Lanzarote is one of those dreamy places you can visit any time of year and be pretty much guaranteed sunshine. The Spanish island, located around 80 miles off the coast of Africa, is known for its whitewashed villas, its diverse range of beaches (from sandy beaches to black volcanic sand and wild stony beaches), insane diving spots and its strange volcanic landscape that can make you feel like you’re on a different planet.
When we heard that insanely cool veteran fashion editor, Rachael Wang, recently visited Lanzarote, we just had to get a peek inside her trip. Raised in California, Rachael didn’t always know she wanted to work in fashion. She graduated with a literature degree and unsure of what she wanted to do, she took an internship at W magazine on a whim. Since then, the New York-based stylist and consultant has worked for some of the industry's most desired titles – from Style.com to Vogue, Glamour and Nylon – and most recently was fashion director at Allure.
We've been admiring Rachael's work for years – her style is rebellious yet effortlessly chic and feminine. Not only is she talented with a unique point of view on fashion, but she's also passionate about environmental issues, sustainability and wellness, making us love her that much more.
With Lanzarote being pretty high up on the list of sunny places we want to get to this year, we asked Rachael to curate her favorite Golden Edit pieces for a trip to the island.
WE LOVE STARTING AT THE BEGINNING. TELL US ABOUT YOUR UPBRINGING
I grew up in Southern California and was heavily influenced by the subcultures I inhabited – skate, surf, punk and hip hop. I was raised by a badass single mom who encouraged me to be fiercely independent and to express myself authentically. She also taught me about holistic health and sustainable living which is something that I am drawn to now more than ever.
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO GET INTO STYLING?
I sort of fell into the fashion industry because I had heard about an internship through a friend in my journalism program. From there, I was amazed at the process and the creativity and knew I wanted to stick around as long as I could so I just worked my way up from an intern at W, to assisting Edward Enninful [now editor in chief at British Vogue] and so on.
WHAT'S BEEN YOUR CAREER HIGHLIGHT TO DATE?
There are so many things I am proud of but serving as the fashion director at Allure was something the childhood version of myself never could have imagined.
YOU TRAVEL A LOT FOR WORK - ANY FAVORITE DESTINATIONS?
I love any opportunity to experience a new place! The key for me is carving out a little time to explore and meet the locals.
LET'S FOCUS ON YOUR RECENT TRIP TO LANZAROTE. WHAT WERE YOUR FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF THE ISLAND?
The terrain on Lanzarote is so varied and so foreign to my experience in some cases, I was immediately awestruck. There are volcanic lava fields that sprawl as far as you can see, cliffs that plunge into the ocean and a massive crater surrounded by sandy desert. Every way you look will take your breath away. The landscape is so pristine and raw due to massive conservation efforts to maintain the natural integrity of the island and that's what makes it a true gem.
YOU HIKED THE MOUNTAINS OF FIRE AT TIMANFAYA NATIONAL PARK - WHAT WAS THAT EXPERIENCE LIKE?
It's a beautiful park where you can really see the effects of volcanic eruptions hundreds of years ago and the fertility that is born of that kind of destruction.
WHAT WAS THE EXPERIENCE OF VISITING THE CESAR MANRIQUE FOUNDATION LIKE?
Visiting the foundation really had a tremendous effect on my understanding of sustainable architecture and what it means to minimize the negative environmental impact of man-made construction. Manrique was a conservationist and it shows in the design and construction of his home and his public projects that can be seen around the island. The foundation is built on lava fields and the rooms are situated within the naturally occurring caves made by volcanic bubbles. It's truly a one-of-a-kind experience.
DO YOU HAVE TIPS FOR ANYONE TRAVELING TO LANZAROTE FOR THE FIRST TIME?
There's so much to see and do on this small island. Make sure to rent a car so you can build your own itinerary to include beach time, checking out Manrique's architectural achievements, a visit to the caves and national park and perhaps a camel ride.