Rebekka Lien is a local Silverlake Designer and Creative Entrepreneur, selling cute & unique fashion, accessories & jewelry. She uses her revenue to support a boy in Ecuador & orphans saved from Human Trafficking in Moldova. We thought that was interview worthy and wanted to know what this girl was all about.
Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your educational background?
I was born in Hamburg, Germany. At the age of 5 I moved to Taipei, Taiwan and then moved to Los Angeles when I was 8. I’m what you call a Third Culture Kid, though I’m Taiwanese, 1% Dutch, I have 3 different cultures in me. Sometimes I’m even Latin because I love to Salsa!
I attained my Fashion Design and Business Management Degree at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.
Fashion has more to do with attitude and the person than the clothes itself. I consider the body a canvas meant for beautiful clothes which expresses the inner being and the unique identity a person embodies. You can be the meanest person wearing the most beautiful clothes, I think that’s disgrace. Fashion should be charity, our clothes essentially invite others to be friends with us.
What are some of your goals you hope to achieve with the label?
I am currently focusing on creating my Jewelry Line. I give part of the proceeds to support a boy in Ecuador and an orphanage in Moldova, which saves kids from being trafficked. In the future, I hope to create a Fashion company that will provide jobs to women to prevent them from being sold as prostitutes.
If you were a cartoon and had to wear one outfit everyday what would it be?
If I was a cartoon character, I wouldn’t mind being naked. Though I love clothes, wouldn’t it be great to wake up and just walk out the door?
How long does it usually take you to construct a piece?
Depends on what it is. A jacket would take ages, 16 plus hours. A dress could take an hour or two. I actually don’t like sewing as much as designing. I love sketching and creating artworks of design.
Describe the process you go through from start to finish when constructing a piece of clothing.
I get existing pieces of clothing, get fabric, trace and change according to my design. Then I cut the fabric and start sewing. I don’t have a very “traditional” way of constructing my designs.
The world is ending tomorrow and you have one last day in L.A. how would you spend it?
I would gather all of my close friends and family at my house and have a time of sharing about how much I love them. I would write my last note on Facebook to all my Facebook friends.
What have been some of your biggest accomplishments as a designer?
I don’t think there’s one biggest accomplishment. From the age of 12, I would not have imagined myself to be doing what I’m doing now- that’s my biggest success. I thought I would love to become a head honcho at a corporate design firm, wearing my swag clothes, designer jeans, enjoying the sweet success of being rich and famous. Little did I know that I hated that world. I’m definitely more down to earth, I love digging through thrift stores, having little resources to create something new, backpacking. People think I’m successful, actually I literally have zero capital, I live month to month, but I love my life.
My biggest accomplishment is realizing that people are most important in your life. You can get rich and famous, but if you have no friends- that’s tragic.
Where do you get your inspiration?
From my travels around the world to Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, Taiwan, France, Australia, China and multiple states in the US. However, it also flows from within, the inner struggles, the philosophies of life, the beauty within.
How do you prepare for a fashion shoot or show?
I make a check list of things I need to bring. Create mood boards for hair and makeup and make sure I bring everything I need.
If you had the opportunity to design an outfit for one person who would it be?
Mother Teresa. Though she’s gone I am inspired by her life and would have been honored to clothe her in beauty for the beautiful person she is.
What was the last movie you went to see?
The Descendants. Not the greatest movie, it is an okay movie.
It’s Friday night where can we find you?
I love to dance but I go dancing spontaneously, not just Fridays. I love house, latin, afro beat, dubstep, and anything spazzy I can dance to.
What’s exciting right now in L.A. fashion?
We are definitely boycotting a lot of big corporations – think Occupy movement. People are buying from local designers and refusing to contribute profit to already successful companies. L.A has always been a rebellious lot of people, that’s why I live here. It’s exciting to see new independent designers succeed.
If you had to live your life by one cliché what would it be?
Just Be Yourself. Being yourself means finding yourself, knowing who you are, and loving yourself. Out of loving yourself, you will be able to love others. When you learn to be yourself, you will know what truly makes you happy and makes you come alive.
There’s a quote I love “ Dont ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. -Howard Thurman
Are you working on anything big you want our readers to know?
I want to backpack in Latin America next year and meet the boy I support. I am so inspired by the colors in Latin America and can’t wait to get my hands on some fabric and trims. Hopefully one day I can manufacture my designs so the masses can all have Rebekka Lien designs! Read more of my adventures: http://rebekkalien.wordpress.com
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