Seaecho and Reif recently teamed up to share a studio and these two creative and motivated ladies are a major #powercouple! On a recent rainy Sunday, we were lucky enough to hang out with both of them at their studio in the Bindery building (a new creative space located on NE 31st and Sandy). As one might imagine, their studio is perfection. Refer to every single photo below if you don’t believe us. By the time we arrived, a bottle of champagne had been popped and the fun had already begun. Lindsey’s brand Reif Haus is a clothing and accessory line that is best know for amazingly versatile turbans. But this year Reif has taken it to a whole new level, her SS14 line has every girl in Portland wanting to wear it. And if you weren’t at her presentation, take a look for a recap. Sarahvale’s line, Seaecho offers handbags and accessories that have taken Portland by storm. You can’t not find them in the hands of Portland babes, popping out of their purses, crammed with credit cards. Tassels either on or off, they are everywhere! Enjoy the photos and interviews with Sarah and Lindsey!
Selected Questions were answered by both designers, LR (Lindsey Reif) and SVR (Sarahvale Rapp).
1. Why Portland? What was it that drew you to Portland or has kept you here?
LR: I'm from a super small town in South Dakota. Portland seemed like a good size jump for me - not too big, not too small. The natural beauty reminded me of home (the Black Hills) and I liked that people are progressively minded here. I've been here for over 10 years and I stay because our quality of life is so good - delicious food, affordable rent, etc! Plus, it's more exciting to be doing what I'm doing here rather than larger fashion capitals because we're creating an industry from the ground up.
2. How did your brand start?
LR: My brand started in a basement in NE Portland almost 6 years ago. It started as a hobby, an experiment really, while I cultivated my skills and aesthetic. Really I just needed a creative outlet, and REIF happened so organically that it quickly took over every ounce of my energy.
SVR: By accident, but the name seaecho (as a brand) had always been lingering in the back of my mind. It's funny b/c when you first meet people they don't know how to say it - SEE - AW - CHO, SAY- CHOH, SEA - ECHO - I thinks it's all those vowels. It's fun to make fun of the name and explain it as "OCEAN WHISPER" then they get it.
3. What has been your biggest obstacle?
LR: I'm a completely self-taught designer. Occasionally I feel like that is an obstacle, but sometimes it's also an advantage!
SVR: Time. Time always moves faster than you expect. I'm learning/trying to grasp it and work balance into my life. I am also trying to plan ahead better, and think a few steps in advance.
4. Who are your design icon(s)?
LR: Alexander Wang, Dion Lee, Alexander McQueen, Ann Demuelemeester, Karl Lagerfeld
5. What are your favorite things about Portland?
LR: Delicious food around every corner, good people, and a receptive, helpful community. Within the design community, people aren't competitive, and that's pretty cool.
SVR: Being able to have a balanced life, or having the ability to seek one. Portland can be whatever type of city you want it to be and it's so wonderful to have had so many phases here. It has everything you need in a city and allows you to be close to nature in a heart beat.
Favourite things on a smaller scale:
Insane shopping: Palace, Cargo, Beam and Anchor, Lowell
Amazing coffee: Stumptown, Albina Press, Water Ave.
The little things: Parks everywhere, new restaurants and bars popping up, lazy weekends with all day mimosas.
6. What neighborhood describes your style the best?
LR: I really like my neighborhood that I live in now - so I'd probably say 28th and Burnside area. I can walk to so many restaurants, bars, and grocery stores and it's really central to so many other parts of town. I would say it describes my style because it's easy and efficient!
7. Your favorite thing about your workspace?
LR: When we moved in the room was a blank canvas, and Sarah Vale and I have managed to fill the space with each of our personalities, which happen to work really well together! We wanted our workspace to be inspiring, efficient, and full of tiny treasures to make our time there more special.
SVR: Being able to leave it all behind and shut the door. It is a remarkable feeling to be able to go home and not just work on one more thing. It's always wonderful to be able to open that door and know you have everything you need to start something new. A clean slate everytime as well as an escape.
8. 5 things you can’t live without.
LR: My pets, coffee, my smart phone, at least 5 different shades of lipstick in my purse at any given time, and thrift store shopping!
SVR: a. my husband, parents, cats, iced coffee, the city
b. the ocean, tiny things, beautiful and pre-love textiles, house plants, wood floors