Meet Olivia La Roche

olivia la roche for passerbuys.jpg
Co-founder of contemporary vintage retailer, Petra von Kant, Olivia La Roche also calls on her eclectic background in creative content to produce unique collaborations across the fashion industry. Stepping into multiple freelance roles, she wears the hat of strategist, curator, writer, and sometimes model. Olivia believes that vintage doesn’t have to be era specific, and when presented in new contexts, becomes an essential aspect of modern dressing. 
Top, Vintage ; Jeans, Handmade ; Shoes, Maryam Nassir Zadeh

Top, Vintage ; Jeans, Handmade ; Shoes, Maryam Nassir Zadeh

Top, Vintage ; Jeans, Handmade ; Shoes, Maryam Nassir Zadeh

Top, Vintage ; Jeans, Handmade ; Shoes, Maryam Nassir Zadeh

On Her Morning Routine

I'm very bribe oriented. I guess you could call it "incentivized?" I get myself out of bed with the promise of tea and toast. I've tried a million other breakfast options, vegan bowl things, eggs, smoothies... but I'm a tea and toast gal. I love the "Wonder Bread" from Josey Baker at The Mill in San Francisco, and that's probably one of the things I miss the most. (and my family!) I'm looking for my NY replacement. The closest I've come is Roberta's (yeah the pizza place) sunflower sourdough. I tell myself it's healthy bread because it's so fermented... it's true! I recently quit coffee, so I drink green tea. I'm very into The Deep Steep right now, a toasty green tea from Steep Tea Co. I sometimes put avocados and anchovies on my toast, but mostly I go for plain toast with grass-fed cultured butter and a sprinkle of salt. I always take my breakfast back into bed to eat. It's a nice and slow part of the day (because I get up early) and my final farewell to bed. 

on being a content creator

I'm a writer and artist. I write in my journal every day, and I am always jotting down ideas for stories and books - I have a few personal writing projects in the works and still occasionally sketch and paint. Creating content was a way to blend my love of fashion, photography, writing and art. I used to work on editorial/advertorial content for e-commerce primarily, but I've been branching out into visual content for social media, and I love it. Most of the time, I'm mixing it all on a project depending on the client's interests.

Beauty   by John Miller,   Delta of Venus Erotica   by Anais Nin,   The Natural Way to Draw: A Working Plan for Art Study   by Kimon Nicolaides and   The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali   by Patanjali
I mostly read about beauty, sexuality, women in history and spirituality. I’m a sensual reader, and that’s what all of these have in common. The Yoga Sutra is a text I revisit whenever I stumble off my path, Anis Nin is a kindred soul, The Natural Way to Draw was my best friend in art school and Beauty is an anthology that introduced so many amazing writers to me.
— on her favorite books
Ring, Alexes Bowyer

Ring, Alexes Bowyer

on being freelance and managing multiple clients

All my clients are interested in a unique vision, and we inspire each other. It's a two-way street. I rarely do anything overly commercial, and if I do, you probably won't see my name on it. It's important to me to work in collaboration. I'm really into time management and creating a meticulous workflow for myself. I dislike being stressed, but I like being productive, so I had to find systems to manage it all. Mostly I try and get up early; it's like giving yourself the gift of more hours in a day. Being in so many different roles keeps me stimulated. I thrive under pressure. I love the way each project blossoms into the next.

on founding a vintage store

I founded Petra von Kant (name inspired by Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s film The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant) with my business partner and friend Alexes Bowyer. We shared a vision, knew we had the skill set required, and we went for it. We both come from creative backgrounds (Alexes is a jewelry designer and expert metalsmith), and they fit perfectly with the multiple hats we wear. Together we buy, style, model, and take photos for the site.

on her style

I'm pretty "vintage" as my business would tell you. I'm always shopping for the brand, so I find things for myself all the time. I rarely have to go shopping for anything new. I would say aesthetically (and generally), I like odd things. I like to have things I've never seen before and probably won't again. I love textures and colors, and I think I approach dressing a bit more like an artist than a sartorialist. I'm into the composition of a look and see my wardrobe as a full palette. In my collection of non-vintage, I have a lot of Rachel Comey, Maryam Nassir Zadeh, and Issey Miyake.

