‘Not many people outside my family know I’m fluent in Wolof, the language spoken in the region of West Africa where I was born,’ says Amy Lefevre, a model and entrepreneur who grew up in Gambia, Senegal and Belgium, ‘I speak a hybrid of French, English and Wolof - Frenglof?!’ she jokes. Lefevre moved to the USA when she was eight, to live with her mother ‘ in Las Vegas, of all places’. She’s now based in New York and recently launched her own label, LEFEV, starting with sunglasses, she’ll add beauty accessories later this year - ‘I’ve always wanted to make fashion accessible to everyone that desires it,’ she says.
Eloquent and enlightening on racial and social justice, Amy has spoken about her personal experiences of racism within the fashion industry. ‘Lately, I’ve been absorbed by a Toni Morrison quote - ‘The function of freedom is to free someone else.’ she says, ‘to me, this is such a simple idea, but where we all need to get to.’ It’s a responsibility that rests with every one of us.
Meet our latest muse, in her own words...
‘I’m incredibly inspired by the outpouring of solidarity around the world against racial injustice, hate and unequal opportunities in our society. It’s invigorating to see people care about their communities and fight against injustice towards an entire people because of the colour of their skin. I’m happy to see the majority being on the right side of history - it feels like we’ll be leaving the world a little better than we found it.’
‘I was bullied and made fun of growing up. I wish I’d stood up for myself more and rejected the underlying prejudices and insecurities. I’ve learned that if you’re happy with who you are and what you stand for, then hate has no place in your life; there’s no need for you to contribute to someone else’s unhappiness. When you strip away all the pretence, are you truly happy with what you’ve done with the time you’ve been given?’
‘I’ve always wanted to make fashion accessible - everyone has a right to art and beauty in their lives. I’ve been developing obtainable beauty accessories under my LEFEV brand - we’re trying to get our new lines up and running before the end of the summer.’
‘I’ve always loved fashion and creativity - my parents were artists and performers. Modelling was my entry point into the creative industries. Trying to build a modelling career and a brand is no easy task - I’m always on the go; running around the city to shoots, meetings, events. I wouldn’t ask for it any other way - it validates that hard work will always be the starting point on the path to success.’
‘I travel when I need to reset - throw myself into a different culture and country. For now, I’ll explore my own backyard - visit communities I’ve never seen, reconnect with the natural wonders that we have in this country. Or pick up a good book - and I love a long bath!’
‘I moved to NYC about five years ago to focus on modelling. I love that you walk down the street here and run into an unexpected adventure every day - I never know who I’ll meet or what unique situation I’ll find. I’m a huge foodie and love Thai Diner - I can’t wait to head back. And my happy place is with my friends having a picnic in Central Park.’
‘Rat & Boa harness the power of femininity. I love the Catarina - I could wear it to sleep! The print, colour, cut are perfect - a dress to make any woman feel like a queen. I style it with sneakers for a laid back look or dress it up with a power bag and heels. I have powers when I wear these pieces…’
‘My style is pretty eclectic - mostly based on my mood. Sometimes I feel like a tomboy in a hoodie with dad shoes. Other times I’m feeling girly and will don a full-blown dress as if I were going to a gala when I’m actually picking up an oat latte…’
‘Right now I’m thinking about what I can do to improve the state of the world. We can sign petitions, diversify our feeds, vote for candidates that do not bolster division. Personally, I’ll continue to support organizations that support and edify young women.’
Rio’s mood runs through the veins of our SS2020 collection, inspired by Brazil’s tropical colour and endless summer days.READ AND SHOP
Unspoilt beaches, great food and endless days of sunshine, the Mediterranean island of Sardinia is the perfect post-lockdown getaway, says R&B co-founder, Valentina.READ AND SHOP