LdL Designers We Love: Angela, Leslie, and Rachel of Heyoka Leather

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Check out our boutique to see Heyoka's impeccable craftsmanship and free-spirt designs !

Angela Bruyere:  My first real introduction to the industry was when I began modeling at the age of 15.  Living in places like Paris, Tokyo and Milan really opened my eyes to the amazing world of fashion.  My love of music has always gone hand in hand with my fashion obsession...The Stones, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Patti Smith and so many more influenced not only the way I dressed, but also lead me to form my own band, The Deserters.  In 2003 I started a denim company called Mogg Jeans, dressing everyone from Cameron Diaz to Steven Tyler.  But it wasn't until Heyoka was formed that I found my true passion and my tribe….and the best is yet to come….

Leslie Crow:  I was born and raised in the Appalachian Mountains surrounded by folk art and nature.  I grew up immersed in a landscape steeped in history, finding inspiration in my Native American/Scotch-Irish roots, the freewheelin bluegrass biker culture, and the solid old-fashioned craftsmanship of a bygone era. I was also heavily influenced by my travels to Mexico and time spent living in the American Southwest.

Rachel Avraham:  
My parents inspired me to create my own path and to express myself.  My father was well-traveled by the time he came to America at the age of 18. His beautifully detailed and elaborate stories instilled in me the desire to explore. His old photographs introduced me to a young bearded man, with long wild hair, pink tie-dyed bell-bottoms, vintage army jackets, dripping in gold and turquoise jewelry. 

My mother was just as influential. Her devotion to literature and poetry brought me on numerous imaginary expeditions while never stepping foot out of our small town. Because of this, I became obsessed with culture and fashion from all eras and parts of the world. In my early teens I began express myself through the clothes I wore.  Nothing could have stopped me from getting the “look” I wanted that day.  Bleaching, studding, ripping and dying; my clothes were constantly changing. I recall cutting my mother’s expensive sweater into a crop top. She smiled and gave me words of encouragement, but looking back I think she wanted to kill me. I actually just wore that sweater the other day!

Your go-to outfit?
Angie:  Jeans, a tee shirt, snakeskin boots, and my Stetson.
Rachel:  Whatever I wore the day before.

Do you have weekend plans?
Leslie:  Work in the garden, canoe trip down the river...drink beer and shoot guns off the pool deck.

What do you love most about your home?
Leslie:  That it’s a log cabin on 19 acres of paradise.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Rachel:  I wanted to be a fashion designer. In high school I started a bag line called ARRAY (inspired by my initials, ha!).  I remember the "line" consisted of only two bags made from scrap pieces of vintage fabrics. Flash forward almost ten years later, and here I am, designing bags. And I must say they are much, much nicer.

Your heroes?
Angie:  My dog, Pirate.

Current obsession?
Rachel:  My dog Squid! My boyfriend and I found her on the streets of Koreatown here in Los Angeles. Poor little thing was so scared and hungry and was one of the cutest dogs I have ever seen. I think it’s safe to say we are equally obsessed with each other. My boyfriend would say the same.


Always on you?
Rachel:  My Grandfather’s ruby ring. For as long as I can remember he wore that ring. He was confident and in his own way, very stylish.  After he passed, my aunt and mother were giving the grandchildren something to remember him by. I secretly wished for that ring, but of course wasn’t going to ask for it. One day my Aunt came up to me and said, “For some reason, I pictured this on you.” It was the ring! I haven’t taken it off since…

Best gift recently given?
Angie:  East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Dream destination?
Leslie:  Road trip through Central and South America, Mayan ruins of Guatemala, the sacred mountains of Peru, Bolivian witch markets and horseback riding through the Amazon Jungle to the beaches of Columbia, and all-night parties in Brazil.

Leslie:  Louis L'Amour westerns, old Harley shirts, knives, guns, Native American jewelry, feathers, bones, rocks, old saddle blankets, bits and pieces of metal, glass and pottery, seashells, vintage clothes, Mason jars, horseshoes, old tools, and vintage easy riders.

Favorite holiday?
Leslie:  Fourth of July.  We used to go to the Antietam Battlefield every year on the 4th of July and I have the greatest memories of picking wild raspberries in the woods, laying on blankets in the open field waiting for the sun to go down and fireworks to begin, eating blue crabs and grilling corn on the cob.  After the show was over we'd always get stuck in a "traffic jam" on the creepiest darkest country road leaving the battlefield...our imaginations would run wild as we envisioned the ghosts of Civil War lurking behind every tree. We'd play hide-and-seek in the forest while the adults put their tailgates down, cracked cold beers, and partied on the road.

What do you love most about your hometown?
Rachel:  Family!  Everywhere!

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