Does Tabatha even need an introduction? We’ve all witnessed this girl grow into one of the coolest personalities in the streetwear world, putting her thoughts in writing for Married to the Mob‘s Mobliving. Tab is not only a riot but also very relatable: her dream Saturday night involves TV and wine (amen!), and she is as gracious as anyone to be in her dream career. In this must-read interview, she shares her favorite meal (not what you’d expect), the chicest thing her mom has taught her, and possibly writing fiction down the line.
As someone born and raised in NYC, could you ever imagine living in another city? Would you ever want to?
Well most people don’t know this about me, but for the record I was actually born in France. I’m French on my Mom’s side, and even though the whole fam was already living in NY when I came into the world, my Mom really wanted me to be born on her turf. So if I had to live somewhere else, it would probably be Paris. It’s just so devastatingly gorgeous there, inspiration lurks behind every beautiful corner! Otherwise maybe Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – you can’t help but come alive in that city. At the end of the day, I’ll always be a NY girl though – Brooklyn to be exact.
What is your favorite thing about living in NYC? Favorite stereotypical personality to encounter on the street?
The fact that I can experience any world culture within a few block walk. If I want a specific dish from some far away part of the world, I’m sure to find it in at least one borough. And as far as stereotypical personalities go…I love my habibi’s at the deli. In the hood everyone refers to those dudes as “Ack” (like Achmed) but they’re the ones who hold down the neighborhood. Always characters! Plus they’re good peoples too. I’ve borrowed money from them for cabs on multiple occasions.
Are you into the gallery scene at all? What is your favorite way to spend a Saturday night?
I’m definitely not a gallery opening type of girl. Aside from my Dad’s shows or friends’ openings, there’s like a 2% chance of catching me in Soho or Chelsea at some random show. It’s not because I don’t like observing art, those things are just always such social shit shows. Pack a bunch of pretentious art folk into a tiny space and watch them mingle…not really my thing. If I’m going out, I like to go to chill spots like cozy little restaurants or bars where we can drink and bullshit for as long as we want without being bothered. For the most part though, I spend all my time at home. Blunts, TV, and wine – all I need really on a Saturday night!
With a major street artist in your family tree (your father is Futura 2000), how did you pull from his influence to create your own sense of style and art?
As much as I’ve always adored my Father’s work, even from an early age I knew that was his thing and that my style was super different. His work is abstract and rather masculine in some ways, I’m much more influenced by feminine/girly shit and when I draw/paint, it’s really literal. He instilled me with the creative blood, but it runs much differently than his. Plus I don’t see myself so much as an ‘artist’, rather a writer – the other stuff comes as a hobby afterwards.
I am so jealous that you are half French! What is your favorite French food and what is the chicest thing you learned from your mother?
Haha good questions! I actually just got back from a little vacation at my Grandparents in the South, and any time I go down I always send my grandma a list of dishes I really want her to prepare. God, there’s so much good stuff. If I had to choose a classic favorite though…maybe rabbit with assorted mushrooms. I love aioli too! As far as chic things learned from Mama…there’s enough to fill a book. She did teach me how to hunt octopus in Sonia Rykiel bikinis on the beaches of St. Tropez though. Pretty fucking chic if you ask me! [Ed. note: Agreed.]
Your brother, Timothy McGurr (13th Witness), has built a blog on instagram. You are also a visual creative. Do you use the platform and what are your thoughts on its meteoric rise?
I’m super late to Instagram, but yea I use it and yea…I’m already addicted, sadly. My Dad and Bro are fully obsessed, but I’m definitely not on their level. It’s an absolutely genius application though. As visual and aesthetic creatures who need instant gratification, it’s about as good as it gets. So much better than reading tweets too! Follow me: @Tabathammm!
Clearly growing up in the industry has aided your blossoming career. What advice do you have for similar web writers and artists that may not have the experiential learning under their belt?
It’s undeniable – my creative family certainly helped me get as far as I am today, but at the same time, I’ve never wanted to be someone who got props just for having some famous genes. For me, that would just be embarrassing. If you believe in yourself, keep it real, come up with dope original ideas, and don’t rip others off, the path will open itself up for you. If you know that what you’re doing is special, keep at it and develop a little platform for yourself. Whether it’s a website or blog, just have a place where people can come look at your range of work, and if it’s as good as you believe it to be, people will vibe off it and start sharing. Before I started writing for Leah on Mobliving, I was just another punk ass kid with endless thoughts on my mind. Putting them all in that one place allowed me to create an audience – however small it was in the beginning – and over time they grew and expanded with me. Don’t get it twisted though – freelance writing isn’t always an easy gig. Running your own blog is one thing, but submitting pieces for publications that over-edit and under-pay isn’t nearly as fun!
