TEXPAT OF THE WEEK: Jonathan Valdez

22 Nov

Texpat Jonathan Valdez, Creator of Orangejuiceandbiscuits.com, and three-time Official Press at New York Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week sat down to tea with the Texpats to talk about New York Adventures and what he misses about Texas.

Where are you from in Texas?

Bay City, Texas near Houston. My background is Mexican-American so we had quinceaneras and there were high school football victory parties. These sassy black girls taught me how to dance to hip-hop and I would go two stepping at dance halls. I realized I was only going to be in High School once so I milked that shit up.

How was Orange Juice and Biscuits conceived?

I went to Texas State University and pitched Orange Juice and Biscuits as a show to the college radio station, who at first didn’t think anyone would be interested in celebrity interviews. We ended up being the first radio show to get press at Austin 360 and South by Southwest, eventually becoming one of the most popular shows and interviewing David Arquette, Paul Rudd, Jamie Presley, Rashida Jones among others. After College, instead of pursuing radio, I began blogging and came to New York in September 2009 where OJ&B began to evolve into fashion.

Did you expect this kind of response?

I’ve always stayed true to myself. A comedian told me you have to do what makes you laugh and other people will laugh. That hit a cord with me and I’ve always done things my own way: with my fedoras and bow ties as well as my writing. I’m doing something I really love and it’s been such a huge honor to work at fashion week.

What was it like to be new to New York?

There’s nothing like your first year in New York City. Even from the second year it changes and you have to remember all the strides and how it felt the first time it happened to you.

What do you miss about home?

Mostly it’s the people there. I was very fortunate to grow up in an area with a lot of culture. It takes until you leave a place to realize how special it is.

Most surreal NYC adventure?

Just having things happen that I know would not have happened if I wasn’t here. The most surreal thing is when I get to go to events because they are inviting me! It’s crazy.

What makes someone a real New Yorker?

I think a real New Yorker is someone who knows where to go on a certain night in their neighborhood. A real New Yorker is someone who is excited to share their city with their friends. I think a New Yorker will explore their city and not be snobby. If you never go above 14th St. you’re really limiting yourself.

How many bow ties do you own?

I’m going to say in the 20’s. About 25. I’m working on my collection right now because some have been lost. I hope (they’ve) found good homes. If I’m going to an interview or event, I usually just throw a bow tie on just because it’s my thing now.

Where can we find you on a normal day in NYC?

On a normal day, I’m probably at my apartment because of my blog. I live in Harlem. I first asked myself, “Is that chic?” and to me, it’s very up and coming, like the new Brooklyn. During the day I go to showrooms, and then in the evenings, I go to events.

You’re hosting a dinner party with five of your favorite New Yorkers (living or dead). Who’s in attendance?

1. Anna Wintour
2. Sarah Jessica Parker
3. Andy Warhol
4. The Olsens
5. 80’s Madonna

One piece of advice for someone new to the city?

Don’t rush things because they will work out. Enjoy being in the city; enjoy being lost, or scared, and broke. Don’t be afraid to let it happen. The first year is all about adventure. Just be, and let New York take you on a journey.

Listen to the full interview http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wk5-gfLU5QI

Also, Watch www.texpats.net

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