TALK TO ME: Rita Liefhebber, part II

Story by Paul Aguirre-Livingston. Illlustration by Ayalah Hutchins.

This is the second part of our conversation with fashion designer Rita Liefhebber. You can read the first part here.

Describe the girl who wears your garments. Who do you design for?

“She is a woman who is understated and effortlessly stylish. She appreciates minimalism and subtle luxury.”

If you weren’t a designer, you would …

“Open a dog sanctuary. Something I may still do one day.”

What’s next for you?

“Getting ready for the Spring 2011 presentation for New York Fashion Week, and working on several styling projects including Alexander McQueen’s final collection.”

I would image you style your own line for presentations/lookbooks/previews, or do you get outside advice from anyone?

“Yes, I do it all myself.”

What’s the biggest challenge or change you’ve had to adapt to from being a full-time stylist to full-time designer?

“I’m still a full time stylist so I make time for both. That is the challenge.”

If you could collaborate with any person (past or present) on any project (fashion-related or otherwise), who would it be and what would you create?

“I would love to collaborate with a creative artist like Björk or Theo Jansen.”

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

“I’m a purist with food—I prefer to eat plain foods like white rice, bread, popcorn with no sauce or added ingredients. I learned to play viola at a very young age, played in orchestras and reached grade 13 in music then quit when I had to make the decision to be a professional musician or not.”

Would you consider (or are you?) a move out of Toronto?

“Not in the immediate future. I show in both Paris and New York, and after travelling for almost a month, I’m so happy to come home.”

Alexander McQueen’s final collection.

Rhinoceros by the kinetic sculptor Theo Jansen.

And Björk!

Read more of Talk to Me: interviews with Kealan Sullivan, Amanda Lew Kee, Nathalie Atkinson and more!

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