Featured as on of Vogue's 10 Most Stylish Stone Fox Brides in August 2015
Featured as one of Austin's 25 Most Stylish by Stylecaster, March 2013
JESSICA THOMPSON | Velvet Dust
The editor. Jessica Thompson, editor in chief of the fastidiously curated online quarterly Velvet Dust, is all drapes and tassels when I see her. She’s come from her day job in the tech industry, a relatively rooted station for her, given the past few years. That’s because she’s spent her twenties living and working all over the world as an English teacher, aspiring fashion stylist, international jewelry marketer, and one-time presenter of said jewelry on the equivalent of QVC Japan. But in 2011 Thompson took an English-teaching job in Tunisia that cast a somber tone over her gypsy lifestyle.
“Four months into my stay, the Arab Spring broke out,” says Thompson. “I stayed about half a year into the revolution, but work became pretty unstable because of the political situation.”
So she landed back home in Austin at By George, designing window displays, creating jewelry, and picking up styling gigs on the side, all the while wondering what her creative hobbies would add up to. That’s when she and a couple of friends began talking about making a magazine, and in March 2013, Velvet Dust was born, almost instantly finding an enthusiastic readership. The online quarterly bursts with avant-garde photo-essays, with a perspective on fashion that is pretty much the opposite of your standard glossy—think young men perched on garbage heaps, models levitating over sharp rocks.
“Through my experiences traveling, especially in North Africa, I was confronted with some very real and very difficult things,” says Thompson. “So what I’m attracted to now is usually darker, and for the magazine, I’m drawn to work that feels thought-provoking, that tells a story.”
- Tolly Mosely