they seem cool

The Fashion Editor Who Inspires People to Dress Like Butter

Meet Harling Ross.

Photo: Shaniqwa Jarvis
Photo: Shaniqwa Jarvis

Harling Ross’s approach to fashion is all rainbows and butter. She’s the fashion director and brand strategist at Man Repeller, where she has a history of charming readers by doing things like turning a crowd-sourced hair-care piece into a surprisingly emotional essay. And over on social, she’s fun to follow because of her maximalist approach to fashion (see, for example, this colorful balaclava). To cure her own winter doldrums, she started dressing in head-to-toe cream and captioning it #stickofbutter. Check out her Instagram highlight for all the fan submissions in shades of Kerrygold and ghee. We spoke with her about her alter ego, Tokyo, and Highlights magazine.

What is your most-used emoji? 
The squid. It looks shocked and surprised at the same time.

What’s your favorite holiday?
Probably Christmas, but it’s mostly a nostalgia thing as an adult.

If you could spend three months anywhere, where would it be?
Tokyo. I went there for the first time last year, and it was one of those places where you knew you had to go back the moment that you left.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
I would want it to be snapping my fingers and having my face already be washed.

What is the best album ever made?
It’s really embarrassing because I’m not a music person. Rumors, by Fleetwood Mac.

Go-to karaoke song?
I try to avoid any karaoke-related outing at all costs. It stresses me out. I’d rather sit at a table and talk without songs happening.

Who is someone you think is cool?
Desiree Akhavan.

Who is a fictional character you’d want to hang out with?
Professor McGonagall.

If you were a magazine, which magazine would you be? 
Probably Highlights for children.

If you could talk to animals, which animals would you want to talk to? 
Probably cockroaches. I think they live a really long time, so, sort of like Professor McGonagall, they’ve seen it all. I’d keep a safe distance, though.

Jeans or sweats?

What is something that your social-media followers don’t know about you?
One thing that stands out is that my first name is Hilary and my middle name is Harling. A lot of people also think my name is Harlin Gross, not Harling Ross. I get mail addressed to Harlin Gross all the time. It’s my alter ego.

What was the last website you looked at?

If you could be outfitted by one designer for the rest of your life, who would it be?
Cecilie Bahnsen.

What do you eat for breakfast?
This is tough. I haven’t been in a breakfast mood recently, so a lot of the time it’s a matcha latte with oat milk, and then I’ll have an early lunch.

If you could eat only three things for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Colony pizza from Emily, the mushroom fettuccine from Palma, and the cookie-crumble strawberry ice cream from Van Leeuwen’s.

If you were a color, what color would you be?
I am literally red because I have rosacea, but emotionally I am butter yellow, for sure.

Photo: Shaniqwa Jarvis
The Fashion Editor Who Inspires People to Dress Like Butter