What Gossamer’s Verena von Pfetten Bought for $10, $150, and $850
The Brooklyn-based media publisher and self-described ‘curious consumer’ thinks socks make an outfit.
If you subscribe to stoner clichés, Verena von Pfetten is the anti-pothead. She’s spent the last decade as a digital strategy consultant working for brands like Glossier, Instagram, and Asos. She regularly contributes to publications including The New York Times, Man Repeller, and InStyle. She describes herself as “accomplished, driven, and borderline type-a.” And sometimes, she smokes pot.
When David Weiner, a friend and fellow media vet, suggested they collaborate on a cannabis publication, von Pfetten’s first reaction was “absolutely not,” she says. Then she started to consider why. Her main concern was professional—Would it be career suicide to launch a weed magazine? Long story short: she did. Gossamer is a print lifestyle publication for what it describes as “people who also smoke weed.” Its mission is twofold: to celebrate enlightening aspects of the culture, whether it’s a work of art or a stand-up comic, and to talk about the political inequities undergirding cannabis use. “We’re not a political publication in any shape or form, but cannabis is inherently political,” she says. “You can’t just be a ‘women’s magazine’ anymore—the personal is political, lifestyle is political.” Order volume 2, launched November 19th, here.
We asked von Pfetten what she’s been shopping for of late. Read on for the lipstick she swears by, the housecoat she plans to wear outside, and the upstate NY getaway she visits annually.
The Last Thing I Bought for $10.00: Socks by Richer Poorer
I love this brand. They make one of the world’s most perfect T-shirts. The socks are something that I’ve recently gotten into. Well, socks in general, as a really easy way to make an outfit feel more special and intentional. Especially in the winter, when we’re all wearing nine million layers and the same coat. It’s the little details of an outfit that make me happy.
The Last Thing I Bought for $15.00: What We Keep, a Collection of Interviews
It’s written by friends of mine, Bill Shapiro and Naomi Wax. It’s a collection of stories from a mix of people, many of whom are notable and many of whom you’ve never heard of, sharing their story about the one item that travels with them everywhere. Bill’s personal example in the book is a sign that he made when he was hitchhiking in his early twenties through Germany. It’s a handwritten sign that says “irgendwo,” which means “anywhere.” He’s kept it for twenty five years, and it makes him remember a time when he could hold up a sign that just said “anywhere” and see where it took him. In this day and age when everything feels so ephemeral and replaceable, there’s something special about thinking about the physical objects that are really important to us and the things that could disappear tomorrow.
If I had to think of one thing that I would keep, if I had to burn everything else that I own, it’s a vintage Pringle of Scotland V-neck wool sweater that was my grandfather’s. It’s an oversized itchy wool sweater in this perfect jewel-toned blue. I love the fit—it’s somehow just the perfect slouchy, oversized sweater—but I also love that it was his. This sweater has got to be 50 years old at this point, and you would never know it. Nothing we buy has that level of care anymore.
The Last Thing I Bought for $20.00: Liquid Lipstick by Stila in Beso
I live and die in rep lipstick. I don’t even do dishes without wearing it. One of the things people worry about with lipstick is how high maintenance it is—you have to apply it perfectly, it’s going to smudge, when you eat it gets everywhere, it looks bad when it’s half rubbed off—and this product ameliorates all of those concerns. I will say that you have to be careful putting it on, since it goes on as a liquid and dries quickly. But the applicator is great, the formulation is perfect, and it does not move. It looks matte and beautiful and I get compliments on it more than any other beauty product I wear. And on top of that, I was more than pleased, actually beside myself, to find out that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s red lipstick that everyone is so obsessed with is this exact one in the same color. If you need someone else’s endorsement beyond mine, this is the color she’s also wearing. It’s universally flattering.
The Last Thing I Bought for $60.00: Glass Pipe from Laundry Day
This line was started by a young woman who lives on Vancouver Island. I think she’s making some of the coolest and most creative work out there. The cannabis industry is really pushing forward what it means to create a beautiful product in accessories, for obvious reasons—there is regulation and restriction on almost everything else. I think that in particular, women have been pushing that conversation forward. If you look at some of the most beautiful pipe and accessory brands out there, like anything Tetra makes or carries, Stonedware, and Laundry Day, it’s all women. That’s rad.
The Last Thing I Bought for $150.00: Shearling Birkenstocks by Free People
I think birkenstocks have been around for long enough that now everyone agrees they’re not just a trend. What could be better than winter birkenstocks? I went back and forth on which colorway to buy. I thought about the brown and white ones, but I think that I would personally have a hard time styling them. Then I thought about the all-black style, which gives a lot of people Phoebe Philo for Céline vibes. I’m just not really an all-black person. I tend to wear a lot of color, so I settled on the burgundy red wine-y ones. I can’t wait to wear them with sparkly or printed socks and lots of cords and dresses. I want to wear them indoors and outdoors; obviously I’m not going to wear them in a blizzard, but on days when it’s not freezing.
The Last Thing I Bought for $300.00: Coat by Offhours
I’m so obsessed with this. I bought it on pre-order two or three weeks ago, and I just got my shipping notice this morning. The founder, Rebecca Zhou, is a friend of mine. She and her husband started the line, and the idea is inactive wear for indoors-y people. I can’t think of anything that feels more like a balm for these times. I’m not saying everyone should just hide in their house and not leave, but I think there’s this genuine urge to self-soothe in very safe spaces. When you touch the coat, it’s stuffed like a duvet cover and the exterior feels like the most perfectly worn-in old sweatshirt that you’ve had for 30 years, and then the interior is like the T-shirt version of that. It’s everything you want in a housecoat. I was joking with Rebecca, like “I know that you made this as a robe, but you realize that I’m going to wear this outside, right?”
The Last Thing I Bought for $850.00: 3-Night Getaway in Upstate NY
My friend and I both got matching Offhours coats to wear for three days straight at this house. I almost don’t want to talk about it, because I don’t want to blow up this spot. We booked it for the first time last year, and we plan on making it an annual weekend trip. It’s such a great little house! We call it “hot pool house,” because it has a hot pool. It is a very small, efficiently designed house that can fit four people inside and then there’s also an outside tent set up with a stove and, I hate the word “glamping,” but it’s very premium. It’s in Red Hook, NY, which is kind of near Bard College and close to lots of delicious restaurants. (Our favorite is Gaskins).
Frances Thomas is a writer based in New York City. She recently graduated from NYU.