IN AN ATTEMPT TO CONNECT AND CREATE, I’LL BE TALKING TO WOMXN ALL OVER THE WORLD ABOUT HOW THEIR LIVES HAVE CHANGED DURING QUARANTINE…
I met Naomi Accardi back when she was still living in Dubai, working at adidas, and producing dope events like the Boiler Room party. Fast forward a few years, and her irreverent self is back in her home country of Italy, freelancing as a creative consultant.
She’s been self-isolating in the comfort of her own apartment in Milan, and was completely alone for two full months, but states that it was the best decision she ever made. “It gave me time and space to declutter my mind, plan things out and overall just look within myself.” She did have the option to go stay at the family home – which is definitely bigger – but for her own sanity, decided against it; “I have lived on my own for 11 years, having to co-habit with them now sounds… nuts. And I just really needed this time away from people honestly.”
Like many of us, Naomi has been hit by the recent crisis, “I did ‘suffer’ from it on a financial level as I had to take a pay-cut on my retainer fees and other freelance work slowed down. But to be fair, I have been quite lucky compared to others.” However, her day isn’t too dissimilar to what it was before – the weekly office meetings were effortlessly switched to online video calls. As someone who loves a routine, a self-proclaimed schematic person, she finds it easy to stay productive: “I try to start work by 10am no matter what, but what this time has taught me is to let things go sometimes. But if I don’t feel like doing anything, I don’t feel as guilty as I did before.” She has also started to consider reading and researching as part of her job. So when she is not working on a brand’s strategy, or articles for platforms she contributes to, or even something for her own projects, she won’t feel like she’s slacking off. The quarantine has also helped Naomi “weed out things that I have been meaning to weed out for a while,” in terms of personal projects and work. I’m sure we’ll see some interesting things in the future.
One new activity Naomi has taken up during her downtime at home is cleaning. “Usually I’d have somebody come clean my house and I’d just touch it up throughout the week, but [since] that ball has dropped back into my hands, I use Saturdays for cleaning and selfcare.” She used to find dusting and hoovering a dreaded ordeal, but now considers it a form of exercise, and interestingly “a decompressing activity for me.” What about the things she’s missing most from our old ways of life? “Having the freedom to book a last-minute flight somewhere random; meeting friends for a late breakfast at coffee shops; and having dinner with her dad during the football transfer market in Milan.” She also states that FaceTiming her loved ones once a week is what’s keeping her sane.
The notion of staying creative and connected is even more important now than ever. Naomi does this through her aforementioned research: “right now was the chance to push the gas pedal on [it]. I was able to connect and find out about amazing photographers and creative people that I didn’t have the time to research about before.” In terms of social media, she agrees that it has its pros and cons. She loves that she’s been able to reconnect with old flames such as Twitter: “most of the time it feels like I’m in a room with other people discussing shit. Unfortunately, I think it has also provided a voice for too many bored people that turned to spreading misinformation and fomented weird conspiracy theories and overall hysteria and anxiety.” Naomi also agrees with me when it comes to one of the newbies of the social media world, TikTok – “it has definitely unveiled how sad some 30+ year old influencers are, and how bad they need the internet to stay relevant.”
What about her relationship with fashion; has it changed? “Fashion is just something I am not interested in anymore, and my behaviour during this time has proved that. I have not searched or looked up anything brands were doing, and honestly their efforts to stay relevant were bleak and boring – everybody ran to making quarantine content and most of the platforms literally just lost my follow because of their boring, obsolete, uninteresting approach.” Naomi has only focused on the brands or projects she’s been personally working on, but done so with a more cultural outlook. Thinking about ways in which she can use the platform these brands have to improve certain things or utilising them as a tool for educational projects.
When I asked Naomi about fashion consumption, she says she shifted to a more mindful approach a long time ago, and that definitely the way we consume fashion needs to change: “there is just too much of everything out there right now, and people are too easily influenced, thinking that by hoarding clothes that will make them cooler, even when they can’t really afford to do that.” However, her realisation came with age rather than the pandemic, because her interests and responsibilities have shifted in the past few years. Naomi recently bought her apartment in Milan, has a mortgage to pay monthly, and as a freelancer, she’d prefer to spend money on things that she needs rather than on clothes. And when you’ve had the same personal style since you were 13, it’s easy to not be swept up by trends and the dreaded, overly used phrase must-haves. Has she bought anything in isolation, though? “I have bought one pair of sneakers which I had been wanting for a long time, and some Crocs, but I would have most likely done that regardless.”
One way in which Naomi is giving back during these times, is by selling clothes with a friend, and putting the money aside for donation under the Instagram handle @SILLYHOMEMARKET.
Follow Naomi on INSTAGRAM.