Who: Julee Wilson
What: Style & Beauty Editor, Huffington Post Black Voices
Where: Harlem resident for over eight years.
HARLEM EDGE: Why Harlem?
JULEE WILSON: I’ve always loved Harlem. My mom’s good friend from college lived here, so when I first moved to New York it was the first place I visited and it was love at first sight. So I knew whenever I moved back to New York I wanted to live in Harlem.
HARLEM EDGE: How was your first experience actually living in Harlem?
I was very blessed to have my first living experience be in Sugar Hill, I lived on 152nd and St. Nicholas with Adrienne Ingrum and she’s kind of my fairy godmother/guardian angel. We met in the summer of 2003, and I was interning at Conde Nast Traveler magazine she was apart of a women’s media group and she was in book publishing. We really hit it off she’s an amazing spirit and we kept in touch during my senior year while I was interviewing to try to get a job after I graduated. I just couldn’t find a job and she offered me to come live with her in Harlem so I could be in the city instead of at my parent’s home in Pennsylvania and that was just a major blessing. I ended up getting an internship at Parent’s magazine, so $7/hour would not allow me to pay rent. So it was perfect for me to live with her rent free and under her amazing guidance and love. And after two or three months I ended up getting a full time job at Real Simple Magazine so I was able to move out, but we’ve stayed close ever since and she’s really an amazing woman in my life.
HARLEM EDGE: Does your neighborhood ever inspire the stories you write at Huffington Post?
JULEE WILSON: So many of the best fashion trends come from the streets and Harlem, it’s literally oozing with style, so it’s hard not to be inspired by the neighborhood. Not necessarily the trends but how people are wearing trends, how they’re wearing their hair. And I love that it’s a neighborhood feel, so people are open to talk. So you can get the info of what they’re wearing and what products they put in their hair.
HARLEM EDGE: From a Style & Beauty editor’s eye, what makes Harlem different from other places you’ve traveled?
JULEE WILSON: How they interpret the trends, they don’t just look at magazines and blogs and replicate the look. They put their own spin on it, and it’s so fresh. I feel like everyone just copies what they see in magazines, folks in Harlem goes to the next step, like ‘that’s cool but I’m going to do it like this.’
HARLEM EDGE: This past New York Fashion Week you covered the Harlem’s Fashion Row presentation at the Apollo, how do you feel when attention is being paid to Harlem in your industry?
JULEE WILSON: So many amazing style icons came from Harlem. The whole Harlem Renaissance moment, and more modern moments like Dapper Dan came from Harlem. There’s this whole swagger, that Harlem essence that should be celebrated. I think the work Harlem’s Fashion Row is doing is really great to Harlem and designers of color, but hopefully people are really paying attention to what they’re doing and support it.
Not only in fashion but generally speaking. I think neighborhood preservation is important, you don’t want to lose what Harlem is known for.
Follow Julee Wilson on Instagram and Twitter @MissJulee and check out her work at The Huffington Post.