Oonie Chase Partner at IDEO
“Every single problem I work on, if you dig all the way down, there’s a human problem somewhere nested in it. And so if you want to be a designer, and you want to practice design as a method of framing and problem solving, you have got to become adept at designing for humans – because at the end of the day, that’s what you’re doing.”
Oonie Chase has been working at the intersection of strategy and design for over 20 years, leading high-impact and award-winning teams at IDEO, Wieden+Kennedy, frog design, Digitas (where we met, worked together on a bunch of stuff, and became friends), and GMMB.
As a Partner at IDEO, she works across industries and markets – from media, technology, and consumer products, to financial services, health, and the public sector. She specializes in complex challenges that span human, physical and digital systems.
Prior to joining IDEO, Oonie was the Executive Creative Director at frog design, leading the San Francisco headquarters as well acting as a global practice lead of product strategy and applied data. Oonie co-founded a design and technology practice at Wieden+Kennedy, built a digital strategy team for President Barack Obama’s communication team, and is the co-founder of two start-ups.
Physical, digial and human what?! (8:40)
Getting into digital (14:50)
Working at IDEO (17:57)
Building the Digital Strategy for President Obama (25:52)
The hardest thing… (31:00)
Outrageous shoes (33:47)
Edited Transcription with typos – sorry:
Eitan Chitayat 00:45
Oonie Chase has been working at the intersection of strategy and design for over 20 years leading high-impact and award-winning teams at IDEO, Wieden + Kennedy, frog Design, Digitas, where we met worked together on a bunch of stuff and became friends, and GMMB.
As a partner at IDEO she works across industries and markets from media, technology, and consumer products to financial services, health and public sector. She specializes in complex challenges that span human physical and digital systems.
Prior to joining IDEO, Oonie was the Executive Creative Director at Frog Design, leading the San Francisco headquarters as well as acting as a Global Practice Lead, product strategy and applied data.
Oonie co-founded a design and technology practice at Wieden and Kennedy, built a digital strategy team for President Barack Obama’s communication team. And she’s the co- founder of two startups. And she is also a dear, dear friend.
Oonie Chase 01:47
Shall we start with some ASMR?
Eitan Chitayat 01:50
I don’t know I’ve never heard that term before.
Oonie Chase 01:53
What? What rock have you been living under?
Eitan Chitayat 01:56
A rock called Tel Aviv with two small kids. ASMR? that sounds like you’re whispering to me. Let’s do some ASMR.
Oonie Chase 02:05
Okay, forget it. Bad entry!
Eitan Chitayat 02:08
No, it’s a great entry. Are you kidding me? Hi!
Oonie Chase 02:11
Eitan Chitayat 02:13
I have my wine.
Oonie Chase 02:15
Shit. I wish I had some wine.
Eitan Chitayat 02:17
Why don’t you go get some?
Oonie Chase 02:19
Cuz I need to be on my game.
Eitan Chitayat 02:24
Oh really? I so don’t need to build my game. It’s 8.30pm, my day is over. And yeah, I’m drinking.
Oonie Chase 02:34
I support you, my friend.
Eitan Chitayat 02:36
I support you too. Okay, so um, where am I finding you, like, where are you right now?
Oonie Chase 02:43
I am on Cape Cod. Still. I’m in Chatham.
Eitan Chitayat 02:46
You’re still. Okay, so let’s rewind a little bit. Yeah, I mean, you weren’t meant to be in Cape Cod, were you? Something happened, right?
Oonie Chase 02:55
It was called the pandemic happened. Actually, it was two things that came together at the same time. IDEO had been talking to me about coming East. And I was very amenable because my whole family is out here. And the West Coast is wonderful but I wanted to be closer to family. And then when the pandemic hit, and I’m sitting in my groovy little apartment, still, like, love that apartment, but I was paying San Francisco rent prices. And I just thought, well, there’s this house, this family home on the Cape that is usually rented and it’s not being rented. And I thought, well, maybe I’ll just go hang out there for a few months, a few months. lol two years later. How? How is it almost two years later? Anyway, so yeah, here I am. Living on the Cape.
