Jesse Jo Stark Takes Us On A Drive Along The West Coast

In her 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air

Photograph by Daria Kobayashi Ritch.

The following feature appears in the August 2016 issue of NYLON.

“You’re gonna love where we put the gas in here, it’s so sick. I’m gonna actually make you guess,” says Jesse Jo Stark with a laugh as she pulls her ’56 Chevy Bel Air into a service station near her Santa Monica, California, home. After my fruitless search for a fuel door cover, the 25-year-old musician, who also works as everything from designer to creative director at her parents’ luxury brand Chrome Hearts, pops up the left brake light panel to reveal a hidden tank. A mesmerized gas station attendant starts snapping pics.

Stark’s only had this gleaming turquoise-and-white beauty for a couple of months, but she’s no stranger to vintage cars. Stark sold her ’76 Cadillac convertible to buy her dream Bel Air, which she found by scouring Craigslist. A tiny plastic bat hanging from the rearview mirror and a Frankenstein sticker she’ll put on the back are some of the only aesthetic adjustments she plans on making. (They’re fitting decorative touches for the sultry singer whose upcoming EP, produced by Jason Lytle of Grandaddy, will have a “more dreary and spooky” sound than her first.) “It’s just such a [special] feeling, to have an old car,” she explains, slipping on her cat eye sunglasses as we hop back in. “I’m in a different world when I drive it.” 

Click through the gallery to read the rest of this feature.