Rachel Lewis is the creator of GoldMark, a unique clothing brand specializing in contemporary women’s wear.
The GoldMark brand strives for comfort and individuality.
GV: What City are you based out of?
GV: Why did you decide to become a fashion designer?
RL: I have always been a creative soul and needed an outlet to express that. I used to be a dancer and painter, and dabbled in anything I felt drawn to. When I became sick with Lyme Disease my health became my number one focus. As a result, my creative expression shifted due to debilitating pain and paralysis in my hands and body. After a couple years of IV antibiotics my brain and body were functioning well enough to finish school; a lifelong goal that was postponed. I wanted to explore a creative outlet that my body could handle; and then I found fashion design. At a point, my illness was terminal, and life became more precious than ever. I was given a second chance, and after facing death, I had a new-found gratitude, and zest for life. I wanted something tangible to be remembered for. In addition, I felt that this art form could also serve as my legacy.
GV: Where do you draw inspiration from?
RL: I get inspired by life, and intriguing things that I encounter along my journey. My emotions and life experiences inspire the mood of each collection. For example, my Fall/Winter collection in 2014, called “Defiance,” was inspired by the apocalypse. This line paralleled how close I was to death and my emotions surrounding the situation. My latest collection, Peruvian Torch, was inspired by my travels to Peru and how I was able to heal myself from Lyme Disease using alternative treatment methods. The fifteen looks were flirty, and light; effortlessly portraying my love of life through each look.
GV: What is your favorite part about being a fashion designer?
RL: I love that fashion gives me a platform to express myself fully, and bring awareness to Lyme Disease; an illness that causes suffering for millions of people. It also allows me to help women own who they are as individuals by providing a garment that makes them feel beautiful and sexy. It is a privilege to help influence a woman’s confidence level.
GV: How do you select the materials you use?
RL: My Spring/Summer 2016 Collection includes authentic Andean weavings from Peru. While there on my healing journey, I learned to spin alpaca yarn and weave simple textiles. This experience gave me such appreciation for the intricacies of the fabric. It has both structure and breathability. I also chose material based on touch and how comfortable the textile feels. I love texture; anything that is soft and visually stimulating will usually find its way into one of my garments
GV: What has been the most exciting milestone for you as a designer?
RL: I recently had an article published about me by Coachella Valley Blog. The writer was blown away by my Runway Presentation at Sacramento Fashion Week and expressed, “She/ Rachel stole the show.” Her article sparked interest in my work and, helped trigger opportunities and invitations to show at Cannes Film Festival, and at Fashion Weeks all over the world.
GV: Who is your ideal client?
RL: My client likes to work hard, and play hard. She needs garments that can transition from day to night, and still feel sexy and flirty in what she’s wearing. Each garment enhances the expression of her personality and her zest for life.
GV: How would you describe your clothing line?
RL: GoldMark is a unique brand specializing in contemporary women’s wear. The GoldMark brand strives for comfort, individuality and the mindset that, “I will succeed because I know I look the part….and so I feel the part;).” Many GoldMark pieces use textiles that can not be replicated. This allows my client to feel like they are wearing a one of a kind garment. Thus creating exclusivity, a sense of couture, and a true art form that brings flare to my brand. GoldMark also offers beautiful ready to wear garments from each collection
RL: My mom is probably my biggest influence. When I was little I always watched her transform into this beautiful goddess when she would leave for an event with my dad. She took such pride in what she would wear, and I would watch her style herself to perfection. As I got older she started working as a clothing consultant for Carlisle, a contemporary fashion line based out of New York. I would help her set up her trunk shows, and watch her transform women from frumpy housewives into powerful business women. I witnessed the confidence women gained when they put on an expensive piece of clothing. It was as if my mother had manifested a new woman by putting her in a garment that accentuated her flattering features. This inspired me to want to understand this transformative process. In fashion school, I learned how certain silhouettes highlight different body types. This in turn inspired me to help women feel like the best versions of themselves through fashion design.
GV: Who is YOUR favorite fashion designer?
RL: I love Miu Miu and the way the label mixes and matches prints. Their design aesthetic matches mine very closely, and inspired my creativity. Their label also encourages a very loud and individual sense of style. Alexander McQueen’s work was very intriguing and personal; and now Sarah Burton has continued to create such emotional designs.
GV: What don’t you like about fashion?
RL: My most challenging project was presenting a 12-piece collection for Sacramento Fashion Week in 2014. My health was deteriorating quickly, but I was determined to not drop out of the show. I had to learn how to delegate, how to ask for assistance, and how to practice time management all while being in and out of the hospital. I learned that determination and motivation can get you through anything. If you want something bad enough you’ll make it happen.
GV: What are your plans for the future?
RL: I plan to use fashion as a platform for Lyme Disease awareness. I also hope to support Peruvian women and their villages by ordering their woven materials. It’s important for me to spread the love little by little, support and give back to people in different countries that are of very low socioeconomic status. I look forward to showing at New York, and LA Fashion Week and have plans to be in boutiques in the near future.
My design philosophy is defined by the simple essence of how a beautiful garment can completely and immediately change the attitude of the wearer.