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SLUG Style: Adrienne Wild

Art and Fashion

Adrienne Wild is a mobile bartender who recently moved to Salt Lake City. An entrepreneur at her core, Wild enjoys experimenting and creating interesting lines and silhouettes in her outfits, mixing professionalism with playful disruption. 

Every month, SLUG Style features a distinct member of the community and asks them why they do what they do. Exploring more than just clothing, SLUG Style is an attempt to feature the people who give Salt Lake City flavor through personality and panache.

What are your stylistic influences? This could be a band, decade, fictional character—anything.

The absolute disinterest the 1990s alternative scene had in being palatable is probably my heaviest style influence followed closely by the following Johnny cash quote.

“I wore black because I liked it. I still do, and wearing it still means something to me. It’s still my symbol of rebellion—against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others’ ideas.”

You’re a mobile bartender. Tell us what that means and about your van life! 

My first ever paid bartending gig was my mom’s company Christmas party. I remember they had the menu and all the ingredients ready for me when I arrived. The party was held on a boat that took us around Seattle’s water ways for several hours. At the time I had no idea about cocktail service, let alone techniques. All that I knew was that I got paid handsomely to dress up, ride a fancy boat and make people happy. Everyone’s eyes light up when you hand them their favorite beverage. 

When I lived in Australia, in my early 20s I was hired by a promotional modeling agency to travel to clubs, bars and sporting events to promote various beer and liquor brands. Every night was a new location, a  new costume, a new brand to work with. After I got back from my Australian adventure, I started picking up gigs promoting for raves. I was so hungry to keep that new, fresh feeling in my work life that I’d take jobs doing anything in nightlife I could—just as long as I never had to have a 9–5. I would DM people online who were throwing events and get myself booked. I spent 10 years hustling myself into any kind of event I could. 

The one thing every event had in common was needing bartenders. I really dug my heels in and made a name for myself in the events space. I spent quite a while working in night clubs, which often had touring performers. Getting paid to be at shows is, for lack of a better term, fuckin awesome. I became the girl you’d call if you needed help covering shifts, special parties, festivals etc. People still call me to gig. In two days I’m bartending a Swedish metal band’s concert up in Seattle! Some of the more notable travel gigs I’ve worked are a PGA golf tournament in Tahoe and Rolling Loud Festival in the Bay area. Both of those I had about two days notice. 

Eventually I wanted to spend less on getting to my gigs and staying in hotels, so I thought I should get a van to travel in. I spent a full year converting it to being a fully livable space that my dog and I could be comfortable in. My parents helped me design and build it, and it’s the coolest thing I have ever done. Now that I’m in Salt Lake City I have both an apartment and a van and can’t wait for warmer weather so I can desert adventure in my tiny home on wheels again.  

What are your interests or hobbies? What is the hobby or interest that you have that no one would realize to ask you about?

I’m an entrepreneur at my core. I’m interested in learning more about co-op businesses and how they can help create more owners and less employees.

I’m constantly striving towards owning less. I want off this gross consumer treadmill. I want to own things that will stand the test of time and are produced ethically & sustainably.

You recently moved to Salt Lake. What brought you here and how has your experience of the city been? 

Years back, I answered an online call looking for night lifers who wanted to help create a new event in seattle. The ringleader of that creative team was a guy named Sean Majors. I didn’t know him when I signed on for that project but quickly learned he was bridging the gap between traditional business practice and nightlife, which was exactly where I wanted to be. I got to see him grow clubs, events, brands and even festivals. Though our careers often took us in opposite directions, we always found a way to catch up and hear each others ideas out. One of his crazy ideas was to bring me to Salt Lake City to GM a very high-profile bar. 14 days later I was in Salt Lake with a brand new project for myself under his guidance. So far, I’m freezing. I’ll probably never fully wrap my head around the absolute failure that is Utah’s liquor laws. The forty something in me loves the fact everyone goes out so early here. When I first got to SLC, I couldn’t  believe how friendly everyone was. Restaurants here are afraid to season their chicken.

Are you always “on” or would someone see you at the grocery store, for example, with less elements of your style?

I probably still would be considered “health goth” if I was seen around town. I don’t own blue jeans or anything “out of character” for me. I’m too minimal to own the extra items and I’d be uncomfortable wearing them if I did.  

What is a typical “work fit” for you?

 Depends which type of working I’m doing. If I’m in a management position I tend to go for androgynous work fits. It’s fun for me to blur the line of how people perceive me. I love to layer jackets. Play with textures and push the envelope with alternative leaning accessories. Finish almost every look with big, black boots.  

If I’m working in a space that supports and encourages self expression I go pretty hard. Eyeliner will be lethal. Hair will be absurd. Boots or heels will be high AF. I will be taller than everyone and make people uncomfortable. I’ve been working in platforms for over a decade. I like to rework and repurpose things that I’ve had for years. If the dress no longer fits me, I’ll pull the shoulder straps down and turn it into a skirt. I love to over complicate looks by wearing way too many layers. I will intentionally leave shapewear showing. I will attach chains and straps and wrap them around and twist them until they make some thing I haven’t seen before. My goal when I am dressing for expression is to create interesting lines and silhouettes. If someone sees my shadow … I want it to look like a monster. Exaggerated everything.  

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would those be? 

Really, really independent. 

How has your personal style evolved over time?

I’ve been Halloween obsessed since about 5th grade. I remember walking the isles of the store looking at Halloween costumes and decorations and wondering why they only sold it certain time of the year. As I got older I started stocking up every Halloween on skeleton hoodies and pants. The thing that most people were wearing as a costume for one night of the year I was wearing until it physically couldn’t be worn anymore. Even when I used to have color more color in my wardrobe, looking back I always “looked” goth. Intentionally smeared makeup. Bizarre hair color. It felt very normal and organic to me at the time. I’ve orbited through several different sub genres. Cyber goth has a special place in my heart. Such an under utilized lane. I hit on psychobilly for a bit. I went though a really rock ‘n’ roll phase where everything was band tees and black jeans.  

Today I am muted and industrial. Tomorrow—who knows. 

Check out more SLUG Style features:
SLUG Style: Jazmin Mendoza
SLUG Style: Kalei