Work From Home is a new vertical dedicated to life and culture in the strange and unprecedented situation of self-quarantine that many of us are dealing with right now. From what to watch to how to get a fit off and how to not think about anything, this is our guide to the great indoors. For updates on the spread of Covid-19 and how to keep yourself safe and informed, consult WHO and the CDC.
It’s Friday, we’re a week into working from home, but some obligations have yet to settle into our routines. Fortunately, one of the things that have remained regular is our podcast lineup. Host Jian DeLeon is back this episode to introduce ‘Vibe Check’ to our Dropcast listeners. This week’s guest is Sandrine Charles, a consultant, publicist, and all-around communications expert who has worked with names like Noah, Aime Leon Dore, Kith, and Daily Paper. Sandrine shares some insight for maintaining steady productivity before an unpredictable future and the ever-present influence of e-commerce and retail therapy.
Keep your eyes peeled and ears open for ‘The Dropcast’ which will be back on regular programming next week with a special pitchfest. In the meantime, make sure to catch up on the latest episodes of ‘Vibe Check’ where Jian checks in with guests from the Highsnobiety world to provide glimpses into their lives and how they’re adapting to the global coronavirus pandemic.
The below interview is a transcribed version of ‘Vibe Check.’ It has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Sandrine Charles: We’re not drafting pitches using the coronavirus lightly or using it at all. It’s just standard practice that I think is a little insensitive. However, we’re just going to continue pitching because people are still buying in this climate, maybe even more.
Jian DeLeon: I mean, in terms of the retail world, Sneakersnstuff, who you work with, they’re closing their stores. But at the same time, e-commerce is always an option. And I feel like I myself am still browsing a lot online at the shops. Not necessarily buying, but it’s just sort of to help pass the time and take my mind off of a lot of what’s happening. Is that what you sort of see still going on as people don’t want to be inundated with so much media around COVID-19 and this sort of new kind of shift about what’s closing, what’s open?
SC: I think it’s really smart that they shut down the stores and were very aware of the climate that’s surrounding all the stores in various cities. I think that online shopping is going to increase. I mean, we see it during peak holiday seasons. We see it during Black Friday. We’re also working at home, but we are bored and we’re shopping. Right? And I think that that keeps us at a safe distance, but also feeds into our retail therapy component that we’re all unfortunately tied to so tightly. I went shopping this morning, I’m like, “Oh, I need those essentials.” And whether it’s essential or not, the stores are still open. Products are still being released and available for people. It just gives us something else to do.
JD: Do you think that’s kind of a new aspiration? I mean, I saw Lauren Sherman who I follow on Twitter, she’s at Business of Fashion. She tweeted something about how she finally bought something. I think she was trying to go through this year without buying anything new. But when she rationalized it, it was just about sort of buying things in hopes that you’ll get to wear them in events in a month or two. To me that’s kind of like, wow that’s kind of crazy that that’s what aspiration is now: buying stuff in the hopes that you’ll be able to wear it out of your house in the coming months.
SC: I mean I did the same thing. I was at Net-a-Porter, I bought some things. But it reminded me to keep living as if I’m going to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have two ways that we can cope with this. We can either sulk, get bored working from home, or go “When this is all over, I want to do this.” And it’s really helping everyone to stop procrastinating. We’re procrastinating too much as it is, and it gives us an excuse to not do things. So this is, I guess, shopping helps.
For Sandrine, shopping doesn’t end with clothing — she’s setting aside time and money ($100 at Whole Foods) for fruits and vegetables and getting extra uses out of her Vitamix (7:26). Sandrine is aiming for comfort inside and out by eating healthy, waking up at five o’clock in alignment with her body clock, and dressing herself in presentable but cozy sweatpants. In between work and seven o’clock Zoom calls, she’s checking off her watch list and catching up on shows (9:51).
JD: What’s in your watch list right now?
SC: Oh my God, I’m watching Revenge. That was on ABC years ago.
JD: Oh Revenge. It’s like the Count of Monte Cristo, but it’s like the modern retelling.
SC: Yes. Yes. Exactly. I’m rewatching that entire series. I watched High Fidelity yesterday. I also watched Grace and Frankie. I watched Friends From College. I’m definitely diving into… Oh, Living Single, the whole series. Family Matters, the whole series, and then a couple of movies. So I’m keeping myself busy in between. And even in the office, we always have something in the background, so I’m keeping it as normal as possible.