Conversations and Colour: Alexa Rae Vitug

It was love at first sight. Drawn to her effortless style and palette play, we stayed because - well because the woman is a goddess in every sense of the word. This week we’re introducing you to the wonderful world of Alexa Rae Vitug. An artist based in North California, she dabbled in painting before moving onto photography, she “eats fashion for breakfast” and loves singing in the shower. What’s not to like? 

Tell us who you are and what you want us to know about you:

I’m Alexa. I’m a 27 year old artist living in Northern California. I was traditionally trained in painting but soon pivoted to photography. I felt I could express myself in a different way through photography - I’ve been hooked since. I own a small business selling vintage clothing called White Oak Vintage. I’m either making art through different mediums or styling for other sustainable and ethical brands in my spare time.

Where do you live and what do you love about it?

I live in Sacramento, California’s state capital.  It’s known for being the city of trees and “farm to fork”. We have amazing fresh produce in this area from the surrounding farms and tree lined streets as you drive, as well as the American River that runs right behind my home. Floating down the river is one of my favorite activities to do when the temperature hits 110 degrees F (for us Aussies, this is a sweltering 43 degrees celsius).

What has your week looked like? 

This past week I’ve been trying to revamp our website for our newest summer collection. We’ve been collecting a range of 60s-90s vintage Aloha shirts and muumuus over the past year to showcase as a collection for this summer! Personally I think an Aloha shirt is a summer staple. Whether you dress it up or down, the bold colours and prints can spice up any outfit.

How has your life changed over the last year? 

My life has become a bit slower paced - but I really love it this way. I can breathe! I’ve been able to catch up with loved ones and take time to devote myself to my mind and body.

How has living through a pandemic affected you?

I feel like this past year has presented me with so many obstacles, especially from COVID-19 and everything else that has been going on in the world. I’ve become more compassionate and aware of the effects I have on my environment and the people around me. It’s affected how I do everything now and see the world, but I would like to believe it’s for the better. I like myself better and I think this growth was extremely important.

What’s your go-to song that never fails to cheer you up?

Oh god I’m so annoying with music! If I find a song I like, I play it on repeat until I hate it. Recently my sister showed me this song from Tayla Parx “Dance Alone” and I’ve been singing this in the shower on repeat. I miss going out and dancing so much, so this song is fitting.

The book that changed my life is… 

“#GIRLBOSS” by Sophia Amoruso. She’s the founder of Nasty Gal. I actually read this book five years ago when I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I was in between leaving college early and my short lived flight attendant career. It’s funny it must have stuck because now I find myself doing kind of exactly what she did to start Nasty Gal. Her sense of humour and colourful stories got my attention. I felt like I was reading my own thoughts, very relatable. I still find myself sifting through different chapters when I feel stuck and want to connect. Somehow this book has turned into somewhat of a guide to me.

What’s one thing you have to do each and every day?

STRETCH! I start every day by stretching. I spend so much time hunched over a computer editing or keeping up with the online shop that I forget to move my body. So I try my best to take stretch breaks.

Your favourite way to spend the weekend?

Just leave me at the beach with some food and a camera and you won’t hear from me for hours. I’m so inspired by the coast. I’m always drawn to it for my art.

You say you “eat fashion for breakfast.” Tell us more?

It’s my way of saying I’m obsessed with it. I’ll eat it for breakfast. If I’m not working on White Oak Vintage, I’m styling and photographing for other brands. And if I’m not doing that, I’m obsessing over styling different pieces together to create a new look for fun. A psychic once told me I was a designer in a past life in France. That reading confirmed so much in my heart that I already felt because I feel so much passion for fashion. I’d like to believe I was.

How did you fall in love with fashion?

This is so funny, I actually remember the first time I told my mom I didn’t want toys anymore. I was now more interested in clothes. I was eight. It was around Christmas time and all I wanted was an outfit from Mary Kate and Ashley’s newest clothing line. From there on I’ve always been passionate about styling and love seeing what designers come up with each season.

Describe your fashion style in five words

Comfortable, bohemian, colourful, minimalist, timeless.

Favourite Little Tienda piece?

The Hanna in Green Banana from the Calm Romantic collection. I’ll never let her go. She is beauty and grace and I love when younger girls compliment me in that dress. Their eyes light up and I can see them falling in love with fashion just as I did. 

Favourite beauty product you can’t live without?

When it comes to beauty products I love the less is more approach. I only use clean beauty products as well! I always have my Merit concealer stick on me and my ilia multi stick blush stick. Two products that make such a nice difference to brighten up the face.

Life defining moment?

Moving to California! I had a feeling in my soul that I needed to be here. So I figured out a way and I’ve been thriving ever since. I met the love of my life here and started my own business. l love California so much, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. So many like minded creatives surrounding me it’s a dream. 

What’s next on your agenda?

I’ve been manifesting more collaborations with other designers and creators. I want to keep riding this wave and feed my soul by creating more! 

At a dinner party I am likely to be… 

I’m definitely the loud and fun one. I bop around talking to everyone, I’m most likely the first to suggest playing a game. I just really enjoy feeling happy and laughing so I find myself gravitating towards the fun ones in the room. Invite me to your party and I’ll get it started don’t you worry.

What’s been the best influence on you? And worst?

My family is my best influence, they know me to my core and always push me to my greatest potential even when I don’t see it. My worst influence is truly myself. I feel like I’ve been coming out of a dark hole of no discipline. I just fight with myself in my head. Head and heart love going at it, but I’ve been leaning into my head most recently and I’ve been healthier and happier with my actions. Sometimes logic is the right move and I let my heart guide in other ways, there should be a balance. 

Alexa wears the Midnight Melody collection.

Want to connect with Alexa? Find her here.