The word “multi-hyphenate” is sometimes thrown around without an inherent meaning. Sita Abellán, however, is almost a definition of the word. At 30 years old, she has managed to build an impressive resume in a wide range of fields, such as techno DJ, jewelry entrepreneur, designer, model and stylist. Growing up in Murcia, south of Spain, the DJ career started in a basement bar in her home-town. Since then she has performed at various clubs and festivals all around the world. As a model, Sita has walked for some of the top fashion brands, and collaborated with others such as Fendi, Fenty x Puma and Fausto Paglisi. In the last couple of years, she has also created her own accessories brand Lilith, a favorite among a-list celebrities and tastemakers.
New ways to form careers have been opened up by the Passion economy field and Sita is a true example of that. Already at a young age, Sita felt she did not fit in with her punk style, but would not hesitate to express herself with an ‘unusal’ style. After moving to Milan for a study exchange, she was scouted by a model agency. After booking runway shows and campaigns, her Tumblr and Instagram presence caught the attention of Rihanna, who asked her to star in the “Bitch better have my money” music video. From there, the career took a leap.
Gustaf Lundberg Toresson: You’ve previously said it was not always easy to be a teenager in Murcia where you grew up. Was that because you thought you were different?
Sita Abellán: Yes, I have been a very creative kid since I was very young. My friends listened to radio music but I hated it. I dressed differently and had kind of a punk style as a teenager. Even though I didn’t have dyed hair like now, people would judge me for all kinds of things.
Lundberg Toresson: How did you find the inspiration to be different in music, your clothing and so on?
Abellán: In a way, I feel that I was born with inspiration and that I’ve had with me since I’ve been very young. One story I sometimes tell people is about when I was three years old and really wanted a certain pair of boots from a store. My mom came to buy the boots even though she found them horrible, I loved them and wore them everyday.
Lundberg Toresson: What impact did internet have in this regard?
Abellán: Tumblr was my thing. I could really express myself and it was also sort of a virtual escape from the real world. I could post the photos I wanted and people all over the world could connect with me and my artistry and vice versa. It was both magical but also sometimes a wild place.
Lundberg Toresson: While you were studying, your social media presence also opened up new paths in your career? How did that happen?
Abellán: I had an exchange semester in Milan and studied advertising while I also continuously posted on social media, but at this time mainly on Instagram. The agency Wilhelmina reached out to me and wanted me to model for a few months in the US, which I after some thinking decided to do. It was an interesting experience, and somehow Rihanna found my Instagram account and reached out about their upcoming music video for “Bitch better have my money”. Even though we initially said that we were interested, we didn’t hear back. I flew back to Europe and just a few days later, they said I got the role. So I flew back and starred in the video. It all kind of went crazy from there.
Lundberg Toresson: What happened when the video went live?
Abellán: I was in Japan at that time and my phone was completely bombarded with reactions from all kind of people I both knew and didn’t know. It brought me a lot of attention and elevated my social media presence by many levels.
Lundberg Toresson: You’re DJing as well and doing my things at the same time. How do you manage it?
Abellán: So the DJing for instance, I often combined it with my traveling for modeling. So if I would go modeling in a city, I would usually do a gig somewhere. I’ve always seen it as doing it for fun though, and these days I’ve cut down on traveling by a lot since I became a mother. But I’m definitely a generalist and I think people sometimes can see that as a threat.
Lundberg Toresson: You’ve styled J Balvin and shot campaigns for Kim Kardashian and some other big names. You’ve also designed a bag for Fendi and made many other design collaborations. What are your weeks like now and what is next?
Abellán: Currently I’m very focused on family since I became a mother, and professionally on my music production. I’m planning to soon release my first EP and that takes a lot of time and energy. In the previous years, I was traveling like crazy but it’s nice to have some time to focus and be in the studio for now. I’m very excited about it.
The conversation has been edited for clarity.
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