August 21 2014

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Zoe Saldana Will Help You Find A Stylist


Zoe Saldana might be better known for her day job as a successful actress, but she’s also translated her burgeoning fashion interests into a second job as the founder/partner of My Fashion Database. Two years ago, when Saldana launched the site, along with her fiancé, former model Keith Britton, and the help of their close friend Jordan Glassberg, they were simply trying to provide fast, efficient answers to their own style questions: Who shot that editorial in V magazine from September 2008? Who was the manicurist for the recent Lindsey Wixson spread in i-D? This month, MyFDB, dubbed “fashion’s IMDB,” was relaunched with expanded features, including the ability to view ad campaigns and immediately shop the looks. Tonight, the actress will celebrate the relaunch with, what else, a party in New York as fashion week here comes to a close. Saldana spoke to about MyFDB, mused over a Prabal collaboration, and the next job title she wants: intern.

What prompted you to create MyFDB?
The initial idea came about in 2006. It came from our desire to cater to the things that were missing for us. As an actress it was hard for me to feel so aloof on what goes on in fashion. Every time you leave your house, you are wearing clothes and you have to create an image. We wanted to give people all the info they need for that.

Are there any issues in particular you were trying provide answers for with MyFDB?
Yes—what am I going to wear? Besides, which is so informative, no one else out there is really giving you information like this. With MyFDB, you can find out who is this photographer, who are the stylists that work with certain brands, who are the hair and makeup people that I might find interesting. It’s for things like that that are hard to find. There wasn’t that one site to where you could find out Lara Stone’s editorials, who does she have a contract with, etc.

What is the most useful feature of your site?
I love that MyFDB has the largest directory of fashion people and companies out there. That, to me, is one of the best features. It just gives you access without taking away the class and the poise that fashion has. It’s not a social network. I would say it’s classier than that, maybe that’s not the right word, but it’s a useful tool for people.

What features do you hope to add to the site in the near future?
I would like to provide a chance to see vintage magazines from back in the day and see how magazines have evolved according to our cultural and political evolution. That would be pretty cool, right?

I know you have been asked before if you would design your own collection and you sound hesitant. What about a collaboration with a designer, like your good friend Prabal Gurung?
That is something that I would love to do. I would only do it if I could collaborate with someone like Prabal. He’s like a little Meryl Streep when it comes to fashion—he is just stellar. There are many amazing designers that are completely prolific. To sit and be in the same room as them when they are putting their collections together would be really cool. From Tom Ford to Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy, those guys have paved the way. It would be amazing actually to do an internship.

I am guessing any and all of those designers would love to have Zoe Saldana as their intern. Are you serious?
I would get them coffee just so I could listen. I have been to Francisco Costa’s work studio in New York and to see him working, it’s wonderful. They [designers] are true pirates and rock stars. They are kind of like Nascar drivers. There is no such thing as an off-season and they are racing year round. Not many people understand that.

It’s true. So back to Prabal, what would a Prabal x Zoe collection look like?
On Prabal—I don’t know. I like to take things day by day. If I did it, it would not be for the sake of designing or being pop-y. If I do decide to design, I would treat it the same way I have taken my career. It’s about strategy, but it’s really all heart at the end of the day.

What is your mood, style-wise these days?
Right now I am wearing this little Alexander Wang tight gray skirt—I bought like two of them. It’s been so hot here in California so I am really into tight little dresses. I’m not a floral-print person; it’s too prissy for me.

Action movies are your thing right now. Is this a genre you want to stay in for a while, or what roles are you eager to play next?
That’s like asking, “What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?” Oh, that sounds so good right now. You should go get yourself some gelato!

What else are you up to these days?
Besides observing what Colombiana does at the box office, I have been editing a short I did for Glamour magazine, which has been pretty cool.

Photo: Jeff Vespa