Top, Vintage ; Jeans, Handmade ; Shoes, Maryam Nassir Zadeh
Ring, Alexes Bowyer
The biggest challenge is the simplest - nothing happens if you don’t do it - you are fully responsible for all successes and failures. I am hard on myself and often feel like I’m not doing enough. It’s also hard when you have to work with what you have but have tremendous (expensive) dreams. I know we will get there, and I believe in starting off moderately to build a solid foundation, but it can be frustrating to pace yourself.
— on her biggest challenges

on her health regimen

I think the biggest tips I can give are to check out and I love both for taking good care of myself. Earth Shift has these amazing skin and body detox kits, and Vitacost is basically the Whole Foods supplement aisle at like half off. I rotate what I am taking based on what my needs are, and everyone's needs are different. Now that it's winter I'm all about some raw vitamin D (Garden of Life D3 Vitamin Code Whole Food Raw D3 Vitamin Supplement). I also take a lot of hair, nail and skin vitamins, including my Super Powder Collagen which is all from Neo cell on Vitacost. I also recommend Vitacost DIM Complex with BroccoSinolate, NeoCell Laboratories Beauty Burst,     
New Chapter Fish Oil Supplement and Vitanica, Iron Extra Vegetarian Capsules.

on her health tips

I add a pinch of Himalayan salt to my water and a scoop of powdered collagen for skin health. It's technically called "Sole" and helps your body hold on to hydration. The collagen is my addition. I also LOVE Moroccan red clay and always have it on hand for masks and first aid. It has the strongest drawing power of any clay and heals a pimple overnight. And, I basically put the refrigerator on my face too. I blend face masks from random ingredients that I know have benefits when I need a boost.

On her diy mask recipes

Here's a little key to masking from the fridge. Mix and match, it's literally all food so unless you're allergic you're not going to hurt yourself. For Moisturizing, mix yogurt, honey, olive oil, avocados, flax seeds, almonds, tofu, oats. For Exfoliating, mix papaya, strawberries, apple, ground rice, grapes, coffee. And for Purifying, mix aloe, brewers yeast, garlic, apple cider vinegar, turmeric (but it stains!), egg whites.

on her makeup routine

I am pretty boring with make-up/I look like a drag queen with ever-so-slightly too much. I wear RMS un-cover up everyday with a little Bare Minerals bronzer, Nars blush and some Fat and the Moon lip stain - I like Nars Lipsticks' "Clay Idol" or "Morocco" I top it all of with a swipe or two of Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara - the kind that comes off in little tubes, no smudging!

Olivia's favorite haircare products

On her favorite skincare products

Dr. Hauschka - I've been using these German biodynamic products since I was 15 and worked in a little herb shop. We sold it there, and the owner was in her 70's with the best skin I'd ever seen. She swore by Dr. H. I also think I like Sunday Riley, still trying a lot of their products and making up my mind. I'd say my top 4 right now are Rose Day Cream Light by Dr. Hauschka, Sunday Riley Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm, In Fiore Kashmir Body Balm and Tatcha Women's Soothing Rice Enzyme Powder. I also recommend Weleda Skin Food, Caudalie Beauty ExilirBioderma's Sensibio H20 Micellar WaterAvene Thermal Spring Water SprayWeleda Sage Deodorant,  Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps 18-in-1 Hemp Pure-Castile Soap LavenderShiseido 'Extra Smooth' Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 38 and Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream.

On her favorite haircare and body products

Davines' Dede Shampoo, Davines' Melu ConditionerKevin Murphy Balancing Wash Strengthening Daily Shampoo and Leonor Greyl Huile Secret de Beaute

on her wishlist

I need to restock all my RMS makeup. Issey Miyake Cauliflower T-shirts, Giorgio Armani Prive Bois d'Encens Eau De Parfum, and everything cozy from Lauren Manoogian. OH AND I need some Maison Margiela Tabi boots!

on her role model

My mom has run her own consulting business her entire adult life and traveled the world doing what she loves (which happens to be saving the planet). She is a professional environmental activist working on zero waste initiatives globally. When I was little and asked what our religion was, she said "recycling, " and I believed it. Aside from work, my mother is THE MOST shameless, self-confident human I have ever met. She and I talk about everything, but she's not one of those "friend moms" and the older I get, the more I realized her incredible power as a woman and how grateful I am to have been formed by that. She completely accepts who she is, and thus who I am. She's a continuous support system intellectually and always says "ask for what you want, appreciate what you get, and work on the difference."

olivia la roche beauty skincare passerbuys.jpg

Olivia's favorite books

Beauty by John Miller, Delta of Venus Erotica by Anais Nin, The Natural Way to Draw: A Working Plan for Art Study by Kimon Nicolaides and The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali by Patanjali

Olivia's favorite movies

Eat Drink Man Woman, Working Girl, Prisoner of the Mountain, P.S. I love you, Wings of Desire, Once Bitten, Being There, Mr. Bean. Oh, and Grease, I know the words to every song. 

Olivia's favorite spots in NYC

I love this odd little Turkish Health restaurant call Abracadabra.

I like Gottlieb's for matzo ball soup.

I do love the Bushwick co-op for local groceries.

Recently, I'm addicted to the spicy hot chocolate at this spot in Soho -  L.A. Burdick

outfit, vintage ;    shoes, maryam nassir zadeh

outfit, vintage ; shoes, maryam nassir zadeh