For someone so young you have a lot to say about dating! We especially love your article series on Complex, “The Harsh Truth.” Tell us your best flirting trick.
It’s so funny how I landed this sex/relationship column even though I’m really not experienced in said realm! I guess they just thought I had a really blunt way of talking about that stuff, but I was happy to accept the challenge. My best flirting trick is just being myself I suppose. I feel like guys can tell when a chick is acting phony – at least the guys I’m into – and anytime I just kick it with someone without putting up a front or attitude, they seem appreciate the realness. If that doesn’t work, eye-fucking should do the trick.
You are quick to catch on to the latest internet memes and viral content. How do you stay up on it? Is it like a 3am-can’t-sleep-when-will-sleeping-pills-kick-in kinda thing? Because that’s when I do MY best web surfing (and during lunch obviously, but I often reserve that for food porn).
Since my job requires me to be on the computer pretty much all the time, I’m super serious and organized about how I check websites. I have this program called Net News Wire which tracks and updates me on the thousand + sites I’m subscribed too, so like anytime one site posts something new, I get an email-style update. Then when I see something I like, I either put the link on a TO-DO post-it, or I file it into a specific folder. My desktop is super fucking neat and meticulously labeled. The internet is just so infinite, I’d be too overwhelmed otherwise.
How did you link up with Leah those many years ago? What is the most important thing you have learned from her?
Leah and I met at the infamous Spring Street block party in ’04, a summer event which no longer happens, sadly. I was 13 or 14 and with my Dad, who was already friends with her, and since the crews were usually so male-dominated, I was immediately like “who’s that hot, badass bitch over there?” We hit it off instantly. I loved her whole vibe, how she could chill harder than the boys while still looking super fly and feminine. Then I became best friends with her little sister Sarah, and I’d find myself chilling at her apartment every day after school. Soon after, she started the blog and asked me to be her writer, and the rest is fucking history. I don’t think I’d be anywhere near where I’m at career-wise if it weren’t for Leah, she totally put me on. It might sound kinda cheesy, but one of the most important things I learned from her is to ignore haters & nay-sayers and stay true to your own vision. When you’ve got great ideas, so many people will try to steal the control from you or steer you in a different direction – fuck that – you’ve gotta remain confident with yourself and go with your gut. Leah’s never been the type of chick to take shit from others and I’ve always adored her for that.
You’ve been known to be a little bit wary of “streetwear” nowadays. How has the MOB girl grown and where will she be in 5 years?
Even though we were the first chicks on the scene to really be doing female “streetwear”, I think we’ve always strived and succeeded in being more than just that. Between our photoshoots, collaborations, and special projects, we always try taking our products to a slightly higher level – like doing tweed Dunks or throwing wild parties at the Plaza Hotel, it’s all about that juxtaposition between street and sophistication. These days you can still expect our classically bold, sometimes-outrageous tee sayings, but we’ve also added a men’s line, and a brand new sub-line named Leah McSweeney, producing small quantities of cut & sew made in NYC. We’re all about expanding – but without changing who/what the brand represents. In 5 years…she’ll still be the same M.O.B, maybe just with a doper apartment and some slightly more expensive shoes? At least that’s what I hope for myself!
Are you amped beyond belief about your book release?! Can we expected a second edition in the near future? Would you ever consider publishing fiction?
The book release is the coolest thing to happen to me in 2012 so far! I’m beyond hyped, and once again I gotta give props to Leah for pushing me to make it a reality. We sold out of the first run and just re-printed a new batch, but this definitely won’t be my last. And I’d totally be up for fiction – I’ve just got way too much other shit going on right now to focus on such an undertaking. I’m the type of person who can be really obsessive and fall into extremes, so once I dedicate myself to something like that, I’ll have to be locked in a cottage for a year somewhere. Kinda like in that flick Swimming Pool.
Which do you prefer: Heels or flats? Leggings or denim? Hoodies or cardigans? Tattoos or piercings?
Flats, sadly. I wish I could rock heels but my body is against it! Jeggings! Hoodies all day. And tattoos for sure.
And finally, since it is such a guilty pleasure of mine, I’ve gotta ask… which Real Housewives is your favorite?
Oh my God girl, you done it now. Next time can I just do a full interview based on Housewives? It’s my ultimate guilty pleasure (along with Basketball Wives and Big Rich Texas) I love each show for different reasons, but there’s something about Atlanta that really does it for me. It’s just such a fucking hot mess. Like, Marlo? Wow. But it’s almost like choosing a favorite kid – they’re each extremely special to me in their own way!