Rachel Albright is a woman of many talents and trades. When this inordinately talented woman sleeps, eats, or breathes, we have yet to figure out. Somehow, amidst her new position as Director of Content & Curation at Urban Outfitters and responsibilities as co-founder of the multipurpose art space Community Artist Collective, she finds time to design and produce a line of sculptural, handmade jewelry and objects. Academy, which Rachel refers to as a jewelry and multimedia sculpture project, started in 2010 as an alternative to graduate school and quickly caught the eye of many a big buyer and blogger. Rachel’s studied, visual art inspired compositions caught our eye, too, resulting in the just-launched collaborative Academy Bon Air Necklace for Poketo. We spoke with the designer about her recent move to Philly, her current influences, and how she spends all that free time.
Can you tell us about the design process for the Bon Air Necklace?
The Bon Air is a variation on the Sea Level, which is named after the Richard Serra sculpture in the Netherlands. The Sea Level started from scraps that were lying around the studio. For the Poketo exclusive, I included a marbled blue ceramic bead and one in bright red. I’m so into marbling right now, and I love that shade of red; I’m incorporating it in many of my new pieces for next season.
Artists that you are currently vibing on?
Alexander Calder, Cy Twombly, Richard Serra.
What about music?
As far as current music, normally I have no clue, but I’ve been working with so many amazing musicians recently, including Dev Hynes of Blood Orange, Jungle, and Jenny Lewis. Otherwise, I’d have to say Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash.
You recently relocated from Richmond, Virginia to Philadelphia. How are you getting acquainted with your new surroundings?
My goal is to try every restaurant in Philadelphia. I love to eat. I just found this amazing Vietnamese restaurant in a strip mall with karaoke. I’ve been spending my time practicing my karaoke skills, singing Jan Arden’s Insensitive. I’m not sure that my voice is any good, but I’m enthusiastic and I have moves, and that’s what counts. I also want to explore the countryside of Pennsylvania. I hear it’s beautiful.