Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Rachel: No I am born and raised in Denmark Copenhagen (Danish mom, african dad). Came to the Bay Area/San Francisco in 1993. I was working as a Designer for Levi Strauss & Co in Helsingborg Sweden and got the opportunity to transfer to Levis Design office in SF. Moved to Berkeley in 1997 and Oakland in 2001.
Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Rachel: After High school 1984 (in Denmark we call it GYMNASIUM), I signed up for a 10-month Sewing school, then a 10-month ART School and the summer of 1986 I was accepted into the Danish School of Design that is a 4-5 year Bachelor education in Fashion design. I didn’t expect to work in the denim industry so many years, but when i got my first design job at Levi’s there was no return. It was a dream job and I was ready to get the most of it.
Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Rachel: I love things of the past. I guess I am romantic about the 1960-70-80’s. I love vintage and people who know how to take the small nuances from an era and in cooperate it into their style. I love furniture and things from this same time era. Somehow the quality of the designs and the materials they used back then are very intriguing to me. I can at times get inspired from the “undesired” fashion and designs of that time too…things that represent the 1960-70-80’s in the worst possible way, make me very happy and nostalgic. Right now I am inspired by the simplicity and beauty of functional things. I am working on my first own denim line for my store OwlNwood (www.owlnwood.com). The store concept is to mix good quality vintage with local design and small international and American brands. My little denim line is ultra basic, but will be a great foundation for the other products I carry in my store. I hope I can get it all made locally in the bay Area. The line is call O.N.W. by OwlNWood.
Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Rachel: I actually refused to convert to CD’s in the late 80’s and early 90’s…So I have all my vinyl’s saved before I gave in to the pressure of CD’s. I think my first LP was when I was 8..it was a funny European Rock Band that had used a group of Chimpanzees posing on the cover in place of them. Have no clue on their name. But later as a young Teenager my first LP’s that I would buy for my own money would be Boney M. A black German/African group from the early 80’s. They were always doing cover songs, but had some great hits in Europe at the time..Don’t judge them from their cover’s..ha ha they were pretty out there. “Baby do you want to Bump” was a big Hit.
Q#5:Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Rachel: Believe in the “Power of Love” is my mantra….it works.