Voyager Journal
Dialogue Series No. 10 / Reifhaus


REIFhaus is one of those brands that I feel like I've known my whole life, so many friends in common, so many people talking to me about Lindsey's beautiful line and beautiful heart. I am so thrilled and excited to finally be working together and especially to host the presentation of her AW16 collection at our downtown LA location. 

Authenticating the brand's slogan "Die Zeit ist REIF" (German for "the time is ripe"), Portland based designer Lindsey Reif carefully and thoughtfully nurtures each concept into it's prime. REIFhaus blurs the line between edgy innovation and classic sophistication. The brand's unique designs fuse elements of the past with modern silhouettes and textiles, giving way to a line of timeless, quality attire.



Marta: Hi Lindsey! It is so great to finally work together! First things always first, how did this whole adventure start? How did REIFhaus get to be REIFhaus?

Lindsey: REIFhaus came about very organically - when I first moved to Portland I bought a sewing machine and started to teach myself how to sew from commercial patterns and from altering vintage pieces I would find a thrift shops.  I didn't necessarily intend to have a line, but a friend saw some of my creations and suggested I bring them to a shop to see if they were interested, and they were!  That was over ten years ago, and my style has definitely changed a lot since then, but I think that it has reflected my growth as a person.  I am self-taught as a designer, and starting REIFhaus was more a way of giving myself a framework to learn, refine my techniques, and evolve my designs.  The current iteration of REIFhaus reflects very much the way I like to dress - no fuss pieces that are versatile, and comfortable, yet still interesting.

M: I love when things happen just mainly because they had to, no marked path just life doing its thing! Vintage and how to alter those vintage pieces was a great inspiration for me as well, I think deconstructing pieces is one of the best (and most fun!) things to do, not only do you get to see how things are made, but you gain an understanding on fits that I think absolutely reflects on your work, Lindsey! Was designing something that you always knew you wanted to do?

L: I always wanted to be an artist of some sort - being a clothing designer wasn't necessarily on my radar until I started college and moved out on my own, but looking back I can see that it was there as a child.  I remember very vividly making dresses for my dolls out of tissues, and covering them with tape so they could be worn again later.

M: Oh I wish we could see those doll outfits now!! I bet they were unbelivable! Is art your biggest inspiration still? Would you say a color, a textile, a pattern...What usually sets a whole collection in motion? What are the first steps when designing a new season? 

L: It really depends!  Sometimes it's a textile - I'm really attracted to texture and I often design a piece around a textile rather than trying to find the right textile for the piece. Often it's a shape or a detail that will begin the inspiration process - for example in the AW16 I was inspired by creating volume in unexpected ways.  The Ripple Sweater is a good example - ruffles have a reputation for being hyper feminine, and I was interested in using them as more of an austere detail and less girly.  That's a big theme for a lot of my designs.  I want women to feel feminine by wearing clothing that they like and feel comfortable in - rather than what society tells them they should wear.




M: I love ruffles! And everybody is always very surprised as, as you said, they are perceived as a very femenine shape, but I always saw something very dramatic and architectural in them, always instantly attracted to volume and shape and of course I was instantly attracted to this particular collection! It is so subtle and wearable yet so interesting and rich! 

I know that art and keeping it simple, comfortable and interesting is a very important part of what REIFhaus is, but what is it that is most important for you as a brand? What are the fundaments of it? And what keeps you motivated to continue doing what you do?

L: REIFhaus is intentional, timeless, versatile.  The line is known for quiet yet striking details - subtleties that make a garment interesting but not over the top.   I want my clothing to feel special, and for the wearer to feel like every detail was sewn in just for them.  Fast fashion has taken a lot of the specialness out of clothing, and I'm trying to bring that back, because clothing is something we all wear every day and it should be valued and chosen with intention, not just because it's cheap and easily accessible.
There's a lot of pressure in the fashion industry to be trendy, but that's not a sustainable way to dress, not to mention the amount of waste that is created by cheaply made, clothing that can only be worn a few times before it falls apart.  
I think being so hands on with my product keeps me motivated - I truly love sewing and I can't imagine not sewing my own samples or making my own patterns.  It's very meditative for me, and an integral part of my design process.  We produce most of our garments in house, and everyone in my production team truly loves and values sewing the same way I do.  I think that that love and intention appears in every garment we produce.
M: I couldn't have said it better truly, and that care, that passion and the love shows in every detail. I know why I wanted to collaborate with you, but I am always curious why did you chose Voyager for a pop up and us for hosting and carrying your beautiful line? 
L: Voyager has always been one of my favorite shops!  Because I live in Portland, it's a treat every time I get to visit and explore all of the beautiful things in Voyager.  It's such an honor to be able to be a part of the lineup of artists and designers.

M: Thank you so much Lindsey! We are so excited and so happy to have you! Can't wait for all our amazing LA customers to discover your designs! 



M: Ok, and now to finish the worst question of all, it is just a classic that has to be made haha. I want to know how you envision REIF HAUS in a decade, where would you want it to be? What would you want it to be?

L: I don't envision REIFhaus to be a huge brand, but rather a cult favorite and carried in a curated selection of shops.  I am very hands on with my designs, and that is really important to me, and that gets harder and harder to maintain the larger a company becomes.   

M: Thank you so much Lindsey! It has been a real pleasure!

Please, all, come by our POP UP at the LA Shop until the end of September!

And come by this Friday, September 9th to meet Lindsey, grab a cocktail, enjoy the beautiful artwork by Francesca Capone and shop Lindsey's release of the AW16 collection!



All picture courtesy of REIF HAUS

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