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Profile: Rita Liefhebber

You were both the stylist and the model for our latest campaign; what was your experience like in playing both roles, and in working with Jenny? 
This was the first time JB and I had worked together, and it was a match made in heaven! From our first conversation about the project, we were on the same wavelength. Jenny is so talented and passionate about what she does, and her team clearly adores her. Her new collection is clean, modern, and fresh; I’m very excited to wear the pieces she, so generously, gifted to me. I loved talking with her about our companies, and it was a treat to see another successful business woman in her element. 

Joining the two roles, of styling and modelling, was really fun because, as I pulled clothes, I could envision which pose and piece would go together. 

I had modelled in my teens and early twenties, but had taken a break in the last few years. Recently, I have gotten back into modelling, and it feels different from when I was a teenager; I’m more comfortable in my skin. 

You travel so regularly to set locations for styling; what are three must-haves in your bag on the plane (aside from chargers and phone)? 

1. My Rita Liefhebber hand-dyed, boiled wool scarf; I use it as a blanket, if I’m chilly. 

2. Facial oil made by my friend and makeup artist, Blair Petty. 

3. An eye mask allows me to catch up on my ZZZs. 

What is your favourite thing about living in the Lower East Side?

My street that is lined with some great old trees, and the long-term tenants that have been in the neighborhood since the 60s; it feels like a community. I made a point last year to smile at people on the street and to say hello to my neighbours; 
this isn't common practice in New York, but it helps me to feel more at home (Toronto). It’s also a short walk to check out the art shows; 
some of my favourite spots are: Tomorrow Gallery, Hester, 247365 and Mulherin.

What part of the NY lifestyle has rubbed off on you? 

I walk everywhere. I love exploring little pockets of the city and discovering new places. My personal taste has really evolved since moving here. There are so many inspiring things to see.

How has your personal taste evolved? 

I've been working a few interior design projects; thinking about people's space and how they use it has been very inspiring. I love to walk through ABC Carpet & Home and the D&D building. I've always loved old things with a story. I've learned more about quality and to appreciate things that are built to last. 

Living in a small apartment in Manhattan we have a very minimal pale interior and keep only what is really necessary and special.  

Carpet by Eileen Gray

Also, I've learned more about fantastic female designers like Eileen Gray and Georgia O'Keefe. Georgia inspired me to take ceramic classes and I'll have a collection available before the holidays.

Interior by Eileen Gray

Georgia O'Keefe

What is your most treasured possession? 

My boyfriend, Tibi Tibi Neuspiel, is an artist, and he made me 
a wildflower sculpture for my birthday. It's made from laser-cut wood; I love its natural feel and the contemporary precision.
See his work here.

What are the two things you feel that you NEED to shop for to make your SS16 closet work? 

This year, I started to wear cream head-to-toe. Most days I'm running around prepping for a job or in the studio, so I'm pretty casual and in layers. I'm going to get another pair of cream sneakers, and I just got a pair of gold frame yellow-tinted aviator glasses, which make even the dreariest days feel like they are filled with perpetual morning sun.

What do you eat for breakfast every day?

A smoothie of banana, spinach, carrot, celery, yogurt, chia seeds, Amazing Greens powder, cinnamon and cayenne. Every morning, never fail. When I'm traveling, I bring the powders with me.

We know you're a clean eater like JB; what is your biggest cheat when you go dirty?

I LOVE potato chips. My friend Tina Piermarini, in Dallas, travels to exotic places often; 
she collected an assortment of chips from around the world for me.
I'm so grateful to have such thoughtful friends. :) 

I almost forgot to mention Pizza! (not the food, but my dog, PIZZA!) <3 <3 <3