Carla Rockmore has become famous online for sharing fashion tips. Here’s how her mission expanded

For some, when your mom gets an account on your favorite social media platform, it might be a sign that it’s time to find a new outlet. But not if your mom is Carla Rockmore.

The Dallas-based jewelry designer exploded as a multi-platform fashion influencer during the pandemic. She models colorful and adventurous outfits and shares more tips from her stylish two-story closet.

Recently, her daughter Ivy has started joining her mother on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube, among other online activities. The Texas Standard spoke with the pair. Listen to the interview above or read the transcript below.

This transcript has been slightly edited for clarity.

Texas Standard: Carlo, you’ve been tagged as the real-life Carrie Bradshaw, the main character on Sex and the City. Is it a favorite character that you feel you relate to the most or not so much?

Carla: Well, I think between her and Iris Apfel, if we put them both in a blender, it would be good.

Ivy, if you could choose who the headlines compare you to, who would you choose?

Ivy: Oh my God. That’s a tough question because there are a lot of people I lust after. But I really like Jules Vaughn’s outfits from “Euphoria”.

Carlo, I read that women over 50 were particularly excited to see you emerge as a voice in fashion. Who have you found as an audience for your videos?

Carla: Well, you know, the best thing about this whole social media experience for me was that I ended up being a family share. And I have followers on different platforms from 13 to 75. So I can’t really say there’s a specific one. Each age group follows me on a different platform.

Why did you get into this video platforming business in the first place?

Carla: Well, to tell you the truth, it was COVID. At the end of the day I was stuck in a house without my materials, my metals or stones or all the things that kept me busy creatively. And I need to make something.

You obviously have to make something and share it.

Carla: I think yes. I shared it with a few friends in Canada on YouTube because I wasn’t much on social media before.

You say Canada. Aren’t you in Dallas?

Carla: Yes, but we were originally Canadian and all my girlfriends were locked up there and they were like, “Please make me laugh because we’re really sad up here.” So I started making these YouTube videos and it went swimmingly for about a year. I didn’t know of any other platforms to put them on until Ivy said, “You know, mom, maybe we should put you on TikTok.” So I went from 91 followers to 250,000 in about a weekend.

So Ivy, is this your fault?

Ivy: (laughs) In some ways. But it’s all her job.

Stripes are about to saturate spring and summer silhouettes and this Depop find ticks all the striped boxes! I found this La Ligne winner with tags, in my size. And it’s the exact same blue color as my vintage snakeskin belt. Isn’t life grand sometimes? ♬ original sound – Carla Rockmore

Now as a mother, Carla, can you tell us about the decision to share Ivy’s story and bring her on camera with you?

Carla: You know, I think it’s part of my duty, because I have such a large following at this point, to help in any way I can – any other family that might have a child in transition, with the ups and downs, the ins and outs, and the goodness that it can come from experience. The more people accept the trans community, the easier it will be for them, I think. And so, in the end, I think I’m being selfish and doing it for her—for Ivy.

Ivy, how eager have you been to get involved in what your mom is doing?

Ivy: I think I was super excited. I also think my mindset probably changed when I first decided to go public, about six or seven months ago at this point. when it happened, [my Mom] he really embraced me with open arms. And so after that, I feel like I was just more exhilarated and more ready to show myself to the world on the platform that she helped create for herself.

What kind of reactions do you get and how was the experience?

Ivy: Honestly, the experience was mostly positive, which was great to see. I’m a pretty avid social media user myself, so like my whole childhood I followed influencers or liked trans or LGBT creators. And so constantly seeing the response from individual people was really validating for me, because you know, this experience has its ups and downs. But sometimes when I’m going through bad times, it’s really nice to see positive comments, especially on YouTube or TikTok or Instagram, that make the platform feel like home.

What about the fashion side? I mean, it must be a lot of fun.

Ivy: It’s so much fun, I must say. It’s really exciting to just dive into our wardrobe and, you know, do a ‘family fashion’ series – or even go up to her outside the school and say, ‘Is this working? And if not, you know, he’ll hand me a sweater or shoes or whatever, because we can switch it up.

How much of a role model is your mother for you when it comes to fashion and makeup?

Ivy: One of the greatest, if not the greatest. I think sometimes we maybe have a little different taste in style. But she, like institutional knowledge and fashion, is so useful. And also that she exudes confidence in the closet. You know, it’s her happy place too. This allows me to feel more confident not only in myself, but also in the way I express my gender through clothing.

Carlo, what is your story? How long have you been involved in fashion?

Carla: Holy goodness. I have been an artisan clothing designer all my adult life and did that for about 20 years and then transitioned into jewelry design. Once my kids came along, I couldn’t regularly go to Asia to check clothes. So it kind of took off.

And yes, I have always understood that I can express myself without words through my wardrobe. I think there’s a parallel between Carrie [of “Sex and the City”] and I manifested: We both understand the power of nonverbal communication. And you know, I’m a bit of a chameleon at this. One day I can gravitate towards a very minimalistic, clean look and the next I can go full frills and bows. I will not box myself. It’s the way I express myself.

Carlo, it’s probably fair to say that your closet doesn’t look like the closets of most of our listeners. What would you like to share with the average Texan about fashion?

Carla: I think I would like to share that you have to listen to your gut. And the best way to do that, if you’re interested in fashion, is to look at what’s happening on the runways – but don’t use it as a doctrine. Use your own, you know, weather vane instead. If you don’t like something, don’t force yourself into it just because you think everyone else is wearing it. If something really feels right to you, I give every woman permission to buy the same pair of pants in 10 colors if you feel good about it.

Ivy, as you continue to explore fashion, what do you think we can expect from you that is a little different than your mom?

Ivy: That’s a really good question. I honestly think my mom knows more about styling than I do. So I’m kind of in a phase where I’m figuring out what really suits me in terms of my personal style. I think I’m just into more exploration and I hope to see my style evolve into a more defined aesthetic over the next few years, if that makes sense. But honestly, my mom really is a role model and proves that you really don’t need to define yourself in one particular thing. You know, one day you can wear patterns and the next day just solid colors.

Carla: Yeah. And you know what else, Ivy? You never stop growing, so you never feel pressured to have a defined style.

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