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'Secret Life' Star Renee Olstead: People Are Not Defined By Their Handbags

Wed, April 11, 2012 6:08pm EDT by Andy Swift Add first Comment

Renee loves fashion — and it shows — but she tells it’s important to keep it all in perspective.

Renee Olstead couldn’t have looked any less like her Secret Life of the American Teenager character April 10 at NYLON‘s 13th anniversary celebration in Hollywood. She looked amazing in an Opening Ceremony dress, paired with a Comme de Garcon jacket and Jeffrey Campbell shoes — but it might surprise her fans to learn that Renee, who describes her personal style as “quirky,” has some very strong opinions when it comes to fashion’s place in our lives.

“I love fashion, and I love dressing up, but I don’t think it’s a necessity,” says Renee, who regularly blogs for The Huffington Post about issues affecting teens and young adults. “I think we need to remind people they aren’t their handbags. It doesn’t speak to what kind of person you are or what your values are. It’s fun to dress up and wear silly things that I think are amazing, but … it’s more important to understand our values in society without labels.”

That said, Renee has become kind of a pro at whipping up outfits and accessories that speak to her personal style.

“I just made this baseball hat I’m really excited about,” she tells us. “You know all those ‘Los Angeles Kings’ hats? I made one that says ‘Los Angeles Queens’ that I can wear when I go see all my drag friends.”

Pictures, please!