Rachel Schwartzmann of The Style Line And Telling Stories of People Around The World
St. Augustine once wrote, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” Rachel Schwartzmann, founder of the The Style Line, has moved over sixteen times, and has had the opportunity to travel domestically and abroad on numerous occasions. Movement has shaped both Rachel and The Style Line. The Style Line, built around the concepts of movement and exploration, aims to share stories of people throughout the world. The blog aspires in “bringing storytelling with style back to the web.”
Q | Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you get interested in the fashion industry?
Hi! My name is Rachel Schwartzmann, I'm 21 years old and I'm SF-born and NYC-grown. I've moved 16+ times and have gotten the opportunity to live in California, Texas and for the past 10 years, New York City. I've also traveled quite a bit domestically and abroad. Movement has always been a constant in my life and has exposed me to so much at a relatively young age. I think that this has been the vital factor that has inspired my love for many creative things - Fashion included. Although looking back, I think what inspired me the most was more of the personal style element rather than products and trends. It's how you wear the clothing… How you live your life. That's what interests me. That's the story I want to tell.
Q | How did you develop such a passion for storytelling? In going further, what motivated you to combine fashion and storytelling and create The Style Line?
I've always loved stories from the get-go. Growing up I was an avid reader and writer. I would spend hours devouring books and writing my own short fiction stories. There was something magical about creating communities and characters and being able to draw from experiences of things that inspired me, at that time in my life. But as I've gotten older, I've that turned what was essentially a written version of show and tell into a necessity when it comes to creating content for The Style Line - Especially through a style-centric lens. Through the curation of stories on the site, I want to show what's current and have our interviewees tell us what's on their mind. In a way I'd like to remove the filter of what people think they're supposed to say. Speaking more to this, I think it's so important to share what's really going on with people beyond what they're doing in their profession. More times than not we associate our identity with our profession which is usually our passion, but even outside of that there is always so much more to a person's story.
In terms of media I feel like there is a resurgence of storytelling. People want to read about people - Not brands. And at the end of the day we have to remember: People wear the clothing.
Q | What are your inspirations behind The Style Line?
The Style Line was born via tumblr as a street-style centric and interview-based blog in late January 2011. It featured (and still currently does feature!) SNAPSHOT STYLE profiles of everyday people with unique style. It was inspired by the idea of movement and exploration and the name in fact, was inspired by the NYC transit system. Similar to the movement of a train, the idea was to have the content feature different "stops" in the city and share the stories and style of a particular neighborhood. As the site gained traction, many readers reached out asking for follow-up to the stories they were reading. They wanted to know what was going on in these people's lives beyond just what they were wearing. I realized that the two primary components of The Style Line's brand DNA were style and storytelling. When I relaunched the site, last August (by building our .com address). I wanted to expand this idea on a global scale and really hone in on the idea of storytelling in the fashion and creative industries.
Q | As a storyteller, what are some life stories you have heard that have shaped your outlook on life?
I have come across so many incredible people whose unique perspective has contributed to both my personal and professional growth. I think a fusion of all of our interviewee's experiences, passion and authentic approach is what keeps me going. Certain people have helped me solidify the stance I want to take in terms of our content, and their input has been invaluable. It's incredibly humbling to go through this process and discover the stories of interesting people and places. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Q | What are some causes you care about?
As of late, I'm focused on women's empowerment/education and ethics in the fashion industry. I'm keeping an eye on the amazing strides organizations including Levo League, Lean In and the Malala Foundation are making. In terms of fashion, The American Edit is a wonderful resource for those looking to educate themselves/discover Made in America brands. I'm personally taking steps to become more consciously aware of my purchasing power and how that affects us on a global scale.
Q | What are some cool upcoming projects you are working on?
I can't talk about them quite yet, but I will say they are: Sustainable, stylish and totally conscious - I'm excited to share more later this summer… A lot of big things are going to launch this Fall. Stay tuned!
Editor's Note: Rachel will be back soon to share about her favorite locally conscious discoveries in New York. Stay tuned!