Q+A: Worship Worthy

March 04, 2008

For the past year or so, the women of Worship Worthy have been clearing out a corner of the streetwear blogosphere, creating a site that is entirely by-the-ladies-for-the-ladies. Operating under the pseudonyms Saint Agnes, Mary Madaglene and Santa Maria, the trinity is comprised of two fashion designers (Jennifer Wannarachue and Gabriela Lardizabal) and marketing exec Grace Santa Maria. Between them they transmit pearls of sartorial wisdom over the internet—as well as art tidbits and event news—via what’s commonly known as the “Daily Bread.” Undoubtedly the centerpiece of it all is the “Hail Mary” list, a roll call of accomplished New York ladies handpicked by the committee of three. Down at their Williamsburg offices, Saint Agnes and Mary Madaglene gave the good word. Read the interview after the jump.

Why did you decide to adopt fake names?

St A: We wanted to be anonymous mostly because of what we call the ‘Hail Mary’ list, a list that spotlights female trendsetters in New York. It’s essentially more about giving props than anything else, but you never know how people are going to react. Then maybe six months in, we realized that in order to grow the business we needed to use our allies. Lots of our friends didn’t even know it was us.

What was the reaction?

St A: Most people were really flattered. Before girls were writing in thanking us and asking ‘Who are you, mysterious women?’ But now that we’ve revealed our identity I feel it has become a little more political.

MM: It really isn’t a popularity contest. It isn’t about who you know, where you’ve been hanging out, or what outfit you’ve been wearing, it’s about your contributions to your industry or your artistic expression.

What does a girl have to do to be worship worthy?

St A: We spotlight women that are pioneers in their field or doing jobs we admire. It’s inspiration for younger girls that come on the website and say ‘Wow. These girls are really doing things, that’s what I wanna do.

MM: And that it’s also about showing that it’s possible to have a successful life doing non-traditional things.

St A: Part of the reason that we started this is because there are so many blogs for guys, and it’s just guys jocking other guys. New York is such a competitive place that many women try to keep what they are doing to themselves. So it’s important for me to put positive vibes out there for other women, like, ‘Look, we can do this and not be catty.’Just trying to change the way women work together or don’t work together in New York City. Before Worship there wasn’t really a platform to talk about what was going on with cool chicks. We have male readers out there too. We don’t have the same content as Hypebeast but we are the female version of them as far as what’s going on with new art openings, book signings, brands.

How has the scene changed since you moved to New York?

St A: We grew up in the decade right before blogs, before young people’s lives revolved around fast fashion, global communication and news sharing. Things were slower, a brew took a little longer to stew. So it’s actually been a challenge for us to do Worship Worthy. Five years ago, we were the cool kids going out every single night. Priorities change, and now we have to make more of an effort to stay in the loop, even though it may not be as important to us. That’s actually Worship Worthy in a nutshell, we want it to have a different voice, a more experienced voice. An old school way of thinking in comparison to what is going on today.

MM: These days, if you want it, you can get it really fast.
St A: Back then it was a lot more fun finding out about parties through friends that you met, through people you worked with. It was more word of mouth—there were no e-blasts.

MM: And pray to God you knew someone in PR that would tell you where all the industry parties were. That was insider information—now anybody can go to a party.

Posted: March 04, 2008
Q+A: Worship Worthy