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The Insider

The Insider: Molly Young

The Insider BY carlye wisel 01/10/2013



If you don’t have a crush on Molly Young yet, you will by the time you finish reading this thing. By day, she word smiths for everyone’s favorite eyeglass company Warby Parker, and by night, she writes exceptionally smart (but never too buttoned-up) stories for the likes of GQ and Elle. Oh, and she even looks adorable with My Little Pony hair. 


Q: You wrote my favorite article ever, on the smelliest block in NYC, for New York magazine. How’d that story happen?


A: They really were not into the idea. It took a lot of convincing, but they gradually allowed me to write it. It was one of those things where I was actually burning with a desire to know why that block smelled so badly because I walk down it every day. There were all these comments, like, “Holy shit! I know that block! It smells disgusting!” It was the only piece in the history of anything that’s gotten nice comments in the comments section.


Q: Is there anything you’re currently working on that you’re really psyched about?

A: I’m working on a profile of Susan Miller, who’s sort of a celebrity astrologist, for New York. It’s been a…fascinating experience. The idea came about mostly because I’m fascinated by her, and I’m also just really curious about what the practice of astrology actually is. I didn’t know how it was done. Was she looking out a telescope? I had no idea. So, I had very naive, childish questions I wanted to find answers to.


Q: What’s the last great thing you read?

A: Katie Roiphe’s book of essays called In Praise of Messy Lives. She’s unnervingly smart, and she’s brash. I really like that—that’s a quality that’s rare in writers.


Q: What’s the worst thing you’ve ever worn?

A: Where do I start! When I was 12 years old, I discovered thrift stores, and the first thing I got was a pair of wide-legged JNCO black jeans with contrast stitching and a hammer loop. They were raver pants, and I felt so attractive in them. I remember they changed the way that I walked. I would kind of striiiiiide in them.


Q: Is there anything hanging in your closet that you’ve never had the guts to wear?

A: There is a vintage Gucci dress—it’s lurex-like fabric with a plunging V-neck, and the V-neck is fastened shut by a gold mythical creature, maybe a griffin. I think the only appropriate venue would be a casino, and I have not been to one.


Q: What’s your best beauty trick?

A: I don’t use soap in the shower. I use L’Oreal Kids shampoo instead because it smells better. Oh, and this isn’t necessarily a beauty secret, but I recently acquired a shower radio because I find showers to be incredibly boring. I never want to take them. But now that I have a shower radio, I get to listen to Hot97 while I’m washing my hair. It’s a total game-changer.


Q: Who’s the one person you’d totally kill to interview?

A: Bill Clinton. I’m curious to know what political charisma of that degree feels like in person.


Q: If you could have access to anyone’s wardrobe, whose would you pick?

A: Nancy Drew always wore outfits that she could run in or escape a villain in, and I think that’s an important quality for clothes—tight little pencil skirts with a slit so you could take off and sprint, or little crewneck sweaters you could layer if you were working on a serious case in a lakeside cabin.

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