Eitan Chitayat 03:48
So I’ve seen you on the cape a couple of years ago, and it was lovely. A lot has changed in the last two years. And we’re gonna get into all of that and who the hell knows what else we’re gonna get into. But I have to ask you a question first. And this is the way that I always start this podcast because it’s called I’M THAT as you know. So, Oonie Chase, can you please answer or complete the sentence: I’m that….
Oonie Chase 04:14
I’m that bitch.
Eitan Chitayat 04:16
Yes, yes, you are. You’re that honest bitch. What do you mean? Yeah, that’s ridiculous. Come on. What does that mean?
Oonie Chase 04:27
No, I mean, I’m using bitch in like, the best of all ways. It’s a phrase, actually, that I I’ve used before heading into situations where I feel like a little bit nervous and a little bit wobbly and my imposter syndrome is like coming out and wrath. And so I whisper to myself, “you’re that bitch, you’re that bitch, you’re that bitch”. And in my head. It just says you can do anything. None of this matters to it. You got nothing to lose.
Eitan Chitayat 04:58
For most people that would be “I’m that fucking rock star” Your you’re like “I’m that bitch”. It’s actually pretty cool. I mean, like, you know, it’s also like makes me think about the way you say things. Because when you say it in a certain way, it can be very, very empowering.
Oonie Chase 05:15
I would say I’m that bitch. But I think it’s also different for a woman to be referring to herself as that, versus, you know, somebody else or a man referring to herself as that, like, I find it a very powerful expression of independence, and autonomy, agency. It’s a very powerful word for me personally.
Eitan Chitayat 05:35
So I want to ask you something, because like when we write to each other, and print the whole, the emails and everything, so in your signature, so you have Oonie Chase, she/ her/ hers. What does that mean? For people who don’t really understand what that’s all about? I know that for you, it’s like, the most obvious thing in the world, but honestly, there are a lot of people that don’t understand or roll their eyes or are like, yes.
Oonie Chase 06:03
Clarity is kind, being clear is kind. And in a cultural context where people identify different ways, to me, it is respectful, to clarify how I identify. And I do it not for myself so much as I do, for people who are identifying as you know, as something other than their birth gender or something like that. And I want them to know that I see them, you know. It’s just a small little signal that says, I see you.
Eitan Chitayat 06:39
Is that do you have friends who, or people in your close circle who are very sensitive to this type of thing? Or could we really appreciate that because they, they specifically would appreciate those signals?
Oonie Chase 06:55
I have a few friends who, over the course of the past year have decided that their gender fluid or that their birth gender is not the gender they feel they are now and they have switched to they/ them, or a he/ him or something like that. And sometimes, of course, visual cues, if I’m looking at somebody or talking to somebody, I don’t want to assume that I know. And so seeing, just seeing, but like talking to them, when they would, you know, one person was like, had a special call with me and was like, Hey, listen, I just want you to know that I identify as gender fluid. And so I’m going to go and say them.
Eitan Chitayat 07:35
What’s gender, I don’t even know what gender fluid is.
Oonie Chase 07:39
Oh, there’s sort of like, feeling, not in one binary state or another, that they’re not like total man or total woman. That they are feeling on the spectrum between those things. And sometimes one friend, they like to some days, they present as very, very masculine. Some days, they present as very, very feminine. And, like, great, you do you.
Eitan Chitayat 08:05
Whatever floats your boat, I guess. I have so many things that I want to talk about with you, because you’re my dear friend, but you’re also my colleague. And I just want to ask you some questions. We’ll just chit chat. So the first question I have is, you told me and wrote to me about the fact that you specialize in complex challenges that span human, physical and digital systems. And I read that I think, like five times, and I was like, fuck, I’m just gonna, what the hell does that mean? Specialize in complex challenges that span human, physical and digital systems, please tell me.
