Rachel Antonoff: Friends and Family

by The Daily Front Row

Girls’ Lena Dunham and designer Rachel Antonoff have two things in common that we know about. Both date members of the band fun. (Rachel’s with Nate Ruess, while Lena’s boo is Rachel’s brother Jack Antonoff)…and both brought their siblings along to help with the Dunham-directed short film, Best Friends, which shows off Rachel’s Fall 2013 collection. Jack did the music and Grace Dunham stars, while Girls actor Adam Driver narrates. The Daily caught up with our old pal Antonoff to find out why she skipped fashion week this year and how this project was truly a family affair.

You’re video has hit 70,000 hits on YouTube!
Oh my God! That’s news to me. I didn’t even know it was on YouTube! I wonder who put it up there. It wasn’t me. That’s so cool.

Who came up with the idea?
Lena did. Initially I was thinking about doing a presentation, I talked about this idea, and then thought we’d do both. I then decided to take the money that we would’ve used for the presentation and blow it out on the video. I’m really glad we did.

Did you miss showing in February?
I thought that I would miss it a lot, but when fashion week approached, I wasn’t pulling my hair out and generally not wanting to kill myself. So I was pretty psyched about it. This video accomplishes everything we would have with a show and perhaps more, because it’s just so easy for people to see it. I do like presentations, but [doing a video] was good for this time around.

Do you know how this affects your business?
That’s a question we’re still trying to answer ourselves. What’s the link between presentations or videos and press in general and actual sales? Sometimes I feel like we have no idea and then Zooey Deschanel will wear a dress on Saturday Night Live and we can’t keep it in stock. Other times people will wear something that we think is really great and it’s crickets. It’s kind of random.

Why did you go with a best friend theme for the video?
That was the theme for the collection. I design everything while I jog. When I was working on Fall 2013, I was jogging around my neighborhood in Los Angeles. I was thinking about my friends and how great they are. It got me thinking about the concept and institution of best friendships. It’s so universal, and it’s this age-old institution that’s really special.

It was a family affair with Lena’s sister appearing in it. Was that the obvious choice?

It was such an obvious choice that we didn’t even think about it. We said we should just ask Grace [Dunham]. The idea of anyone else doing music besides Jack [Antonoff] is ludicrous to me. Andrew Dost also did the music and he was instrumental, no pun intended. My dad is my partner in the business and it really is a big family thing.

Is that Grace’s real-life best friend in the film?
No! They met on the set, but I was really excited they got along so well.

Have you ever had a Girls cameo?
Yes! I had one line. It was the back of my head. I method-acted the sh*t out of it.

What was your line?
‘Thank you!’ I had a lot to work with.

Do you sing?
I do. A lot. Almost exclusively in private. I’ve sung on some of the fun. and Steel Train records.

What else is keeping you busy?

I’m working a lot with The Ally Coalition, the organization that I do with Nate, Andrew and Jack. It’s about inspiring people in the fashion, music, and entertainment industries to be allies in the fight for LBGTQ equality. We want people to use their platforms to speak out about it. I’m also working on my Spring 2014 collection!

We understand that you had your birthday at IHOP last year. What are you going to do this year?
I don’t know if I can top that. I’m thinking about doing that again. It was nice to have a low-key birthday in the daylight with pancakes. I’m not a big birthday planner for myself. I go with what somebody else wants to do…

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