Summer in Miami is only getting hotter… World Red Eye and THE COLLECTION collaborated again to introduce our newest series #SummerDrive305. For the next two weeks, World Red Eye and THE COLLECTION paired one of THE COLLECTION’s vehicles with three of Miami’s most fashionable bloggers. To kick-start the series we partnered with the stunning Rachael Proctor, who’s known for her blog Summer of Diane (@summerofdiane). Proctor, a Miami-based fashion-lover created Summer of Diane in 2015, as a memoir to her ever-changing traveling lifestyle. Prior to settling down in Miami, Rachael lived on all three coasts totaling five states over the past five years but now calls Miami home as she lives in the quintessential South of Fifth neighborhood with her husband.
As far as style, this girl has it all. Proctor’s style is mix of bohemian beach and street style chic. It was only fitting we paired Proctor with the McLaren 570S Spider, a supercar that’s equally stunning as her unique style. Read the full Q&A below, as we got one-on-one with Rachael, to learn more about her love for Miami, fashion, travel, and her experience working with THE COLLECTION.
WRE: Your blog is called Summer of Diane. How did you come up with the name?
RP: Without getting too deep on the first question, I named my blog after my Godmother, “Mama Diane.” Unfortunately, she was taken from us after a hard fought battle with cancer. Despite only having her in my life for 13 years, she still managed to be one of the most influential humans I’ve ever known. As a graphic designer, she always encouraged my artistic and creative side. She was not only supportive, but so funny it hurt, so talented it felt unfair, & so loving that you could feel her presence from across a room. She reminds me every single day to push myself out of my comfort zone, to take risks, to be kind, and when all else fails, humor will get you through anything in this life. It is my hope that through me, Diane can inspire you as well. The “Summer” part, however, is pretty straightforward—it’s my favorite season and it always has been. To me, summer is the time of the year when I feel most myself. There’s nothing quite like hot sand, humid nights, long days, and deep tans. Summer also is a perfect representation of my favorite city, Miami!
WRE: What is your favorite part about having your own blog? What inspired you to launch it in 2015?
RP: I was inspired after several years of moving to a different state every 12 months. Before blogging, I was a hair stylist but it become more and more difficult to transfer my license from state to state, so I wanted to create a job that could travel with me regardless of where I lived. My favorite part about having a blog is being able to connect with people and help others. It may seem superficial, but helping someone discover clothing that makes them feel their best or sharing travel photos, which ultimately encourages them to take a spontaneous trip, is the best feeling in the world. I always try to bring value to my readers, so my goal is to share what I know and the things I love in hopes that it can be informative or even inspiring to someone else.
WRE: Tell us about the experience working with THE COLLECTION?
RP: In one word, phenomenal. Working with THE COLLECTION was such a great experience. I’ve never worked with a more helpful and caring team of people. From the moment I walked into the showroom, I was greeted with the warmest welcome and everyone I interacted with gave me their undivided attention until I drove away in the McLaren. THE COLLECTION is a place that will instantly make you feel right at home even when surrounded by the world’s most luxurious automobiles.
WRE: What was your favorite feature of the McLaren 570S Spider?
RP: I’d have to say I really loved how easy and intuitive the touch screen monitor and controls were. From the navigation system and Bluetooth to the A/C and power seat adjustments, it was all laid out perfectly. I had everything memorized in a matter of minutes so I really appreciated that just because it’s a luxury car, it doesn’t necessarily mean that everything has to be more complicated. The quality sound system and convertible top didn’t hurt the overall experience either as I cruised Ocean Drive 😉
WRE: If you could describe the McLaren 570S Spider in one word what would it be?
RP: Infectious. Driving a McLaren appeals to all of your senses. Looking past the obvious luxury or the immaculate interior and butterfly doors, I’d have to say it’s the sound of the engine cooling or the low rumble when idling or just barely accelerating. All of those things somehow creep into your senses without you even realizing it and before you know it, you’re a certified McLaren super fan. I’ll leave you with a very strong warning though: Once you drive one of these cars, you will never be the same. Although I found that out the hard way, I’ve since accepted the fact that if I can’t drive a McLaren, I’ll just stick to my skateboard.
WRE: If you could take a drive anywhere in the world in the McLaren 570S Spider where would it be and why?
