s. thanks for sending me the link for the vintage photos! x

Little Ocean Annie said...

This interview was such an inspiration, and just what I needed. Shae has so much talent and drive! Thanks for posting this, her blog is now a huge gigantic source of inspiration for me.

You rock, lady. I'm loving your new outlook on your blog.

sweetdisposition said...

oh this is great! i found her on lookbook and have been obsessed ever since. thanks for sharing this interview, really lovely.

Shelby said...

I love being exposed to awesome bloggers. My blog roll gets longer by the day!

Marloes. said...

I love this girl

Victoria said...

She is amazing...goes over the check out her blog now...x

Victoria said...

She is amazing...goes over the check out her blog now...x

Justice Pirate said...

so very nice to learn about her!

Bea said...

She sounds freaking amazing and oh-so inspiring. What a wonderful outlook towards her career, life and relationships.

Truly great and substantial feature, Starr!

Bea from A plus B

Rosie said...

I totes want this girl's life.

agvintage said...

I love her :)

Rachel said...

Wow, so cool, thanks for that, Starr.
I never knew of her before now. Love all the photos!

Le Temps d'M said...

nice pics ;)

Sarah with an "h" said...

Great interview, Starr. She's beautiful and inspiring. :)


Youri said...

wow, i really love the pictures ;D

Trains and Sewing Machines said...

Wow, these photos are amazing. I'm definitely going to check that out right away! Thanks for sharing :)

Trishna said...

Starr, this is why I love you so much. You not only produce amazing photos yourself but you also introduce us to wonderful people out there who we may not have known about without you. Thank you.

Love from Toronto, Canada.

Rebecca said...

Thanks for posting this interview. Such beautiful photos and interesting comments. It's great to find a new place for inspiration. I love the final outfit, now I want some overalls.

✿ren said...

Her photography and style is amazing~~

PinkBow said...

i'm a fan of hers too, so it's great to find out more