jaclyn siu madison square park roc nation music fashion technology overt nyc
Jaclyn wears an Oak + Fort jumpsuit and choker

City girls have a habit of marching to the beat of their own drum, so it should come as no surprise that we met up with one girl in particular who is leading the charge in both fashion and music. Meet Jaclyn Siu, a well-traveled and well-dressed New Yorker whose eye for style and ear for music helped land her the ultimate gig in the entertainment scene, with Roc Nation. Jaclyn took a moment to hang out with us and take a stroll down one of NYC’s most iconic strips: 5th Ave. This particular part of Manhattan has helped shape Jaclyn’s city experience and in many ways served as the starting point for Jaclyn’s big city dreams and personal blog Jax Fifth Avenue. We started out with Jaclyn at her 5th Ave apartment as she was getting ready to walk her adorable pup Nala (#nalathenugget). From fashion inspiration to the best new artists, and apps she literally can’t live without…the ever-inspiring Jaclyn Siu…

jaclyn siu madison square park roc nation music fashion technology overt nyc

Hey Jaclyn! Thanks for letting us tag along on your walk. We know 5th Avenue has a special place in your heart. Tell us more about your love for this particular part of the city. How long have you been in this neighborhood? 

Well, I guess having grown up outside of the United States, NYC was always this crazy mystical place that you see in movies. Fifth Ave always portrayed as where everyone hangs out to go shopping. It was always super glamorous and so when I first got here, almost a decade ago, it was like a dream come true. Everything came full circle that I was HERE on 5th Ave. It was very serendipitous that I ended up finding a place that I wanted to live in on 5th Ave. That’s mostly the core of it really.

Madison Square Park is just a few blocks down from your place and we love that it really provides a little oasis in the middle of the bustling Flatiron neighborhood. How often are you here and what can we find you doing while here?

I think maybe once or twice a week. Yeah, definitely with Nala at the dog park when it’s nicer out. My friends and I normally get Shake Shack or we just hang out on the grass. In the winter, it is actually nice and calming because there’s no one there and everything is covered in snow. That’s where I usually go in the winter, obviously to walk Nala, but also to hang out and clear my mind.

Between fashion and music, you’ve gotten a taste of some of the city’s most sought after industries – what has the transition between the two been like? We’re sure there’s a lot of crossover between the two as well. Are there any musicians that you work with whose style inspiring you lately?

When I was looking for a new opportunity, I wasn’t really considering entertainment/music as an option, and then someone at Roc reached out to me which was a very pleasant surprise. Growing up, I always loved JAY Z, I looked up to him so much. I mean, who doesn’t? He was a big inspiration of why I wanted to come to NYC, and now here I am, so it’s really come full circle.
For me, it was a no-brainer, like why not try it out? I just went for it and I ended up getting the job and that was also unexpected. The first week I got there, my boss at the time gave me a book called “All You Need To Know About The Music Business” and so I ended up reading the whole thing, once, twice, three times. One thing I really love about being there is I was really able to grow in the roles I wanted to be in. I’ve been able to leverage what I know in fashion and bring it into this industry.
In terms of musicians inspiring my style, I think Rihanna, obviously, and Santigold. I love how fearless she is, and she is definitely one of a kind. You can look at something and know that it’s her. Also, one of our newer artists Vic Mensa, he just did a campaign for Alexander Wang. He doesn’t do the typical street wear that you see in a lot of Hip Hop, he kind of brings it to a refined level, while still keeping it kind of grungy. I like that, I wish I could pull that off, but I enjoy watching him and seeing what he wears, especially on stage. It’s very true to him.

jaclyn siu madison square park roc nation music fashion technology overt nyc

Now more than ever it’s super easy to stay up to date with trends. Life in the city really means being (digitally) connected – to your friends, co-workers, followers, etc. What role do you think tech plays in for the life of a city girl? How has it changed the way you experience life in NYC?