Oonie Chase 08:40
Sure. I think it’s a little bit of a product of having grown up, I would say in digital, you know, like falling in love with programming and UI, and how computers talk to humans. And then, as I grow up, and my ability to lead and take on work that is more complex. Like when we were working together, we were largely doing marketing or marketing as a service, which has its own kind of complexity. It’s not as complex as for example, thinking about how someone might interact with their phone, or how might a space be aware of a person in the space, which is digital, and then physical and digital together. And then the human part is like, honestly, every single problem I work on, if you dig all the way down, there’s a human problem somewhere nested in it. And so if you want to be a designer, and you want to practice design as a method of framing and problem solving, you have got to become adept at designing for humans, because at the end of the day, that’s what you’re doing. You’re looking at me all skeptically…
Eitan Chitayat 09:55
No, I’m thinking about what you said. I just spoke to Brian Collins recently who is a buddy of mine, and he’s pretty brilliant, as you know, and we were talking about design, and he talks about what design gives for him. And that is hope. But I guess I’ll ask you the question like, what design can do in the world from your perspective? You know, you work at IDEO, and it’s a phenomenal agency, which I think.. and maybe it’s two questions. What’s it like working at IDEO? What have you learnt there? What are you all about there? And also what is design for you? And what can it do?
Oonie Chase 10:31
I love the idea that design is hope. But I think it is for me, it’s stronger than hope. I want to use the word Audacity. But I’m not sure that’s exactly the right word. But I guess I think design can go anywhere and do anything. I think it is simply a set of methods that are kind, compassionate, when practiced well, about making the world better for all of us, not just some of us when it’s practiced well.
Eitan Chitayat 11:06
Yeah, I think one of the ideologies, one of the driving principles behind IDEO is about creating positive impact, right?
Oonie Chase 11:13
Yeah, I mean, coming to IDEO was, I think the first place where I felt like I could bring design to the broadest possible palette of challenges. So again, going back to the human, physical and digital to try to think about a challenge that I can talk about. So one challenge is working with a very well-known American government agency that captures a lot of imagination, helping them to bring their validated science to the world in a way that is accessible to more than just researchers. So in this situation, you have an incredibly talented group of scientists, incredibly well funded 20 years of validated data that shows unambiguously the changes that the earth is going through. But they haven’t built the tool, the muscles to be able to take that data and make it interpretable or usable by more than other scientists, or more than other very, very specialized individuals. So that’s one example. Another example is working with a huge social media company, on different forms of community governance. So exploring different ways that decisions can be made about what content goes on a platform or not.
Eitan Chitayat 12:35
Which is interesting, because that like, like, Okay, what the fuck does that have to do with design? You know, so design is bigger in this case. It’s not “Hey, I’m gonna just sketch something out.” It’s designing an experience, designing a whole approach.
Oonie Chase 12:50
It’s an approach. It’s a verb. It’s so hard to explain. I think sometimes design gets in the way of IDEO a lot.
Eitan Chitayat 12:59
It’s perception. What do people perceive design as? And it’s, I was talking about this with Brian, design is thinking, you know?
Oonie Chase 13:11
Was it Steve Jobs who said that, to remember that everything in the world has been made by somebody. There is a quote, something like that. And I can’t remember who exactly said it. But I think for me design is the agency to know that I too, can shape a better world. And so the practice of design, at least the way I’ve done it for years, and the way that IDEO does it is to start with what is right or desirable for people. And when you take that way in, and then you balance, what the technology can help you to do, or what the business can help you to do, that’s where really interesting solutions or really interesting opportunities to create something new start to flower inside of that.
Eitan Chitayat 13:57
How does that work, by the way. Like I imagine, in every case, it’s different. But you have business thinkers, I guess, you have experienced people who specialize in a consumer experiences and b2b experience, whatever it is, then you have, I don’t know…
Oonie Chase 14:14
Data scientists, engineers, we have a whole group of people who just focus on education and learning. So we have like, teachers, we have a whole group that focuses on health, and that’s the spectrum of disciplines as you described, but they’re also you know, doctors and residents.
