The Profile: Rita Liefhebber of Lief Huis

Lifestyle

If you know the Canadian fashion scene, then you know Rita Liefhebber. The flaxen haired beauty—she used to model—has carved out a diverse career in the industry, using her many talents for styling and editing shoots, as well as designing her own collections (I have one of her dip-dyed shirt-dresses and it’s on constant rotation every summer!).

Liefhebber, who now splits her time between New York City and Toronto, recently launched a sustainable line of housewares, which includes dip dyed pillows and cosy, chic throws and table cloths and runners. I wanted to know more about her thoughts on sustainability, where she gets her great love of design and her on point aesthetic.

What made you transition from clothing to housewares?
For the past few years I have been shifting my focus to the home. I have been thinking a lot about what makes a home, and how what we surround ourselves with has a direct influence on how we feel. I want to create beautiful things that add comfort, and enhance my clients’ environment.

Both of your parents are in design. Did this have an influence on your career?
My parents have a huge influence on every aspect of my life. We are very close. They taught me not only about design, but also to challenge the norms of how to live your life. I’m so grateful to have them as parents.

Why is it important to you to produce a sustainable collection?
We live in such a throwaway society. Creating things that are made to last and to be well loved and sustainable is very important to me. I buy less and buy what I truly love, so there is no waste. I hope my pieces will be cherished and with people for many years. And I hope they enjoy them as much as I love creating them.

How would you describe your aesthetic, personally and with your line?
I tend to gravitate towards natural fibers. I love neutrals like creams and camels in classic shapes. I’m slowly building a quality wardrobe and home collection that I hope to still use in well into my 60s.

You’ve worked as a stylist, clothing designer and now housewares designer. Is there another arena that you’d like to tap into in the next five years?
I’m working on an idea that will bring all these worlds together. It’s a work in progress and I’m excited to see how it develops. I have also been working on a few interior design projects. I love natural minimal spaces like The Apartment in Graanmarkt 13 in Antwerp.

What are your current beauty products or brands?
I like to keep my routine quick, clean and minimal. Live live skin food cream, RMS make up, rosehip oil at night and unscented shampoo, conditioner and body wash from Whole Foods. I also drink a lot kombucha to get my probiotics, and a friend of mine just launched a new brand in Toronto called Good Nectar, that I love. A regular yoga practice is also big part of my health and beauty regime. You’d be surprised what it can do for your skin, body and of course mind.

When looking to other sustainable fashion lines, are there any brands that you really love?
Any piece of clothing can be sustainable if it’s good quality and you wear till its thread bare. Try thinking about the cost per wear before you purchase. I tend to think $5 to 10 a wear is a good measure. If a pair of good quality boots are $500 and you know you can wear them over and over for years then it’s worth investing in them, versus buying a less expensive pair that won’t last, and will have to be replaced sooner. Some brands I love are Ewanika, Khaite, Jenny Bird and Max Mara.

Shop Lief Huis by visiting ritaliefhebber.com

Photo credits:
Bio shot of Rita in navy top – Regina Garcia
Still life shots- Norman Wong
Graanmarkt 13-from Graanmarkt 13

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  • Amanda Sorbara November 27, 2017

    I just bought some of your linen bath towels. What cycle and temperature can I wash them on in the machine? Does it need to be cold and delicate? I will hang to dry. Thanks

    • Michelle Bilodeau December 7, 2017

      Hi Amanda,
      Try emailing the Rita Liefhebber team at INFO@RITALIEFHEBBER.COM. Unfortunately I do not know that answer for you.
      Good luck!

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