Rachel Quiles has built a cult following with her successful company Vintage Redeux, a men’s and women’s apparel brand based in Los Angeles, California. The twist? All the garments she uses are vintage. Quiles sews original handmade patches sewn onto vintage pieces she has personally sourced from thrift stores across the state and beyond.
Her mission is simple: cut down on the collective waste of over-manufacturing. According to the EPA, more than 10 million tons of textile waste (e.g., clothing and linens) is added to landfills every year. That rounds out to around 60 pounds per person, per year.
Her Dutch army spirit animal jackets put Vintage Redeux on the radar of all good streetwear sartorialists and freethinking fashionistas. Now, the talented designer has turned her attention to cannabis with her Mary Jane Gang, paying homage to the heritage scene with a fresh, modern vibe. The Mary Jane line has also extended from the iconic Dutch army jackets to include luxurious smoking robes and denim jackets.
We spoke to Quiles about her inspiration, sustainable fashion choices and changing the stigma surrounding cannabis.
When, where and how did the idea for Vintage Redeux begin?
Vintage Redeux came to fruition after I was laid off from a dream job in 2011. Little did I know, it would be a blessing in disguise because I was forced to face what I wanted my future to look like. I’ve always loved vintage clothing and had a knack for finding it, so I slowly started buying vintage and selling on Etsy. After a while, I was bored with online resale and turned to all the local markets in Los Angeles. That was all fine and dandy but I didn’t feel that I was challenging myself. That’s when the idea sparked to update all this high-quality vintage clothing.
Tell us the story behind the name Vintage Redeux.
After having success with my little shop for a few years, I thought it was best to create a name for all these pieces that were being reworked. Vintage Re-Do came to my mind immediately but I didn’t love the look of it written out. At the time, I had a partner in this venture and came up with “deux” — the French word for two. So it’s a bit of a made-up spelling but it looked cool. I no longer have a partner but there’s no way I would ever change the name.
What makes Vintage Redeux unique in the marketplace?
Vintage Redeux is unique because it’s not trying to follow trends, fads, or seasons. I make timeless pieces that transcend any box it should be confined to. I create and design artwork for me and just happen to be lucky enough that it speaks to other people, too. I love what I do because it doesn’t have any specific demographic. I’ve seen Vintage Redeux on all genders young and old, all body types, and all styles making it a unique piece for everyone.
Tell us about the craftsmanship that goes into a typical Vintage Redeux piece.
Take the Dutch army jacket for example. Every jacket is from the Seventies and Eighties and handpicked from a military warehouse. It’s chosen for quality; no holes, no stains, all snaps intact, no parts missing, etc. Then, the chosen jackets are thoroughly washed. I silkscreen the Mary Jane patches, cut them out, and place them on the jacket. Everything is sewn onto the garment along with a custom tag inside. From there it either goes to the store or the customer.
What inspired you to develop a Mary Jane line?
A while back, around Christmas time, I was trying to come up with a gift for a dear friend of mine, who had also been my one and only weed dealer in L.A. He was such a special person to all of us in our solid, little group. I was already making Dutch army jackets at the time with different patches but I liked the idea of creating a cheeky patch set to make us an unofficial Mary Jane gang.
When he received the gift, he was blown away by how cool it was! Being the biggest cheerleader for my company, he insisted that I sell this jacket to everyone, not just as a one-off for friends. Little did he know that it would be such a hit and synonymous with my company. I lost my dear friend last year to cancer, but he would be so proud to see how much our little “gang” has grown!
How do you think your clothes help change the opinion of cannabis-inspired fashion?
My biggest challenge with creating the Mary Jane patches was breaking down the stigma of wearing “cannabis branded clothing” without being tacky. My friend I created this for was 52, so he wasn’t about to wear some kid shit. I wanted to produce a tasteful design that anyone could wear without it being overly in-your-face. Thus, the creation of a beautiful, classic-looking woman named Mary Jane, smoking a joint, was born.
How important are sustainable practices to you in the current eco-conscious climate?
If only people could see the amount of vintage clothing, second-hand clothing, and military surplus the world is sitting on. They would be shocked. It doesn’t make sense for me to create new pieces with possibly unethical overseas practices, sell for nothing, and have it fall apart tomorrow. Rather, I can find these authentic pieces that are perfectly faded and worn-in, that other companies would struggle to reproduce and charge premium prices. Why not contribute to supporting recycled clothing companies, all the while not sacrificing your standard of quality?
How do you want people to feel when wearing your clothes?
I want people to feel comfortable, feel confident, and know that they’re wearing a piece of history. All of my clothes come with a previous story and it feels good to know you are continuing that story for many more years to come.
Do you have any design heroes?
Norma Kamali. I want to look and feel like her at 74 and accomplish as much as she has in her lifetime. She’s an incredible inspiration because she’s still continuing to create and do what she loves successfully.
Where can we follow you?
What don’t you leave the house without?
My Mary Jane jacket! It’s the perfect complementary piece to every outfit.
The 2021 Met Gala Red Carpet: Weird, Wonderful & Political
The Met Gala Red Carpet was rolled out on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art after a year off due to Covid-19. There were multiple show-stopping outfits from Lil Nas X while Kim Kardashian and her estranged husband Kanye West turned heads by dressing entirely in black, even their faces.
Amid the glamour, some guests highlighted social issues. The Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had ‘tax the rich’ written in red across the back of her white gown and the sports star Megan Rapinoe carried a clutch bag with the words ‘in gay we trust’.