RP: I have to admit, when I first pulled out of the lot, a passing thought was what I wouldn’t give to take it out to the flat, open roads outside of Las Vegas to test my bravery and its horsepower. While that’s a wonderfully rebellious idea, I quickly remembered that the drag racing gene of my grandpa and dad was sadly not passed down to me. Although I’m well-aware this might sound like a boring answer, I’d have to say I would gladly take it down Ocean Drive one more time. Why drive an impeccably-crafted monster of a machine down a packed strip at a glacial pace, you ask? Because I realized that this car makes people genuinely happy. I’m telling you, the expression on someone’s face when they see a McLaren roll by as they stumble to grab their phone is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. After driving the McLaren for just one week, however, I can proudly say I’ve now experienced it upwards of a couple dozen times. It’s a look of disbelief and utter amazement (that in this day and age, is hard to witness), so I would selflessly give up hitting 200+ MPH just to share its beauty with everyone else.
WRE: We absolutely love your style. How would you describe it?
RP: That’s honestly the best compliment you could give me—thank you! My style is constantly evolving (and it hasn’t always been pretty, just ask 90s grunge Rachael) but I would say it’s a mix of bohemian beach and street style chic. I’m a diehard beach lover so I love light fabrics, breezy designs, and soft colors. But I also couldn’t live without designer sneakers, tailored trousers, and bold accessories. I feel that my style is very much like Miami in a weird way; it’s a combination of streetwear, resort wear, casual, and elevated, all coexisting together. It wouldn’t be my style if it wasn’t both of those elements, just like Miami wouldn’t be the Magic City without both the beautiful architecture and the picturesque beach.
WRE: What are some of your favorite brands to wear? Any new designers or places you love?
RP: I’m an equal opportunity shopper, but a few of my favorite boho beach brands include Spell, Jen’s Pirate Booty, and XIX Palms. For swimwear, I love SIE Swim, L*Space, Stone Fox Swim, Billabong, and Amuse Society, and my go-to online retailers are Revolve, Planet Blue, Intermix, and Free People. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’ll shop anywhere and everywhere—as I’m no stranger to perusing the kids section at Zara—but those are brands you can always find in my closet.
WRE: Over the past 5 years, you’ve lived on all 3 coasts totaling 5 states (that’s a lot of moving!) What inspired your traveling lifestyle and what made you settle down in Miami?
RP: You’re absolutely right! I can’t tell you how many times we’ve packed up a U-Haul. I’ve always considered myself a rolling stone, but my recent traveling lifestyle is largely the result of my husband’s career. I moved from coastal Virginia down to the bayou in Baton Rouge, Louisiana after we got engaged while he earned his PhD, and then residency, fellowship, and job opportunities took us to downtown Los Angeles, Mississippi, and finally Miami. Up until we lived a few blocks from the ocean in Miami Beach, we’ve always been very open to chasing exciting new opportunities, so we were a little caught off guard by just how hard we fell for South Florida. We’ve been here now for 4 years and it’s hard to imagine living anywhere else. I think it’s safe to say we won’t be leaving anytime soon… unless Hawaii is looking for a fashion blogger and clinical psychologist 😉
WRE: Tell us some of your favorite spots to go to in Miami?
RP: I love exploring all that Miami has to offer, but admittedly, I’m partial to my own neighborhood in the South of Fifth area of Miami Beach. I also think it’s important to support local businesses, so I’d have to say the Urbanica hotel, which has a cute café in their lobby open to the public called Regina’s Grocery. Everyone there is super friendly, so needless to say it’s my go-to spot for my morning coffee. Another great spot is Call Me Gaby, a beautiful little Italian restaurant just around the corner with an amazing atmosphere and even better burrata. Two of my favorite spots for a drink would have to be South Pointe Tavern or Lolo’s Cantina, and if you’re looking for the perfect place to spend a day on the sand, you have to check out Nikki Beach. Last but not least, my favorite place to rent a surfboard or grab a new bikini is F1rst Surf Shop!
WRE: What is your biggest piece of advice to anyone who wants to start blogging? How do you keep your content new and engaging to your audience?
RP: First and foremost I’d have to say, just start! I can’t stress this enough, but start with what you have and where you’re at. Your content doesn’t have to be flawless and you don’t have to have a million people following you, just get your camera out and start working. In most cases, your success isn’t going to happen overnight so I see every day of procrastination and hesitation as another day you’re not moving towards your end goal. To keep my content fresh and engaging, I am constantly challenging myself to mix up my photography—whether that be in terms of my equipment (DSLR vs iPhone) or shooting style (editorial vs candid)—and then I pay close attention to how it was received and what my audience responds to. I also think variety is key (photos, videos, blog posts, etc.) both to my followers as well as myself. Not only does each person have their own preference with respect to how they receive content, but I try not to become complacent myself. When things get comfortable, that’s when they have the potential to become boring.