Being raised on YouTube - it was a space where anyone was able to explore the different facets of themselves outside the confines of school curriculum, long before Instagram gave us this transparency. It was the only outlet where I could discover people outside of my personal circle with common interests, whether it be a fashion channel, senseless skit comedy, or even as niche as thirty minute reviews on specific men’s fragrances.
Along the way I found a few people that brought such an allure, I ended up following their content to wherever they decided to be present. ThatsChic, or better known to me now as Rachel Nguyen, was one of these people. Rachel is a lifestyle content creator with a following of over 112k on Instagram. Her approach can be seen as a visual diary, logging her life through fashion, beauty, wellness and travel. Though for me it was not necessarily about her style, or her hair care routine - fundamentally it was the vibe with how she carried herself, and everything else came as a fat cherry on top.
We asked Rachel for a little help on this last issue, where she shot an exclusive shoot for us in her own backyard. No bells and whistles, just a raw depiction of who she is now. I spoke with Rachel about some things I never got to ask her, and here’s how it went down.
“That channelling inner expression comes from an ebb and flow of listening to what your mind and body feels to visually capture a mood than to constantly overthink a concept that often pulls inspiration from surroundings.”
Rachel, what makes you decide to keep in touch with people despite them knowing you through internet presence versus naturally coming into your life?
Without running the risk of sounding self-interested, I find the best friendships are the ones that generate reciprocated energy, so I like to keep that in mind with people I surround myself with as a rule of thumb.
I feel like I’m always going through some sort of existential crisis. How do you decompress and overcome your own personal challenges for the case of career and life trajectory?
I somehow always find myself in those positions, but I enjoy it…sometimes. I’m really good at seeing things in bird’s eye and I’m also very opinionated, so. Yah.
When it comes to my own fishbowl, I’m always at a loss & the only remedy that always helps is disconnecting. Just letting my own mind wander and stop numbing whatever I’m avoiding to process.
What are you up to these days! What’s it like being Rachel this season?
Well lots of great changes! I feel recharged after spending most of last year consulting. This season of my life is about building all my good habits before 30 and documenting them.
“Sometimes it’s nice to let yourself feel raw in front of a friend’s lens in your own backyard. Nothing ground breaking - just real.”
You live in LA, and coming from the city that basically started digital influencer culture, how do you think the industry is going to move forward?
I have really no idea… except that REAL authenticity and not an overcompensated “realness” always served me best.
In Asia, it’s difficult for people to grasp the concept of horoscopes in relation to spirituality. To someone completely oblivious, how would you say it plays a role in your wellbeing?
Overall, it’s about the intention our practices and rituals bring. I talk about what I get out of it, then the act of doing it.
So Rachel, my risings in Pisces. How does this make you feel?
What happens when you mix fire and water? Together, we’re steaming.
Photography / Ja Tecson
Styling / Rachel Nguyen
Interview / Keefe Tiu
Location / Los Angeles, CA