I don’t think I could do my job without tech, it’s in the title “Digital Marketing” and being on this side of things, I see how tech and social can really transform the fan’s relationship with the artist, but also vice versa, among fans and artists themselves. I think on a wider scale and especially in NYC, everything is super connected. You can’t really go anywhere without someone putting their Snap code in your face, or comments like, “follow us on Instagram” and I think that brings kind of a new dimension to exploring NYC. I’ve personally discovered a lot of new restaurants, and new places to go through Instagram. I’ve also met a lot of my good friends who live in NYC through Instagram… and my boyfriend!

jaclyn siu madison square park roc nation music fashion technology overt nyc

Speaking of which, we saw on your IG that you consider yourself to be a minimalist aesthete. What does that mean and generally what does minimalism mean to you? Why do you think it meshes so well with NYC life?

I think in NYC there is so much going on always at the same time that you kind of need to focus on one thing or a few things that really matter to you. I think that lends itself to how I try to live my life. I also just really like pretty things. I like looking at nice things. I think NYC brings a lot of that together, there are a lot of different points of view artistically, lifestyle wise and everything. So being able to establish an appreciation for that kind of living in a place like this, is key.

jaclyn siu madison square park roc nation music fashion technology overt nyc
Jaclyn wears an Aland mesh top, Izzue shorts, Fenty x PUMA trainers, Kenzo sunglasses, Sennheiser headphones and OVERT Noho Bag.

What can we find on your current playlist? Any new bands/musicians to watch?

I’m obsessed with Rihanna’s new album, ANTI. Vic Mensa just dropped a mixtape yesterday, it speaks very much to the current political climate, it’s very personal, very heartfelt and I think it would relate to people who are social activists. It’s something that everyone should listen to. Other music that I’ve been listening to, Ta-ku – I really enjoy, Glitch Mob has always been a favorite, and JAY Z obviously.

How do you stay in the know? What are your best kept secret apps and digital resources for the latest in style, music?
 
I’ve always loved Twitter as a source of news for me to “stay in the know” – being able to filter out the noise and find news and tidbits that I really care about is something I value the most about the platform. Also, TIDAL. People don’t immediately associate TIDAL with original content, maybe because a lot of it lives behind a paywall, but the access to artists and breadth of topics they cover is something not easily found on other platforms. It’s been cool catching rising music acts and their work, such as Desiigner on the platform and on their way to stardom.

Walk us through your tech timeline. From the moment you wake up to the moment you turn in for the night what can we find you doing?

I think Twitter is automatically in the background for all of these things, I look at Twitter just to see what’s up, and on my way to work I’m definitely listening to music on my phone. Then I get to work and I have TweetDeck open 24/7 so I’m always plugged in. I always am looking at what’s happening in the industry or just general news. We also use Slack in the office most specifically within the digital team. We use Trello for project management and also Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, the works. There are a few apps we use here and there for our clients like Flipagram or Boomerang.

You’ve lived in Hong Kong, traveled to Berlin and now live in NYC. Based on your travels what do you think NYC brings to the table that no other city can give you? Based on all of what we’ve talked about today what do you think these particular cities bring to each of these industries? 

I think NYC is the place to be for what I love and what I want to do. Within fashion, music and tech – in that sense, it really can’t be beat. I haven’t lived in Berlin but I go there a lot – I probably have been there more than I’ve been to Jersey! But it is a groundbreaking city when it comes to art, music, streetwear and fashion generally.

Hong Kong is hard for me to judge as of now since I haven’t been there in a while as a non-tourist, but I think it is very much one of the most technologically-advanced cities in the world – New York has a lot to learn from that. Everyone says that NYC is so fast-paced and everyone is always on the go but for me it is kind of relaxing. Hong Kong is where they really turn the dial up to 11. Imagine Times Square on a daily basis, multiply that by 1,000 and that’s what Hong Kong is like. A Hong Kong second is kind of like a New York minute.

Photos by Bridget Badore for OVERT NYC