It Girl Camille Rowe on Designing Her Dream Collection with RVCA
Camille Rowe is in Corsica, the Mediterranean island southeast of mainland France.
“In our family home,” she said, chatting over Zoom. “All the family got together, so it’s really fun. A little chaotic but fun.”
The French-American actress and model grew up in Paris until the age of 21 before moving to New York and later Los Angeles. Her mom is from Long Beach, and she often spent her summers in California as a kid. Now, she’s between L.A. and Paris.
“It’s such a funny thing, the French girl style…You always think of the `60s and [Brigitte] Bardot and Jane Birkin, even though she’s not French, but it was just such an iconic time,” said Rowe, 31.
Living between France and the U.S., she’s often asked to compare the fashion styles of both cultures, and through the years she’s been tapped by both French and American labels for fashion collaborations, including Pablo and Reformation. Her latest partnership is with Southern California brand RVCA, which unveiled a 32-piece capsule collection this week.
“In terms of price points, it’s really great,” she said of the line, which costs between $30 and $150. It’s available at rvca.com, the brand’s 15 brick-and-mortar shops and select retail partners (there are 1,100 in total). “It’s just more accessible to younger kids, and I was trying to keep that in mind, like, what I would have wanted to wear when I was 20.”
Her dream closet includes lace-up corduroy short shorts; long, romantic summer dresses; a striped pantsuit — high-waisted and straight leg; `90s-inspired trousers and denim, and lots of T-shirts. Some have French sayings written across the fronts, like “Conservez l’eau. Buvez du vin.” It translates to “Conserve Water. Drink wine.”
“We weren’t drinking a lot of water in my household, but we’re drinking a lot of wine,” she said, laughing, of life in quarantine.
Others feature vintage-inspired ads, with one showcasing a made-up beer brand, inspired by an old shirt of hers.
“It’s a Tahitian beer T-shirt that I’ve had since I was maybe — I would have been 11 or 12,” explained Rowe. “I remember being in Huntington Beach and this cute surfer boy was wearing this T-shirt, and I was like, ‘Oh my god, your T-shirt is so cool,’ and he was like, ‘Oh, I’ll trade you.’ And so, I gave him — I don’t remember what T-shirt I was wearing. I gave him my T-shirt, and he gave me his.”
She references the fashions of the `60s and `70 as influences for the designs, noting Bardot and Birkin, but also New York’s The Velvet Underground and Nico, as well as Michelle Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas and Joni Mitchell.
“When you think about California at that time, and French girl style, whatever that means, to me it’s sort of the same thing,” she said. “It’s relaxed and confident, stylish, textures, prints.”
The collection also offers a striped sweater, flared printed pants and accessories like a bucket hat. Rowe had a lot of freedom while helping create, she said.
“I’ve known of them for forever,” she said of the team at RVCA, founded by Pat Tenore in 1999. Based in Costa Mesa, Calif., the brand — owned by Boardriders — is closely associated with skateboarding, surf culture, Jiu Jitsu and MMA.
“I was really into surfing as a teenager,” continued Rowe. “And then when I moved to New York, I was friends with a lot of skateboarders. Dylan was really close with Pat and this dude Mark Oblow that works with them.”
The late Dylan Rieder, that is, the professional skateboarder and her ex-boyfriend.
“So, yeah, I kind of just always knew about them and what they do,” she added.
“Everything at RVCA happens organically,” said Tenore. “It’s always friends or family…Camille’s whole vibe was perfect for RVCA, and as a person, she’s just kind to everyone and does things with a pure approach, and it made sense.”
New, yet to be released items from the line will be unveiled for spring 2022.
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