Cactus Jack x Dior: The Creative Collab Between Kim Jones & Travis Scott Debuts in Paris
For Dior’s Spring 2022 Menswear collection, Kim Jones continued his creative partnerships that fuse different artistic and cultural influences. This time it’s Grammy-nominated rapper, songwriter, producer, businessman and designer, Travis Scott. Titled Cactus Jack x Dior — after Scott’s label, Cactus Jack Records — the collection debuted during Paris Fashion Week on Friday.
Scott has been close to the brand for a while, modelling the Air Dior capsule collection that the French fashion house developed last year with Jordan Brand. Through his Cactus Jack Foundation, founded last year, he partnered with The New School’s Parsons School of Design to establish a fashion program, launching his own scholarship program for historically black colleges and universities.
“A conversation – between two friends, two cultures, and two different eras – results in a collection that explores the identities of a groundbreaking modern musician and the heritage of one of the leading Parisian couture houses,” Dior wrote in the show notes.
According to a press release announcing the partnership, Cactus Jack x Dior is “the first full Dior collection ever created with a musician for the house.”
The collection draws from the desert landscapes of Texas, a nod to both Scott’s home state and a place house founder Christian Dior visited when he brought his debut collection to the United States in 1947. According to the show notes, Texas was an unexpected destination for the founding couturier and the grand canyons and huge dusty deserts made a lasting impression. So too did the ethos and spirit of America – in his own words, ‘the zest for life and self-confidence’.
The models appear in a desert landscape dotted with a buffalo head, giant cacti, roses and mushrooms. Bit by bit, the desert transforms into a rose garden in a nod to Christian Dior’s family home.
The colour palette features a soothing mix of dull pinks, café browns, dusty greys, creamy whites and pale blues, with pops of black and electric green, across Jones’ signature mix of exquisite tailoring and sportswear-inspired separates, and featured hybrid hats designed by Stephen Jones.
The graphics seen throughout — on prints, on embroidery, on patches — are a mix of Scott’s drawings and images from the Dior archive. There’s also collaboration within the collaboration this season, on a line of shirts hand-painted by George Condo that will be auctioned off to fund scholarships for the next generation of creatives.
What Anna Wintour’s Recent Promotion Means for Condé Nast Worldwide
Anna Wintour’s recent promotion at Condé Nast just made the influential editor even more powerful.
On Tuesday, as part of a broader strategy revamp under CEO Roger Lynch, Condé Nast announced that Wintour will become the worldwide Chief Content Officer and Global Editorial Director of Vogue — giving her final say over publications in more than 30 markets around the world — while continuing her oversight of U.S. Vogue.
The promotion gives Wintour vision over all of Condé Nast’s titles worldwide and puts her in charge of all of Vogue’s 25 global editions, on top of her longtime role as editor in chief of Vogue U.S.
Wintour is regarded as one of the most influential women in fashion. She was named Vogue’s U.S. editor in 1988 and quickly became one of the most powerful tastemakers in the fashion industry, making stars of upcoming designers while forging deep relationships with the top fashion houses. She turned the magazine into Condé Nast’s biggest moneymaker, and in 2014 she was named the company’s U.S. artistic director. Last year she joined a global leadership team to advise on global content opportunities.
For decades she has been chairwoman of the Met Gala at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she inspired the character played by Meryl Streep in the 2006 film “The Devil Wears Prada.”
“Anna’s appointment represents a pivotal moment for Condé Nast as her ability to stay ahead in connecting with new audiences, while cultivating and mentoring some of today’s brightest talent in the industry, has made her one of media’s most distinguished executives,” said Lynch in a statement.
Wintour’s expanded role is part of the media and publishing company’s move to install editorial leaders with a global vision for most of its brands.
Edward Enninful, the most powerful Black editor at Condé Nast, was made the head of Vogue’s editions in Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Simone Marchetti will become the European editorial director of Vanity Fair, putting him in charge of its editions in France, Italy and Spain. The American and British versions of Vanity Fair will remain under the control of Radhika Jones.
Condé Nast also announced the appointment of global editorial directors of AD (Architectural Digest), Condé Nast Traveler and GQ, with the remaining global brands to follow in early 2021. According to the company, the new editorial structure will “ensure global consistency of the brands,” including on the video front in partnership with the Condé Nast Entertainment team.
It’s been a turbulent year for Anna Wintour and Condé Naste. Amid the Black Lives Matter movement, the veteran editor was called out over lack of diversity at Vogue and was criticised by members of her own staff for fostering a workplace that sidelined women of colour. In June, Wintour herself acknowledged she had made “mistakes” by not doing enough to elevate black voices on her staff. She likewise admitted she had published images and stories that now are viewed as racially and culturally “hurtful or intolerant.”
“Undoubtedly, I have made mistakes along the way, and if any mistakes were made at Vogue under my watch, they are mine to own and remedy and I am committed to doing the work,” Wintour told the New York Times in October.
The changes come at the close of a brutal year in the media world due to COVID-19 and the drop off of advertising, particularly in print, where Condé Nast still derives the bulk of its revenue. The pandemic dashed any hope for a revival. In April, the company cut pay and furloughed staffers. In mid-May, the worsening ad crisis forced layoffs of about 100 people.
Whispers that Wintour would leave Vogue had circulated at fashion-industry parties and gossip columns for years. However, the announcement of Anna Wintour’s recent promotion seems to have dispelled that rumour as she has once again survived another round of intense criticism and seemingly emerged stronger than ever.