Eitan Chitayat 14:31
So what do you do there? What’s your job? Because I know you as you know, I’ve known you for a long time we’ve worked together. And I was even gonna say, are you designer? Like, what, what do you do there? At this stage? What do you do? And tell us a little bit about just like, the abbreviated quick version of how you got here.
Oonie Chase 14:50
So where did I start in this whole journey? I mean, I got bitten by the internet bug, I think like a lot of people did in the first wave, you know, when it was just Web 1.0, as we call it now. And it was just intoxicating for me and I wasn’t a designer, I wasn’t a programmer. But I wanted to somehow get into this. And so I started as a programmer, but you know, I think it was a combination of good old sexism and the fact that I wasn’t the best programmer in the room, because everyone else was guys, that every time there was an interface challenge, or there was a question about how people were going to interact with what we’re building, they would say, Oh, get it to Chase. And so that’s where I started being interested in how humans, how humans’ behavior and computer behavior were starting to co evolve together. I was much less interested in getting computers to talk to computers. And that has been the through line. And when we met at Digitas, you know, marketing and the kind of stuff we were doing then, that’s just about behavior. We had the added benefit of having a pretty tight loop of data back to us, which now we would call data informed design, where we could see in very short order, like how interface changes or things happening, and interface would shift behavior, shift business, in really tangible and really potent ways. And then as you know, as the more you work, the more I’ve worked in this business, the more I’ve been interested in putting my arms around other systems that humans move through. So I did some freelance work with Arup, which is a big structural engineering firm, and that work was focused on the built environment. Still humans, still interfaces, not a lot of digital in those spaces. But how, as people use the space, how can you make that better? A better experience? How can you make different choices around the shape of the building or the orientation of the building if you start, not just with the site, but you also start with thinking about the people who are going to be inhabiting it? Yeah, I love that part of it. And so then coming to IDEO, so right before IDEO I was at Frog, which is another spectacular design firm, also known like IDEO is known for industrial design. And I led Design in the San Francisco headquarters and I just kind of got.. most of our work was like physical or digital. And again, I felt like there was a challenge on the other side of that. There was a challenge to move more into the human systems that surround both of those things, or that those things like sit inside of that I just thought was fascinating. So when IDEO came knocking, I was like A) IDEO B) dream. And so that’s kind of what I’ve made sure to shape my job as.
Eitan Chitayat 17:54
So what do you do at IDEO now?
Oonie Chase 17:57
Well, just to give you the context of it, IDEO is organized into different, I’ll just call them domains. So as I say, like some people focus on health, some people focus on food. And there are partners who focus or specialize in some of those areas. I don’t, I am a rogue operator across all of those, which is just my personal preference, to be honest. And my job is to, for IDEO’s perspectives, build the business, build a profile, be a bar raiser for the work and mentor talent. On for my client side I am helping them to grow, transform, work their way through some gnarly ass problem. Help them take best advantage of everything that IDEO has to offer them in service of whatever their ambition might be.
Eitan Chitayat 18:44
It sounds like it’s always interesting.
Oonie Chase 18:47
Yeah. Every brief, every time a new client comes to the door, it’s like a masterclass in that domain, in their problem space, in their company. I love that. And there are like, fine their commonalities across, you know, problems. Right now, everyone’s interested in employee experience, for example, because talent is so challenging across the board, knowledge workers and the frontline workforce. So there are some thematic consistencies like that. But being able to just belly flop into an entirely new problem space? That is my cabinet.
Eitan Chitayat 19:29
Like how many of these projects can you work on simultaneously? At Natie Branding Agency, we’re industry agnostic, you know, when we’re delivering the branding for a client, I mean, I can tell you right now we’re in aggrotech, we’re in gummies, vitamin gummies. I mean, we’re doing branding for a company like that. Wow. I didn’t even know, it’s like there’s a financial app that is being created by 22, 23, like how to learn about investing in the stock market. There’s drip irrigation company that we’re working with. There’s autonomous farming technology that we’re working with, an autonomous drone technology. There’s just so many things and it’s just always interesting. So I imagine that for you, it’s the same type of thing. I mean, so how many? Look on our board that’s like, you know, anywhere between eight to 12 projects, because, you know, we’re like, kind of a boutique agency. But I’m very curious, at IDEO, like how many things you can actually work on? Is it just like, we have one, this is the one thing or is it like two or three things simultaneously or?
