Sophia Amoruso on Her New Book, Nasty Galaxy, and Gwyneth Paltrow's Public Restroom Preferences
Even if you haven't hopped on the hashtag bandwagon, you've probably uttered the term "Girlboss" at least once in the year-and-a-half since Sophia Amoruso introduced her best-selling autobiography. Now, Amoruso is taking us even further inside of her stylish world with the release of her second tome, Nasty Galaxy ($22; amazon.com). Available today, the gorgeous coffee table book showcases some of Amoruso's own inspirations, interior shots of her airy California home, and life hacks and advice from women she admires, including Courtney Love and Gwyneth Paltrow. We spoke with the Nasty Gal founder and executive chairman about what went into crafting her latest read and how she's redefining the phrase that made her famous.
What inspired you to do a second book, and how is it different form Girlboss?
Girlboss is a very personal book that both tells my own story and gives advice to other women. So it wasn’t really a place to bust out and gush about everything that inspires me. My life and my business have evolved a lot since I wrote it, and I wanted an opportunity to share my influences. To continue to inspire people, I interview many different amazing women and share some of my own short stories in this book.
It also features incredible portraits and illustrations. How did you decide what to include?
I’m a very visual person. Thanks to social media, we’re all visual people nowadays. Overall, I wanted the book to be super colorful. I incorporated Nasty Gal archival images and shots of different women from music history and film history who I think are cool. All of these are supplemented with inspiring quotes, how-tos, and illustrations for an end result that, I hope, feels like a stream of consciousness.
Speaking of the how-to sections, do you have a favorite piece of advice that you knew you had to share with the world?
I have two favorites: “How to Drive Like a Girl Boss” and “How to Park Like a Girl Boss.” So many people—men and women—just need to be told what’s up behind the wheel. No one says, “Hey dude, did you know you don’t need to ride the break that much?” So I’m like the big sister who is here to tell you how you find the best parking spot. It may sound a little hardcore and neurotic—I’m kind of like that sometimes. I generally don’t tell other people how to do things, but this seems like a funny way of imparting knowledge.
Were there tips you loved but had to cut for space?
It’s a huge book—it weighs four pounds—but there was a lot of editing that had to be done. Two things that had to go were the list of gifts that are really good ideas and the list of gifts that are really bad ideas. Bad idea gifts include pets of any kind. I have been given goldfish and I have been given turtles, but it’s like “Wait, you’re giving me a responsibility? No thanks, I’ve got enough of that.” Chocolate is always a good idea gift.
Was there anything surprising that you learned about the celebrities and tastemakers you interview for the “Portrait of a Girlboss” sections of the book?
I think Gwyneth Paltrow is really cool. I asked what she’s excited for when she wakes up in the morning and she said coffee and sex. Until recently, I didn’t really understood why anyone would wake up excited about sex, so that might be what I write about in my third book. I also asked her if she uses public restrooms, because it just seemed funny to ask Gwyneth Paltrow that. She does.
Courtney Love wrote the book’s forward, in which she says that she was first introduced to you through her daughter. How does it feel to have built a brand that appeals to multiple generations?
Um, it’s amazing! After I shared my story about how I didn’t go to college and flailed for a bit professionally, I met so many women who told me that their moms were were given hope by my story. I was that kid who scared the shit out of her parents, but ultimately figured it out. Courtney has always been such a great supporter. She’s learned from her own mistakes and she is a living legend. She very much embodies what my brand is about. There are a lot of people out there who are super stylish and travel the globe, and are “hashtag blessed,” but there are not a lot of people who wake up genuinely psyched to be themselves in the way that she does. Every woman featured in this book has that quality, and it’s something I really, really admire.