To anyone drawn to L.A. style, 

Meet Jennifer Torres. Since starting this brand in 2020 we’ve been constantly on the search for folks exemplifying interesting and genuine personal style to interview and connect with. (Devin here) After spending several years in New York out of college and being exposed to a whole different level of developed, genuine and unique personal style, it can be easy to associate the best and most relevant fashion moments with the East Coast. However, so many of the style trends and aesthetics coveted by IG influencers, brands and style-lovers everywhere originated from Black and Brown communities in Los Angeles and Jenn, is a striking and distinct example. 

In an age where every TikTok and Instagram influencer is recognized as “stylish” for their slicked back hair, hoops, pairing white tank tops with Dickies pants and Nike Cortez’s, it’s obvious that mass amounts of people are drawn to aesthetics born from Los Angeles culture. But when you are accustomed to seeing the often diluted replication of something, it is exciting and inspiring to meet people that are dedicated to honoring the roots of their style. Jenn is not an adopter of a trend, as so many of us are. Jenn is a wavemaker and originator of what Los Angeles style is at its core. When so many young people are moving towards simplifying trends and minimalism, Jenn is bold, colorful and drawn towards maximalism. In this interview she serves as a reminder to us of the value of returning to your roots, being proud of where you came from and knowing who the fuck you are. 

May we all learn something from Jenn!




STREET GRANDMA: You once told us that if your style had a name, it would be called “Your Chill Ass Los Angeles Tía.”  What was the first kind of style you remember admiring?

Jenn: I’m born and raised in the 323, South Central more specifically. I love my city so representing South Central is important to my style. But growing up I loved seeing my mom, tias, and women in telenovelas' style - very 90’s Latina, lip liner, nails, heels, always snatched.  

How did you develop your personal style? 

I would just make my own style based on what I could find. When I was young I always wanted to emulate girls I’d see in Teen Vogue. I’d really like an outfit in one of the magazines but it would be like a thousand dollar Burberry sweater. I’d think, “What can I do that kind of looks like that?” And I’d figure it out. I’d shop at the swap meet after church, thrift at Goodwills, or style hand me downs from my siblings and cousins. That's how my style just evolved. I’d make an outfit with what I had and it just ended up being very neat. 

What are your staple items? 

My staples are hoops, eyeliner, chains, rings, nails. I guess it’s like the clean aesthetic now. It’s funny that that’s a thing. 

Could you expand on that? What are your thoughts about the trending “clean-girl”/“LA Cool Girl” aesthetic?

Yeah. So the clean girl aesthetic - I've been seeing it a lot on TikTok and social media. For me, once I started seeing the Dickies I was like, huh, that's interesting.  It’s trendy for people to cosplay like they're from LA - like Chicano, if that makes sense. It's kind of crazy because growing up it would have a negative connotation, like being poor or dangerous. I do feel like the style stems from Latina and Black women, or just being from the hood who had to find their own style and beauty routines based on what they had. The aesthetic looks really simple but a lot of it takes time and effort. Those are just trends, but for us, for me, it’s everything we’ve been doing for such a long time. 

Do you have any style icons? 

I love Miss Kali Uchis. Her style is so different. It’s cute, soft, and pastel but also very Latina. I also love Lil’ Kim - those two women are literally me. I also kinda like when Gwen Stefani was in her chola/cultural appropriation era, I’m not gonna lie. 

Haha that’s funny because I (Andrea) also loved her Harajuku, Love. Angel. Music. Baby. phase. 

She kind of ate it up during her appropriation era haha. The crazy thing is that at that time, I remember a lot of people were really loving it because our culture was being showcased in the mainstream. In reality, Ms. Gwen Stefani was just cosplaying as a Chicana - which isn’t okay. But at the time there wasn’t a lot of Mexican culture being showcased at all, so it resonated with a lot of people and they felt excited by it. 

street grandma jennifer torresIt’s interesting to reflect on that now that we’re older.

For sure. Now I’m like, oh that was kind of weird. But it's a prime example of how places like the hood are the epicenter of style that often gets watered down by mainstream people that aren’t from the hood. It’s important to give those who started these trends their flowers, not the ones that benefit from them while having no real connection to them.  Nowadays a lot of younger folks are really embracing where they come from, like their South Central or LA roots. It’s really beautiful that we get to see our culture and aesthetics come out more in life, if that makes sense. That's how I started really loving my culture, not because of Ms. Stefani but of what I grew up around my community, my neighborhood, my city. It's really great that now, we are the ones doing it.

In what ways has your style evolved?

As I get more comfortable with what I like and don’t like, I feel closer to myself and it feels more authentic to me. Style can be so personal and because I’m inspired by everything, my style also says a lot about where I’m at with life at the time, which I think is pretty cool. 

What are some examples of those shifts? 

Right now my girlfriend and I share a lot of the same clothes but her style is very different, so that’s reflected in my personal style. But I also  feel like as I've gotten older, I've gotten more and more comfortable with my sexuality, expressing it, and being upfront with it. It’s another level of being comfortable with myself - that means I'm comfortable to do whatever I want to do. I'm being vulnerable within my relationship, with myself and even my style and the modeling jobs I do.

Do you have any advice for anyone trying to build up their confidence / style? 

Trying something new, even if it means starting with baby steps like trying on a new skirt you wouldn’t normally wear or trying out a new way to do your hair. Don't be scared of trends, just be sure you don't get lost in them. Also don’t underestimate the importance of listening to different styles of music you wouldn’t normally listen to! I often get a LOT of inspiration from the style of music I am listening to at the time. And most importantly - have fun. It’s never that serious. If you tried it and you don’t like it, that’s okay. If you try something new and you do like it, then great! You learned something new, you know? Don’t be scared girl!!!

Follow Jenn's journey on Instagram @jen4romtheblock and book her for your next shoot at
Top Left and Title Photo: Jenn, Shot by Enkrypt Los Angeles
Top Right Photo: Jenn, Shot by Darrell Jackson (@djacks.jpg)


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