Jen Weinberg, vice president of talent relations and special events at 20th Century Fox Television, doesn’t dress like your typical studio executive, but then, her job requires her to be a liaison for show creators and actors, most of whom are both casual and creative rather than buttoned-up.
“I may be at the corporate office in the morning, but our building is here on the studio lot, and in the afternoon I may be at a table read or on set, so it’s trying to find a balance of how not to look out of place in the corporate world but also not look totally out of place in the production world.”
She’s part of the 11-person corporate communications team at 20th Century Fox Television in Los Angeles, a production arm of 20th Century Fox that produces some 40-odd shows for all different networks including “Feud” for F/X, “Homeland” for Showtime, “This Is Us” for NBC and “Modern Family” for ABC.
“Producers and actors who are creating our shows are in sneakers and jeans most of the time, so you don’t want to feel like you are the corporate executive who’s coming in and you’re not one of them,” she said. For outward-facing events, be it a cocktail party at The Television Academy or a post-Golden Globe party, she does “dress up,” in order to represent the studio, but noted, “Those events aren’t about me, they’re for our talent, so I’m not showing up in a ballgown.”
Weinberg’s résumé also informs her style choices; prior to Fox, she was West Coast editor of Glamour, and before that she worked at Henri Bendel doing marketing, public relations and events. But her first job at Bendel’s was on the sales floor, in its “New Creators” department, hawking designers such as Zac Posen, Jonathan Saunders, Luella Bartley and Rick Owens, from 2000-01. She actually began working in retail at age 15, at Nordstrom.
“I can pull from different industries and put all those things together now being in entertainment, but fashion does touch this job a lot, because a lot of it is taste, gifting, kind of knowing what cool new things are so we can do nice things for our talent,” she said. “So I’m able to pull from what I knew and the access that I had in those previous industries.”
Today she’s wearing an Opening Ceremony graphic T-shirt tucked into a pleated midi skirt by Made in L.A. label Nicky Chassen, accessorized with a pair of red suede Christian Louboutin sandals and a vintage starburst ring.
“I’m thinking about what to wear when I have a packed schedule and have to look polished but also don’t want to look like I’m trying too hard — because that’s not very California — and also feel like there’s some creative edge to what I’m wearing. A lot of times I will do a T-shirt and heels or maybe a dress and Stan Smiths,” she noted.
“I’m not necessarily someone who feels like I have to have the latest thing. I like to have a lot of mileage in my closet and try to be able to wear something five different ways. I’m someone who builds on a closet as opposed to throwing things away every season.”
WWD: Where do you shop? Is Opening Ceremony one of your go-to’s?
Jen Weinberg: I diversify where I shop. I love small boutiques like Bird and Tenoversix where you can find something interesting with a creative edge. I will mix in some Zara and I do a lot of shopping on The RealReal because it’s a great way to build out the designer part of your collection without breaking the bank.
For me, L.A. retail is about destination shopping. I like the sense of discovery in boutiques that have a directional point of view, like Ten Mohawk General. Most everything else can be accomplished with ease online. When I am looking at Net-a-porter, Matches, Farfetch, etc., not only am I looking for outfit inspiration, but I’m also combing through for talent-gifting ideas, which is a facet of my job.
WWD: What did you wear to your last event?
J.W.: Our department runs the campaigns for Emmys and Golden Globes, but right now we are in Emmy campaigning season, so for our Television Academy event for “Feud,” I wore a No. 21 print dress that I got on The RealReal with Fendi shoes and Lori Leven sterling silver earrings.
WWD: What is single biggest influence on how you dress for work?
J.W.: Who I am going to see that day. As someone who very much likes the art of getting dressed, I like to make sure I have my own personal style reflected in how I am presenting myself to the world. I’m all about relationships so I think how you put yourself out into the world is an entry point into the conversation. Also our chairmen have great taste too, so on a day where I may see them I’m thinking about making sure that what I put together is appropriate. If you are on set you can’t wear heels because they click and it’s bad for sound.
WWD: How much crossover is there between your work wardrobe and your personal life wardrobe?
J.W.: There’s a lot of crossover. There are some event outfits I may not be able to wear in my real life/my weekend life. And there are things I wear on the weekends that are not appropriate for the office. I live in Venice so it’s very beach and bohemian but I try to buy things I can wear both places so I either dress it up with a heel for work or a great jacket or throw a T-shirt on with it and wear it with sneakers for the weekend. So I try to have 80 percent of my closet that’s versatile in that way and 20 percent that’s separate.
WWD: Do you spend more on work clothes or off-duty clothes?
WWD: What was your favorite recent purchase?
J.W.: I was in Spain in December and I found this handbag designer, Andres Gallardo, who does these leather bags with hand-carved porcelain animals built into them. I had seen his work at the Guggenheim Bilbao gift shop, snapped a picture and scouted his showroom in Madrid. It was an adventure.
WWD: If you had a choice would you go more formal or more casual for the office?
J.W.: I’d like to say casual but I think it’s all a mix here of creativity and comfort. There are days I’m sitting at my desk and want to get work done and have to be comfortable so I do a lot of T-shirts and heels.
WWD: How much do trends influence what you buy or wear?
J.W.: I don’t put too much stock in trends because I’d rather have a versatile closet where I’m not throwing things away at the end of every season. I still have things I got when I worked at Bendel’s. I wore something to the Golden Globes two years ago from Laurent Mercier when he was designing for Balmain and I [also] have something from his very first collection that was not a huge investment but now feels like a piece of history.