Pia Arrobio has worn many hats in her still nascent career: Art Director. Street Photographer. Fashion Designer. In the early naughts, the now 28-year-old decamped from Catholic school in Pasadena, California, to art school in New York City. She became a familiar face at Lower East Side haunt Max Fish, a hub for artists and skateboarders. The nostalgic snapshots on her blog, “Fighting the War Against Blowing It”, captured the rebellious, youthful spirit of the time. But what began as amateur photography evolved into producing editorials for Oyster and campaigns for The Hundreds. After a stint at People’s Revolution, Arrobio currently serves as Style Director at The Reformation’s L.A. HQ. Four&Sons met up with her at the label’s SoHo outpost to talk about everything from pit bulls (she has two: Nina and Bruno) and tattoos (she has a few) to ’70s style and ’80s icons.
I have a soft spot for big dogs. Have you always had them?
Pia Arrobio: I grew up with a golden retriever named Cinny Bear. When he died, that was the first time I saw my dad cry. Then I picked out an Akita, Jake, from a shelter. In eighth grade, I saw a punk-rock band play and bought a puppy for $30. That’s Parker. He looks like a giant polar bear. My parents still have him and Freeman, a pit bull. We also had cats and canaries, but there was always a dog in the house. Oh! We had a Rottweiler, Gunnar, too.
You now have two pit bulls, Bruno and Nina.
Bruno’s 12 so my boyfriend and I knew we needed a buffer dog. There was a video of Nina on this shelter’s website and it made me cry. I was like, “We have to go get her!” She is deaf, and her ears had been clipped in the most brutal way. She had been used to breed so she didn’t even know how to play with toys! She is so sweet and cuddly, but has separation anxiety because she’s never been loved before.
The Reformation aesthetic is very 70's. What do you love about that era?
My heart goes wild for the ’70s! When I got into vintage as a teenager, it was always ’70s silhouettes that complimented my body. Anything with an open neck, cinched waist, and side slit is going to make you look like sex. You know, the feminist in me doesn’t want to equate sex appeal with power, but it’s undeniable that a person’s attitude can drastically change when they feel good in what they’re wearing. I kind of have a dream job because, really, I’m the target market. I design what my friends and I want to wear. I’ll see a photo of Jane Birkin in a suede trench coat and say, “We should make a suede trench coat!” This season, there’s a major ’60s and ’70s situation going on—wrap tops, white suits, billowing sleeves…