Don’t you know the Trachtenburgs?
Words Pernille Outzen
Edited John Volmer
Photographer Danny Christensen
Rachel & Tina Trachtenburg are mother and daughter. Rachel is 16, still a kid, but a kid with the opinions and strength that you rarely find in people her age, even in many adults. Listening to Rachel and her mum talk, you realize where she gets it from. Rachel and her parents Tina and Jason make up a family of 3 who live in a Brooklyn apartment. It’s here where any comparison between them and so many other families stop because they do everything together. They are all artists in each their own way. Rachel started playing instruments when she was just 12. And now she is a 16 year old girl with so many talents; singer, song writer, band member, actress, blogger, making her own clothes and still makes it home to cook dinner with her family every night.
Rachel Tracthenburg, 16 years old
Daughter of: Tina and Jason Trachtenburg
Profession: singer / model / blogger / actress / political and animal activist
TMRW: Your style is a very personal one, what appeals to you exactly?
Rachel: I am attracted to bright colors and fun groovy patterns like the ones you saw in the 60’s and 70’s and mixing that into what’s going on now. So it all becomes this psychedelic, cotton candy vibe. Just happy, fun, weird and grungy.
TMRW: So it’s important for you that you have your own way of expressing yourself, that you are not ‘ordinary’?
Rachel: Yes, I don’t feel comfortable in just a regular t-shirt and jeans, or in something you buy from a random high-street store. It’s very important for me to make your own clothes. My band mates just learned how to sew. They just learned how to design their own outfits, and it’s really amazing to see them go through that phase of realizing that you CAN do it. Cause I went through that when I was 6 years old, learning how to sew at a very young age. My mum taught me… You don’t have to wear what’s put in front of you, or what everyone else is wearing.
TMRW: Would that be a piece of advice from you?
Rachel: Figure out your style and what’s your own preference. You don’t have to wear what’s put in front of you, or what everyone else is wearing.
Rachel was brought up this way, by mum and dad. They sew, grew, baked, and cooked everything by themselves. They are self sufficient and encourage everyone else to be as well, if not for the sake of everyone else then at least because it’s way better to be one of a kind. So what else did mum teach and preach?
Well, Rachel is home schooled; they live in Brooklyn and a typical day at the Trachtenburg household starts with a home cooked meal, which they prepare together.
Rachel: I am studying to get my GED, every day for several hours. When I’m done I hop on the train and go to the city. I rehearse with my band every day, for at least 4 hours and a lot of the time even longer. The two other girls are in public school so we’ll meet up at about 4 o’clock. After I go home, I cook dinner with my mum and dad.
TMRW: Cook? At home? How very anti-New York…
Tina: Yeah, we know, it’s very New York to go out and eat every night. People that live in New York usually don’t cook.
Rachel: Their kitchens are storage areas basically. We cook every night, we’re vegetarians so everything is made from scratch.
Tina: We invite friends to come over; we eat, play games, hang out and listen to music.
Rachel: I’m very politically active. I love it so much. If I weren’t doing art and music my whole life, I’d definitely do something in politics. I use my music, art and fashion to send a political message and inspire people, instead of actually being or becoming a politician. I would love to make a change, or make a difference. I am very much involved in animal activism and I use my voice in these matters. We protest at City Hall and speak up. To make sure someone speaks up for those who can’t.
She gets this from home, the interest in politics and animal rights. At the age of only 14, Rachel used her voice to speak up at a hearing at city hall, raising her voice to the mayor of NYC. But all this: fashion, music, art, activism, politics, touring around the world, etc. what is there more to accomplish for this young multi artist? Where will she end up in 10-20 years?
Rachel: I don’t see myself any different from now. Hopefully my band, Supercute will have a big following, a cool underground thing going on. I’m doing acting now on the side, small projects. I don’t think it’s something I’ll keep doing but for now it’s been fun. Maybe I’ll start my own fashion line, who knows? I’ll just keep it up and see what happens.
Tina: When we were raising Rachel, I didn’t even think that we were doing anything out of the ordinary. Just by including her in our daily life, but all the media kept saying that we WERE doing it different, just because we doing it our way, teaching her good old fashioned values. And being a family at the same time.