The Brynn Wallner Dispatch
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Hoboken, NJ – the home of baseball and Frank Sinatra! I went to high school in downtown Manhattan and some of the city kids made fun of me for commuting from Jersey (their nickname for me was “Hoboken”). I used to cry about it, but I’ve grown to love being a Jersey girl. I even fantasize about moving back and getting a house in the suburbs with a pool like the Sopranos.
What is Dimepiece?
Dimepiece is a platform dedicated to all things women and watches. The IG page features photos of celebs, influencers – whatever – wearing watches, with the watches identified on the next slides. I also sprinkle in memes, scenes from my life, and the occasional selfie of me rocking watch merch. The website has interviews with friends of mine about their collections or their first watches (“First Dimers”), as well as educational content to help women be smarter watch consumers. It’s all a work in progress because Dimepiece is my side piece. I’m trying to make it my main hustle though…
Talk about women and watches.
There are lots of women into watches, and I love them. Since starting Dimepiece, I’ve been thrust into a network of women collectors, experts, and enthusiasts… it’s such a vibrant and supportive community. I just think there aren’t many centralized places for women to get together and shoot the shit about, say, the latest Royal Oak drop. That’s partly why I created Dimepiece. The other reason was to nurture enthusiasm amongst women who, formerly, could care less about watches – because that was me. Before being exposed to watches through working at Sotheby’s in 2019, I didn’t know anything about them, nor did I even aspire to want one. It struck me that there was a lack of inspiration for women in my demographic (and beyond), so it really just started from an urge to not only get others excited, but to excite myself.
What are you reading now, or have you read any good books recently?
Okay, so I tried to pick up that book Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler, but when I read the jacket cover it started with the sentence: “On the eve of Donald Trump's inauguration, a young woman snoops through her boyfriend's phone and makes a startling discovery…” When I read that, I honestly felt sick, and I realized what I really needed was an escape from this world. Like, I wanted to read something that took place in an environment where the characters had no awareness of cell phones and where the name D*nald Tr*mp meant absolutely nothing. So I did something I’ve never done before: I read all 3 of The Lord of the Rings books. I just finished The Return of the King, and I gotta say… I really miss catching up with Frodo and the boys.
Tell us about your art.
My art! I love when people ask me about this because it’s really taken a backseat in my life since the onset of Dimepiece. Well… I’ve always been artistic… when I was little, I was obsessed with drawing the Sailor Moon characters (and I was pretty good, not gonna lie). But for whatever reason, I never pursued art seriously. I would never consider myself an artist, even though I had this creative energy coursing through me. Whatever – in the winter of 2017, I went to that pottery place Color Me Mine in Chinatown with my boyfriend. We were painting a set of coasters, and I said out loud, “wow, I really like painting.” He remembered that (thoughtful boyfriend checkkkkk), and got me a painting kit for Christmas. But then I was like, well great, now I have to paint so he doesn’t think I’m unappreciative of the gift. I decided to paint my dog because she’s always with me and I was like, wait…. I’m actually pretty good. From there, I started painting friend’s pets and started an IG account (@brynnpaints) and all of a sudden I was getting commissions from total strangers. I’ve branched out of pets, too – I painted a still life for an art show on Canal Street called Daisies, I painted my friend Charlie in his garden (which was featured in the Sotheby’s employee art show! lol), I’ve painted watches, stacks of cash, snakeskin boots, alligators eating palm trees...
Who are your style icons? Feel free to give a long list.
Wowza. Okay so don’t judge me but I’m going to obviously say the usual suspects, like Princess Diana, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, ‘90s Gwyneth Paltrow. You know, wealthy white women. But also, a fictional wealthy white woman… Blair Waldorf. I love the schoolgirl look – pleated skirts, loafers with socks, bows. Also, I just started getting into that Gen-Z youtuber Emma Chamberlain. One night I spent like 2 hours watching her videos – she’s got some cute looks that I’ve def stolen from. I’m also trying to get a little more mature with my fashion because, you know, I’m a luxury influencer now… so, naturally, I look to modern-era Mary-Kate and Ashley. I actually just bought a blazer from The Row at a Naples consignment shop.
Favorite artists right now.
