Top 5: Rachel Berks, Founder, Otherwild

Photo: A.L. Steiner

I was really excited to discover Otherwild near my neighborhood when I randomly walked by. There is so much good stuff to want in there, like interesting pottery, insane-smelling oils and under-the-radar designers, plus they carry my favorite boob pillowcases and deodorant cream! A little about Rachel: She studied at Sarah Lawrence with concentrations in visual art, gender studies and modern dance. And funny enough, because I just can’t picture her there, she had a stint as creative director at Ford Models. I’m happy she left that gig several years ago to open her inspiring store with locations in NYC and Los Angeles. And you know those The Future is Female  tees you see everywhere? You can thank Rachel! She started the whole thing as an ode to the original, made by Labyris Books, the first women’s bookstore in New York City, opened in 1972 by Jane Lurie and Marizel Rios, and 25% of proceeds go to Planned Parenthood. Rachel is also big on supporting independent makers and craftspeople (which is why you can find so much cool stuff here), fundraising for various advocacy organizations, and offering classes, workshops and performances to the public. Plus when my husband and I went to shoot her recently for an online publication (stay tuned for that story), she was like “Oh I have to leave here by noon to make it downtown.” When I nosily asked where she was off to she said nonchalantly, “Oh just to get married.” She then threw on some spectacular pink cutout coveralls by Studio HH with tiny patches that read “I’m gay” and was off to the “altar” to marry her partner, the artist A.L. Steiner. So sweet!

 

 
 1. Earth Tu Face Rosemary + Salt Lotion. “Made by two herbalists in California, this smells incredible, is light on your skin, and truly hydrating. It is also organic, uses only food grade preservatives, and it the best lotion I’ve ever used.”
2. Pansy high-rise underwear “Since I started wearing these I can no longer wear anything else! They’re made of organic, domestically-grown cotton, and sewn in the U.S., in an amazing rainbow assortment of colors. Somehow these full-figured underwear and no-frills bras feel super sexy, and are the most comfortable undergarments out there.”
 
 
3. Instant Pot “ I’ve always loved to cook, but getting this in the fall changed my life. I’ve been making homemade yogurt, Indian food, bone broth, and beans (without having to soak them first). My friends keep making fun of me for being a walking IP infomercial, but this appliance truly is life changing.”
4. Otherwild Sister Resister tee “We are most famous for our re-release of a 1970s tee, with the slogan “The Future is Female”, but I’m really excited about this tee, which is my original design, benefits the ACLU, and the long sleeved version is made on an Everybody.World recycled cotton trash tee. We started working with Everybody.World about a year ago, and they’re the only company who is making a t-shirt of recycled cotton scraps. “
 
 
5. Matteo Linen sheets “I first discovered these in a small shop in Brooklyn, before I moved to LA, but became obsessed with the brand when we moved down the road from their factory, near downtown LA. Their sheets are both luxe and super comfy at the same time. Luckily, they have the most incredible sample sales for Cali locals, because I only want their super soft, pre-washed 100% linen sheets on my bed now.”

 

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3 Comments

  • Reply January 10, 2018

    Tara

    These are all fantastic. Buying myself that amazing t-shirt right now as an early birthday present. Congratulations on your wedding & much happiness to you and your wife, Rachel!

  • Reply January 10, 2018

    DeDe

    Heeeeeeey those Pansy undies have been on my list forever (I’m a granny panty afficionado, what can I say?) – in fact one of my New Year’s resolutions is to finally get a bunch! Such funny synchronicity.

    Thanks for featuring Rachel here. It’s nice to see someone who falls outside of the often narrow confines of what is considered fashionable or cool.

  • Reply January 11, 2018

    Anne-Marie

    My college-student daughter said, “I would wear the hell out of that shirt” so I ordered. Great design, great message. I’ll bet her friends will want them too. Thanks Rachel.

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