Oonie Chase 20:34
I have five different client entities that I’m working with right now, online,retail, financial, government, philanthropy.
Eitan Chitayat 20:44
When you’re working on a project, is it like a slow burn… you know, we come from advertising and one of the reasons that I don’t like advertising and I kind of walked away from it 10 years ago, here and there we dabble, it’s because it’s like now. And when I was a copywriter on Volkswagen, I worked in the design group. And what I loved about the design group was it really was branding, you had to come up with brochures and collateral material that lived on the shelf for a year and a half minimum, which meant that you really needed to tell a story that in that world, lasted a pretty long time, as opposed to a radio spot for three months or a TV spot for six months. So I guess I’m curious as to the pace when you’re working on things. Is it like, we need this yesterday! Is it like, super intense? We have a process, it takes time. Or is it just like, No, it’s fucking crazy.
Oonie Chase 21:39
It’s both, it’s really the same time horizon is what you were talking about with collateral. Because a lot of what we do is, it’s funny, because IDEO was like, you know, we want positive impact, I hate the word impact. Because I think what we do is we progress things, we help a system, call it a business, call it an education system, what have you, we help that system evolve towards a better state of itself. And that is something that happens slowly over time with a number of different interventions, call them interventions, that may happen inside of it. So one of these, this financial and government client, I’ve now been working with them for five years, six years, the thing that we’re working on together, if you think of like a product, is years away from being in the market. My work right now is to not just be a voice of literal design, composition, all that kind of stuff in the conversation, but to help them as six or seven disparate agencies and entities come together to make decisions around something that none of them are comfortable making a decision around. Because there’s like economists there, you know, civil servants, they’re all these different kinds of things. So the design is happening in two scales. It happens in every conversation, every facilitated moment with them, when I’m giving them language and when I’m helping them see things that they haven’t been able to see before, there’s that. And then there is the design of the thing itself, which again, you won’t see it for years from now. So there’s never really the satisfaction of that moment, like a year from now, where the thing would come out and I’d be like woohoo! Look what I did. No. Like, it can be years. And sometimes it’s hidden. Sometimes you never really see it, you just see hints of it. It can be really frustrating.
Eitan Chitayat 23:51
But it holds everything together, doesn’t it?
Oonie Chase 23:54
It does. But you know, like, you want to be able to brag about stuff, right? It’s so satisfying to see your fingerprints in the world.
Eitan Chitayat 24:03
Yeah, look, I can tell you that we did the branding for a company called full circle. Well, it’s sustainable household goods. And they’re blowing up right now you can find them everywhere. They’re doing really, really well. And we did the branding for it. We did the branding when I was in Tel Aviv, they were in China, they were in New York. Whenever I go to New York, I go to William Sonoma, and I see our logo, I see the brand that we created still with the same language. I mean, they’re evolving the brand all the time. It’s like, just you see it, you pick it up, it’s physical, and there is something and I do take a picture of it and I send it to my wife or I send it to the writer that you know.. I want people to see it. And then I’ve been challenged by people who say yes, but doesn’t it bring you satisfaction when you just sit down and you create it for yourself? Yeah, sometimes I write that narrative and I read it to myself. But when I put it out there, and someone responds to it, that I love more. I do! If you want to call that bragging, then fuck, it’s bragging, but I think I don’t think you mean bragging. I mean, like you want it to be seen and you want to be able to say “I did that.” I mean, I’m not calling us artists, because we put stuff out there and we get paid for it and everything, but we are, we’ve got that artistic side. I think that’s really important. I don’t think there’s any shame in saying that. So, you know, as I was reading your bio, it’s just a line in your bio, but “built a digital strategy team for President Barack Obama’s communication team.” What? Okay, so, yeah, fucking, I’m going to brag you about that. Can you tell me about that? What I mean, I know. But like, what was that?
