Rebecca Turbow was raised working class in Cleveland, Ohio. The daughter of a leather smith and great-granddaughter of a furrier, Turbow, introduced to sewing by her mother at a young age, was wearing her own creations by the time she was in high school. Upon finishing school for fashion and textile design at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2003, she relocated to New York City, where at the age of 22, launched her first collection under the label, Safe.
Out and about in her own turquoise monochromatic outfits, Turbow quickly became a recognized figure in the Lower East Side and Williamsburg. Before long, word of the “green girl’s” mod-influenced designs turned into feature stories and profiles in media outlets like Refinery 29, Dossier Journal, The Fader, Lucky, WWD, Fashion Week Daily, and New York Magazine. With Turbow dressing bands such as Of Montreal, Vivian Girls, and MGMT.
Rebecca’s father, in the early ‘70s to early ‘90s, had his own immaculately crafted and sought after line of leather goods, called “R. Turbow Leather,” which included everything from belts, wallets, bags, etc. to sandals and jackets. For years, Rebecca had been hounding her father to make her one of his high quality, yet affordable belts. He’d demurred, focusing on other projects. In 2015, Rebecca appeared on the elder Turbow’s doorstep and enlisted him to help her make her own belt. Over the next few years, as often as she could, she would spend time by his side, learning from him in his studio in Cleveland. The two made a variety of classic leather belts, which quickly caught the attention of creative friends in New York, who immediately began requesting their own. A new iteration of the brand, based on cross-generational affection and inspiration, was born.
Richard Turbow, July 1982