Jackie Shuya Tan
I’ve never met a more natural beauty than Jackie. Not just physically, either. It’s tempting to get caught up in describing her long, jet-black, silky hair, her ageless, flawless face. The thing is, she is possibly the most pleasant person I’ve ever been around. I would know - I’ve had her over for a dinner and a party and she has modeled for me twice. She isn’t too sweet or too salty….she isn’t too anything. Invite Jackie over and she will arrive with a big smile and a coat that you secretly hope she forgets to collect on her way out!
Please tell us your full name(s) and any variation there of you currently use or have used in the past.
My full English name is Jacqueline Shuya Tan though people have been calling me Jackie ever since I was a little girl. Shuya is actually my middle name and often times people think my last name is Shuyatan. Shuya is my given Chinese name -- in full it's Tan Shuya. In China, people announce themselves using their surname first -- 谭蜀雅. My family calls me “Ki-Ki” (using the 4th and 5th letters in my name) for short.
Does your Chinese name mean something cool? Did you choose your American name or was it given to you?
Ya! The literal translation would be beautiful and elegant Sichuan girl. My parents are both from Sichuan (the spicy Chinese food mecca NOT Szechwan or Szechuan) so I guess they were banking on me becoming a beautiful lady… My mom gave me my American name. She named me after Jackie O and a mixture of my her dad’s and grandmother’s names. Jacqueline, in Chinese, phonically translates to 贾桂林. Her father's last name is 贾 and her grandmother’s last name is 林, so my name is a combination of my grandfather's and my great grandmother‘s last name. My grandfather wasn’t in my mother’s life at all, so my mom wanted something to remember he and my great grandmother!
Who did you tell your Elementary friends you were related to even though you weren't?
Jackie Chan! Our names are so similar kids would call me Jackie Chan instead of Jackie Tan. I’d say, “Oh ya, he’s my uncle!”
Where do you live and what is your day job?
I live in the Mission District in San Francisco and I currently work at Instagram. I try to keep it on the down low because I have people telling me things about the algorithm messing up their, like, ratio or that their explore feed is whack….or that they want me to help them ramp up their social media presence…or they want to get verified…that their Instagram is broken. It’s super frustrating!! I’m not an engineer, so I don’t know how to fix your problems. The work I do is very interesting, and I do like chatting about the funny things I find on Instagram, but no I can't help you get more likes...
What was the first "fashion" or "art" thing in your life you remember seeking after, coveting or going out of your way to get?
The first fashion thing I remember seeking out were these Prada loafers in my sophomore year of college. It's an amazing heel from SS99. I just fell in love with the split heel. I now have 7 different styles of this heel in boots, loafers, and oxfords from the same season - I cannot get enough! I've resoled the first pair I got at least 5 times over the years!
From your closet, which three items are your most prized possessions?
Ahhhh, my closet is a mess! I definitely need to do a cleanse... It’s super hard for me to think of only 3 things. If I have to choose to keep 3 things… I have these bright red Techno Tabis from Maison Margiela AW14 that I j'adore. Also, I have a rare Christian Dior gothic tank (when John Galliano was Creative Director) that I love - it's so trashy-chic. I’m actually on the lookout for a one piece swimsuit with this same graphic but they’re super hard to find! My third prized possession is the first designer piece that I bought on eBay. It's an amazing vintage grey, wool coat by Comme Des Garcons that ties in the front. I wore it religiously almost everyday for maybe 3 years?!
What social or fashion trend do you hope never comes back?
I hate shutter shades (the ones that Kayne had) and very low rise jeans -- where you can start to see your hip bones. EW!
What do you want to be wearing at your funeral?
An iconic green tweed Chanel suit set with bitchy Gucci stilettos from the Tom Ford era and some white peonies in my hand.
What are you wearing right now?
I’m wearing a Tricot Comme Des Garcons Paisley Green Shirt + Skirt from SS16, metallic Blue Margiela techno tabis, and an MM6 patent leather jacket.
Images courtesy of JACKIE SHUYA TAN
interview ASHLEY MUNNS
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