Oonie Chase 25:53
That was the hardest I’ve ever worked, ever. You’ve heard this story. It’s your it’s like the most incredible origin story. If it didn’t happen to me, I would call bullshit on it. So I had just, I almost literally just taken a job at Blast Radius in Vancouver as their Executive Creative Director. And I was the night of the election, I happen to be in Seattle, and I’m writing a launch plan for a powdered hot beverage. I won’t say who it was for. And Seattle is just exploding. You know, there are people standing on cars outside, there’s a huge party in the street, like he’s been elected, and I’m sitting in my room just thinking what am I doing with my life? Here I am missing this incredibly profound moment in the history of at least this country. And the very next morning, I got a call from a headhunter who I’d known for years who was helping the communication strategy team build a digital engine that would sit outside of the White House. It was like, is someone listening in on my phone? And there was just no… bonkers. And the team was being built by Kirk Souter, who went on to found Enzo, which is an incredible cause communications firm, and he was just hiring people from all these different agencies. We had folks from Wieden & Kennedy, Mad Dogs and Englishmen, everyone coming to Washington, because we all were like, yes, we can. Yes, we can. It was a profound lesson for me in power. The game in DC was very different from any game that I’ve been in. You know, here’s an example. Like for you and I, our work would be evaluated through the lens of how effective it is, how good it is. But my work was being evaluated through the lens of a reelection campaign. So who the work is being done for, what kind of relationship that had to, what the administration was trying to do was a part of the evaluation of what we were doing. That was a new thing for me to learn. And also, not that I need to be the center of the universe all the time, but like, as a creative, you like to think that you have an important role to play. And I gotta tell you sitting in some of these rooms, I’m like I am, I’m a cog. I’m a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny cog in this huge global wheel. It was very, very humbling.
Eitan Chitayat 28:45
And you help build the digital strategy.
Oonie Chase 28:50
So just to make the distinction, there was a team that sat inside of the White House, and they have certain… there’s governance that applies to people who sit in that world versus people who would sit outside. So I was outside of the White House with Jim Margolis, and his agency. And what they needed was a similar apparatus to the one that they had during the election. So Chris Hughes had done my Barack obama.com, he had led a lot of their digital strategy and implementation. He was, I think, they called him their lead strategist when I came in and what I needed to do was help to build producers, designers, editors, teaching people how to work with clients, rather than just give them the strategy and sort of walk away. So it was training, an old and very effective political strategy and communications firm how to fly their trade in a modern digital environment.
Eitan Chitayat 29:55
Wow. What was the result?
Oonie Chase 30:00
It was really hard to tell. I mean, the impact to me and my life was as big as it could possibly be. The degree to which our work influenced the outcome of things, I can squint at it and see, especially around the health care, the health bill that he was doing and helping to support the relationship with different entities whose support they needed. I can’t really go more specific than that. But it’s another example of how I think, how design, the outcomes of design are very hidden. And so you don’t always get that moment of satisfaction when you see your thing in the store.
Eitan Chitayat 30:47
You know, you said that that was the hardest you’ve ever worked. So what’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? The hardest thing you’ve ever done, and it doesn’t need to be work related.
Oonie Chase 31:01
The thing that came to mind was being with my mom through hospice, and being with her, the hardest moment truly, the hardest moment was feeling her slip away. You know, the phrase where people say, oh, so and so is passed away or passed on. That is how it felt, like she had like, literally passed away underneath my touch. And it was hard, of course, because it’s my mom and she passed away and I love her. But the finality, the absoluteness of that moment, and the transformation between someone present and someone not present was, yeah, deeply hard. It’s the most bizarre thing. It’s like death, death and taxes, haha, death and taxes, and we’re all going to die, but to be in the presence of death. That is the biggest mystery I think I’ve ever witnessed. And I didn’t grow up in a religious household. So I don’t have a frame of reference. But in that moment, it just felt like, you know, that somehow the veil had thinned. And there was something far bigger and older that was happening. I don’t know, it was.. I carry it with me both her passing and the witnessing.
