Photo courtesy of Yahae! by Michael Hurt
I had the immense pleasure of working with Rachel Park on various occasions as she is one of the most talented custom made tie designers in the world! Her signature skinny ties brings charm & charisma to any man when in need.
I wanted to style profile this powerful woman as she is a force to be reckoned with in a man’s world. Hope you enjoy it:
How did your background lead you to where you are today?
RP: Growing up, I always enjoyed sewing and always made clothes for friends and family as gifts. In school, I once saw my friend on the street wearing something I had made for her. She didn’t know I was there, but it was so exciting to see something I made being worn by someone. I wanted to shout, “Hey, I made that!” I still love seeing someone wearing my designs, and I have not stopped sewing since.
Tell me a bit about the Rachel Park brand?
RP: Our mens’ ties blend exciting colors, striking textures, bold prints, and contrast linings with an old wardrobe staple and dare men not to conform. Sure, they have to wear one — but why not have some fun doing it? Our ties are handmade, exquisitely detailed, and can also be custom ordered for weddings. (They also make great groomsmen gifts!) It is always an honor to be a small part of their Big Day!
Our women’s ties feature vivid colors and dynamic prints. They are more feminine in fabric, shorter, and skinnier than the men’s ties and can be dressed up or down.
What led you to creating the Rachel Park brand?
RP: I studied fashion design in college but ended up at a desk job after graduation. Bored and miserable at not being able to be creative, I decided to start my own company. I was inspired by the limited wardrobe choices for men and their need for neckwear, but I was frustrated with the humdrum selection available, so the idea of Rachel Park Designs ties was born. It all started with a sewing machine and card table in my kitchen as my first studio, 10 ties, and a goal to always make ties guys actually wanted to wear.
What is a key lesson you’ve learned along the way?
RP: Don’t be afraid to ask questions, always be learning, and never give up.
Think of these four characteristics of entrepreneurs: heart, smart, guts, luck. Which one were you?
RP: I am a huge foodie/ techie, and I can geek out about either at any given moment. I love sharing good food with good people and discussing the latest gadgets or technology, so I would have to say I am “heart and smarts.”
What has been your highest moment in fashion and your lowest?
RP: One of my highest was when my women’s ties were featured in the first issue of Yahae! magazine (a Korean digital fashion magazine). It was their first fashion editorial, and our ties were also shot in Seoul, which was amazing for me as a Korean-American.
There are probably many lows, but you also learn the most from those moments, so a low can eventually become a high.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
RP: Wow, that’s hard to say – life is always full of surprises. If I think about it too much, it will probably freak me out! So I just try to worry about today; that’s all you can do.
Who currently is your style icon?
RP: For style, my classics are Audrey Hepburn and Twiggy. They are always timeless and beautiful.
For my designer icon, it would be Issey Miyake. I loved how he always made his fashion functional. He truly inspired me about the “design” in “fashion design.” I can’t wait to read the new book about his Pleats Please collections.
Fashion item you can’t live without?
RP: My iPhone case!