In the company of women: Summer


Summer Rayne Oakes is a busy woman. Having parlayed her background in environmental science and entomology with a successful career as both a fashion model and environmental activist, Summer is considered one of the foremost authorities in sustainable design.

In her spare time, Summer has co-founded the award-winning online materials marketplace, Source4Style; authored the best-selling style guide, Style, Naturally; is the creative designer behind a line of recycled optics and shades called eco by Summer Rayne Oakes; and was the muse behind the creation of the Prius C (Toyota even went so far as to name a paint color in her honor!)

Vanity Fair has named Summer a “Global Citizen,” Outside called her one of the “Top Environmental Activists,” and CNBC declared her one of the country's “Top 10 Green Entrepreneurs.” Additionally, Summer is one of eleven women featured in Steve McCurry's 2013 Pirelli Calendar focused on women with environmental and humanitarian causes.

Brains, beauty, heart, and talent: Summer is the epitome of the Ivory Row woman.

Tell us a little bit about what you’re working on now? 
Making fresh, local food more accessible in New York through Good Eggs; and some creative projects bringing health and wellness to new audiences. 

What is your favorite charity? One closest to your heart?
I love and support the work of Charity WaterRainforest Action Network and Gaia Amazonas.

What is your favorite virtue?

What are your favorite qualities in a man?
His dynamism; openness to communication; humor; trust; confidence; sense of adventure; vulnerability; and the size of...his vocabulary.

What are your favorite qualities in a woman?
Her confidence.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Pursuing your passion without hesitation and enjoying life with close friends. 

What is your greatest fear?
That my best is not good enough 

What is your greatest extravagance?

What is your most treasured possession?
My plants… 

Who are your heroes in real life?
My late mentor, Tom Eisner. 

What is your greatest regret?
That I didn’t try to travel more as a young girl 

What natural talent do you wish you had? 
The ability to speak any language so that I can connect with people more deeply throughout the world 

What's the favorite gift you've ever received? 
People’s time 

What piece of art would you buy if you had absolutely no budget?
I would make my own art if I didn’t have a budget. 

What is your favorite motto or quote?
“Only a fool walks on the edge of a cliff. Only the man who has been there knows what’s behind. Only the man who has been there knows where no man has been, and where no man has been is where some men must go.”

What's your favorite way to wear cashmere? 
With nothing underneath…

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