Eitan Chitayat 32:32
You know, when we came to visit you in Cape Cod, I had one of the nicest days I have ever had in Cape Cod. And I’ve gone there a lot with you and your family. And we actually have a really nice, one of my favorite pictures is of us there. And your niece. One of the things that I also remember is afterwards is when you went in an airplane, I believe with your sister, and dropped part of her ashes.
Oonie Chase 33:09
When her brother passed away early of cancer, his favorite place was the Cape and he used to do a lot of fishing out on Bearses Shoal. And so his ashes were spread there. And then when my mom passed away, she wanted half of her ashes mixed with my dad and buried in the family plot and then she wanted the other half set free over Bearses Shoal.
Eitan Chitayat 33:31
Oonie Chase 33:33
Yeah. So she’s always here.
Eitan Chitayat 33:35
Yeah. She is yes. And yeah, and you’re in Cape Cod still, because of this. Is that changing? I don’t even know. Listen, I have to ask just one more thing. You gotta tell me about the shoes.
Oonie Chase 33:47
Oh, for fuck sake.
Eitan Chitayat 33:48
No, you have to because that is for me, inseparable from who you are. When I didn’t know you. I was like, Who is that woman? And what’s up with those shoes? And every day it was like another pair of these incredible shoes. You have such amazing shoes and it was your thing. It was your thing! Is that still happening? Is it still your thing? And what is it about the shoes? What is it about shoes for you?
Oonie Chase 34:16
Well, during the pandemic it has not been my thing although interesting, you should ask because I’m going to a wedding at the end of the summer and so I bought the most outrageous pair of shoes that I could possibly find.
Eitan Chitayat 34:29
Which you’re gonna send you’re gonna send me a picture of them.
Oonie Chase 34:32
I will send you a picture. Yeah, they’re these platform Rick Owens gladiator boots that have like a grill on the front and a like a clear plastic… it’s just so over the top.
Eitan Chitayat 34:45
This is the thing with you. You like you have crazy outrageous shoes, lots of them. So where did that come? How did that um, seriously, I don’t think I’ve even personally ever asked you about this. But what is that all about?
Oonie Chase 35:01
Well, I’m a relatively short person who identifies as a tall person, very tall person. Someone, this is not my quote, but someone said this to me, they told me that I should identify as a threat, which I thought was also very funny. And I think being taller made me feel more confident in myself and in my body. So it was like a posture that just helped me, you know, be more confident in that world that we were in, which was like, Dude to the max.
Eitan Chitayat 35:37
Yeah, it did give you confidence! I remember that about you. It was something that I really liked about you, too.
Oonie Chase 35:43
Well, thank you. But the reason why it was shoes and not bags, I mean, other than the tall thing is because the shoes weren’t to me, at least they weren’t so much in my face. Like the rest of what I wore was not as out there as my shoes. And so it was a place where I could be more expressive and not have it be so front and center that I could still sort of, you know, pass as someone very nice and accommodating until you look down and you realize that I’m a bitch. That I’m that bitch.
Eitan Chitayat 36:00
You really are.
Oonie Chase 36:10
You brought it right around. Look at that. Yeah, I miss my shoes very, very much. They’re all in storage.
Eitan Chitayat 36:27
Oonie, I really love talking to you. And I miss you so much. Thank you for just like being on this thing with me. And this is not the typical kind of conversation.
Oonie Chase 36:38
Right back at you. I love how our conversations weave in and out of different topics. And for me, it comes together as a whole. I don’t know if it’ll work for anybody listening to this who doesn’t know like each other the way that we know each other.
Eitan Chitayat 36:54
Who cares? Because we’re those bitches, man.
Oonie Chase 36:56
We are those god damn bitches.