I love that guy Jake Clark… he has these little ashtrays in the shape of David Hockney-style pools, with ceramic cigarette butts crushed in them. I also love his pottery showing off all the hot spots… El Coyote in LA, Versailles in Miami, Taverna Tony in Malibu, Bemelman’s on the Upper East Side. Speaking of Bemelman’s… I get a lot of inspiration from Ludwig Bemelmans’s painting and illustrations. I also love Justin Hager’s work (he painted the Domino’s Pizza Rolex Airking!!). I love Vanessa Lilak’s sexy, LA centric illustrations, Genieve Figgis’s eerie portraits, Sam McKinniss’s paintings, Maira Kalman’s cakes. I love anything that’s colorful and humorous.
Rowing Blazers, duh. Honestly, I don’t buy a ton of new clothing. Almost all of my clothing (the nice stuff, at least) is passed down to me from my family (i.e. my mom’s double-breasted Chanel jacket) or sourced from consignment shops and estate sales. But I do gravitate toward particular labels – Ralph Lauren, Celine… oddly, I love that old lady brand St. John’s. Maybe not so odd because that’s what every chic older woman in Naples, FL wears and that’s ultimately my life goal.
Who are your watch gurus/mentors?
My WBFF (watch best friend forever) is JJ Owens, a collector who now does marketing for Watchionista. She was there for me in the early, early days of Dimepiece, answering all my questions and sharing my enthusiasm for Ari Gold’s watch collection. She’s super thoughtful and interesting and has great taste – among her other knock-out pieces, I literally drool over her teeny tiny gold Royal Oak. There’s also Cara Barrett, who makes the world of watches seem way less scary with her positive attitude. And then there’s Alan Bedwell (@foundwell), a collector and dealer. He always finds the best stuff and I jokingly call him the British John Mayer. Oh, I also met Kelly Yoch today which I was really excited about. I tried very hard not to ask her for her autograph.
Tell us about watch merch.
It’s funny – I got watch merch before I even got my first watch. Baby steps, you know?? Paul Lerner hooked me up with an Audemars Piguet hat, which kind of makes me feel like Kendall Roy, haha. My friend and jewelry designer David Farrugia of Uniform Object got me a perfectly worn, vintage Rolex hat. Alan Bedwell just gifted me a light pink handkerchief with a little Rolex crown in gold. The Rolex logo is just so timeless and easily recognizable – it looks cool on anything.
How would you describe your personal style?
I’m a little bit country, I’m a little bit rock n roll. JK, but not really. I mean, I love a pair of Wrangler jeans with my black Ferragamo loafers. I love the prep, fresh-off-the-tennis-court look, but I can also skater-girl it up with the black Converse I draw hearts on. I tend to go pretty minimal, but TBH, I wore that colorful striped Rowing Blazers shirt and felt pretty cute.
What are your favorite movies?
Ugh, well, I love Sofia Coppola. Another wealthy white woman, I know!! My mom gave me a huge poster of her movie Somewhere, which I’ve since framed and put in my bedroom. Most people don’t like that movie – they say it’s too dull – but I’m obsessed with it. I saw it with my brother in a movie theatre in Century City… this was the first time I spent time in LA. It was a rainy day and we ducked in not knowing anything about it. It’s dreamy and languid and the narrative follows a washed up actor’s growing bond with his tween daughter. He lives at the Chateau Marmont and runs into celebs like Benicio del Toro in the elevator. It’s funny, the day after I saw that movie, I was driving on Sunset Boulevard, and who is in the car next to me? Benicio del Toro. We made eye contact (I think). Somewhere really set the tone for how I perceive LA, the magic of it. Some other LA movies I love… The Graduate, The Bling Ring, Clueless… I also love Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm and Beetlejuice.
Tell us about living in Naples, Florida.
I lived in Naples with my brother and mom for 4 months when the pandemic hit, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. I love how flat Florida is (although, not everything in Florida is flat). I love walking my dog Honey through the sleepy suburban streets, looking up and seeing the big, dramatic sky canopying the palm trees. The Gulf water is warm and placid, the sand is white and soft. It smells good there – and when I walk at night, all the flowers really bloom… the jasmine and the devil’s trumpets. There are so many yummy restaurants (my favorite being North Naples Country Club, which we actually thought was a country club until we walked in and realized it was a dive bar). People give Florida a lot of hate – much like New Jersey – but I’m obsessed with it. I try to visit my mom once every few months to soak up the sun and recharge my bimbo energy, lol. No, but when I go there I feel so comfortable. The best part of Naples is just chilling at my mom’s apartment, eating dinner with her, laughing at whatever dumb shows we’re watching on TV and then driving to Dairy Queen.