Jeanine Celeste Pang, Editorial Director for Old Navy
Born and raised on the West Coast, Jeanine always dreamt of working in the fashion industry. So, she followed her heart from San Francisco to the Big Apple, where she spent years learning from top-notch editors and writing for notable publications and sites, including Vogue, Refinery29, and The New York Times T Magazine. She recently moved back to California and is now the editorial director for Old Navy, overseeing storytelling and copy for the brand.
When it comes to gift-giving tips for the favorite New Yorker in your life, Jeanine’s got you covered.
So which is the best coast for fashion? Be honest.
“As much as I would love to say California, I have to go with New York. New Yorkers have a certain fearlessness and true command of style," said the former associate editor of W magazine. “For example, one time I ran into Mary-Kate Olsen at the grocery store, Citarella. She was sporting these ratty grey sweatpants with Miu Miu jeweled mules…her hair was in a messy topknot, but the whole look was fantastic.”
Speaking of mixing…
Jeanine applied that New York fashion sensibility to her gifting approach for one of her favorite people in the world, a fellow Columbia Journalism School alum, still repping the East Coast.
“Adam is an East Coast guy, born and bred. He has very eclectic interests and that transfers into his style because he sticks to quality classics, but also a certain rugged, sometimes street-sometimes-sportif bent. So all of the pieces I chose reflect that,” she said. “Also, he never really wavers on what he likes or doesn’t like. That makes him easy to shop for.”
First item on her list — the buffalo-check red plaid jacket from Old Navy. “It's just your handsome cool-guy, easy-to-wear holiday piece you can thrown on over anything. I think Ryan Gosling has been seen wearing similar. It’s the 'I came for holiday' look."
The Old Navy Men's Fair Isle Sweater in ink blue is “just fair isle-y enough" while a great sweater is your quintessential layering piece for winter. And that PrimaLoft hooded bomber jacket from Gap? As Jeanine put it, “The man loves a little fur trim!"
“When you're shopping from any of our brands, it definitely helps that none of it feels too ‘put on’ or difficult, especially if you're purchasing for a man," she added. “He wants clean; he wants modern and pulled together, and that’s basically it.”
Those shoes, though...
The Banana Republic Wyatt Leather Monk Strap shoe in Chestnut tapped into the best thing about gifting for Adam — the perfect present with a personal touch.
“We were just in Morocco together for the always incredible Marrakech Film Festival and the director of bars at La Mamounia, our favorite hotel, was wearing a similar brogue in black — but it was bespoke from a local designer and it would have taken weeks to custom make. He loved it, so this is the perfect shoe to gift him; it's very Balenciaga meets Church's.”
But does it all scream ‘East Coast’ enough?
“All these items are mix-and-match pieces, meant to incorporate into your existing wardrobe, which I think is very East Coast," Jeanine said. “It's not about wearing one brand head-to-toe. Would you wear a vintage rock n' roll tee under that plaid shirt and a pair of raw denim with those shoes? Sure. Would you layer your grandfather's Hermes hand-me-down scarf over whatever fair-isle sweater you grabbed from our shelves? Absolutely."
What is some key gifting advice when it comes to shopping for that East Coaster on the list?
“As in California, layering is a very, very big deal in New York, except your layers are three times as thick — so you gotta think about real estate under that Christmas tree,” Jeanine said.
“Also, there's definitely more need for sweaters out there. I think a warm, soft, well-made sweater for the holidays is always a safe bet for your knowing East Coast friend."
Any final tips when it comes to fashioning a stylish gift?
“I always think, 'Have I seen something similar in that person's wardrobe? Do I know if that's a color they like? Is there something in their existing wardrobe that can compliment?' It's always about the individual."