#GramGen is a series profiling the most radical characters in youth culture, who continue to shape trend behavior and spark controversy through their avant fashion sense and candid social media personalities.
Meet Suzie Grime, a 26-year-old fashionista and self-proclaimed “queen of content.” Based in Berlin, Suzie’s next-level swag and penchant for all things whacky, graphic and colorful makes her a refreshing style savant amidst the German capital’s tiresome all-black-everything uniforms (the fact that she also hates techno is another thing that differentiates herself from your average Berliner). A stylist, writer and master of the fit pic, the outspoken creative has amassed a dedicated following that continues to grow in numbers.
We caught up with Suzie to find out what inspires her zany style, how Berlin’s fashion scene fares against other mainstream style capitals and how she deals with all the haters and weirdos that slide up in her DMs.
How old are you?
I’m 26, but already feel like an old cat lady. In the end, age ain’t nothing but a number.
Where are you from and where are you currently based?
I grew up in Belgium, even though my mother is South African. After I finished school, I moved to Cologne and studied fashion journalism. Having come from a small village, spending a few years in a bigger city was already pretty liberating. But at some point, my environment felt too narrow-minded…again. So around three years ago, I packed all of my shit and moved to Berlin.
Is there any other city you’d consider moving to? If so, which city and why?
I definitively want to leave Germany for a period of time in the future and probably move to the US. Growing up, I’ve always been fascinated by American pop culture, music and food. Even politically I’m more up to date with what’s going on overseas.
I’d love to experience first hand what living in a big city like New York, Los Angeles or San Fransisco feels like. It would enable me to actually understand the culture I’ve been following for so long – something Germany will never be able to give me. Also, it costs a shit ton of money and taxes to order clothing from the States, which sucks because you guys have all of the good stuff.
What’s Berlin’s fashion scene like? How would you describe the typical Berliner’s style?
Berlin’s style is very creative, edgy and definitively more grungy compared to other cities like Munich. People wear a lot of black and incorporate streetwear and vintage pieces into their outfits. It’s kind of effortlessly cool.
Berlin is a good place to find a job, network with other creatives and get in touch with global brands. Most German fashion magazines have their editorial offices in Berlin and there are a lot of product releases and PR events going on. The downside, though, is that even though more and more concept stores are featuring brands like Vetements, most of the time you’ll have to get your high-end gear online or overseas.
Describe your personal style. What inspires your looks?
My personal style is pretty hard to describe, since I mix and match a lot of different aesthetics. Nothing’s too girly or too masculine for me. Generally speaking, my style is kind of ugly in a cute way. I really enjoy combining shapes, colors or patterns that other people probably wouldn’t, drawing inspiration from pop and hip hop culture, street wear, high end designers, indie brands, vintage fashion and subcultures like goth. Also, I’m a ’90s kid – which is pretty obvious sometimes. But there isn’t really one style I dig most, I kind of need it all at the same damn time.
Who are some of your favorite designers right now?
I really like VFILES and Freak City LA a lot. And every now and then, I get my hands on some Vetements, Gosha Rubchinskiy, OFF-WHITE or Gucci. Being able to dress bougie is nice, but there’s no feeling like thrifting the T-shirt of your dreams for less than ten bucks.
Seriously though…get yourself an eBay account! Cop some adidas pants and Old Skool Vans and you’ll be just fine without all of that expensive shit.
What first got you interested in fashion?
I never had a specific style icon or something that inspired me to work in fashion. But growing up, I always admired icons like Tupac, Eminem, Lil Kim, Christina Aguilera, Paris Hilton and Marilyn Manson for their outfits. Also, my mother has amazing style, which I didn’t even realize as a teen. It somehow just came very natural to me.
What is your occupation (how do you make money)?
There isn’t just one way of making money, I’m a Jill-of-all-trades when it comes to content production. I started writing as a freelance editor for magazines like VICE. Also, I had a few other creative jobs and worked as a personal stylist for a while.
But throughout the years, no matter what I was doing, serving looks on Instagram has always been a hobby. I just care about aesthetics a lot, which made me gain an online following in the first place. At some point, I created a YouTube channel. Being an online video creator has given me the opportunity to join a team of web video journalists. We regularly investigate stories on a larger production scale, and I’m really happy to be the host.
Since everything you do leads to another, people book me to speak at their events by now, too. So yeah, I make money doing a little bit of everything.
What’s the best and worst thing about the fashion industry now?
Thanks to the digital revolution, the fashion industry got democratized. But it’s still not as democratic and inclusive as it could be. Also, fast fashion is fucking our planet. That’s one of the reasons I’ll always be riding for shopping second hand.
What is both the most positive AND the most negative thing about social media?
Social media enables us to build the life of our dreams – and simultaneously makes us not take part in it, because we’re constantly checking our phones. The most crooked thing, however, is that no matter how many cool people you meet on the internet, as long as you’re online, there will always be too many critics without any actual credentials. It can be a challenge not to take stuff online too personal.
Do you ever get any crazy DMs? How do you respond to the haters and weirdos?
I’m a vocal feminist on the internet…of course I get weird messages. It’s my daily life, although I don’t respond to all the hate and drama that often anymore. At this point it’s nothing but funny to me, how people can be so obsessed with someone they’ve never met.
Reading crazy stuff about myself only makes me realize that I’m actually an influential person. You know, at least people talk about me. If their mouth is full of my shit, it’s somehow still a compliment.
Name three people in pop culture you wish would go away.
Azealia Banks, Milo Yiannopoulos and Donald Trump.
If you could smoke a blunt with anyone famous (dead or living), who would it be with and why?
Definitively Tupac Shakur – he was incredibly woke which makes him so beautiful to me. Since social justice is the root of hip-hop, I imagine that to be a very inspiring conversation.
What’s next for you?
My first collaboration is dropping in August; it’s a shirt with a label called Woman Berlin. My community will be able to decide on the final design, which is pretty cool.
Besides that, I just want to continue working in front of the camera and be an online content creator. Since I’ve been wanting to make rap music very badly for a while, that definitively has to happen in the near future, too!
Meet @lironeini, the Israeli fashionista with the most colorful IG feed you’ve ever seen.