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Summer Rayne Oakes

"Eco-Model" & Author


Summer Rayne Oakes was researching toxins in sewage sludge, identifying aquatic insects, revitalizing rainforests, and mapping invasive species when she came up with the notion that the fashion industry might be the ideal venue to disseminate environmental awareness.

Oakes is now considered the world's first eco-model for seamlessly combining her environmental expertise and vision with her modeling career. As brand ambassador and sustainability strategist for Portico Home, Payless ShoeSource's zoe&zac line, MODO ECO Eyewear, and Aveeno Smart Essentials, Oakes has kept busy on and off camera, advising and consulting on various aspects of design, production, and practice.

Oakes is also co-founder and CEO of Source4Style, a B2B marketplace portal that allows fashion and interior designers to source more sustainable materials and services from around the world. She is the author of the best-selling style guide Style, Naturally and editor-at-large of ABOVE Magazine.

Vanity Fair has named Summer Rayne Oakes a "global citizen," Outside called her one of the "top environmental activists," CNN hailed her as a "young person who rocks," and CNBC named her one of the "top ten green entrepreneurs of 2010." She has degrees in environmental science and entomology from Cornell University.


From Rainforests to Runways: Reflections from the Road Less Traveled

Join speaker Summer Rayne Oakes for an inspirational, entertaining, and moving talk on her journey from sewage sludge scientist to fashion model and entrepreneur. Oakes, who is considered the world's first eco-model and is the muse behind the new Toyota Prius c, will share her lucid insights into life, love, and the pursuit of one's dreams, no matter how fantastic and unconventional they may be. Her multimedia presentation will consist of a journey through one's personal passions and touch upon the importance of social engagement, mentorship, entrepreneurship, and living life to the fullest.

This 45- to 50-minute keynote is perfect for aspiring entrepreneurs, university students, and women's groups.

"Model as Role" vs. "Role Model"

From body image to social identification, the fashion and media industries play an integral role in the way we see ourselves. Model, entrepreneur, and speaker Summer Rayne Oakes is no stranger to this. From shooting the iconic 2013 Pirelli Calendar to appearing in hundreds of magazines - including Vogue, Vanity Fair, Elle, Glamour, and GQ - to covertly serving as the muse for Toyota's new Prius c, Oakes shows all the outward signs of the typical model - but it's her unlikely entry into the industry as the world's first eco-model exclusively working with environmentally conscious brands that gives her a radically different perspective.

In this enlightening and highly personal 45-minute discussion, Oakes opens up about her behind-the-scenes experience within the industry and brings to light how she helped forge her own unique path from day one. Funny, shocking, uplifting, and full of twists, Oakes's story takes her audience on a fulfilling journey through one of the most intriguing industries.

This multimedia talk includes photos and visuals and touches upon social identification, race, body image, health and wellness, entrepreneurship, and motivation. It is perfect for audiences of women and young girls.

eXtinction: A Film Screening & Discussion

In the summer of 2011, speaker Summer Rayne Oakes set out to tell a story on the love and loss of nature. Together with a small team of visual artists and her friend, cinematographer Clayton Haskell, she created eXtinction, a five-minute environmental art short. Oakes uses the film as a launching pad in this presentation to state that the environmental issues we face today are time sensitive, not abstractions likely to occur hundreds of years from now. The risks are real, measurable, current, and directly impact our lives today.

Studio chairman Harvey Weinstein has said that "eXtinction is an important film that everyone should see. Clayton Haskell artfully captures the beauty of Planet Earth while Summer Rayne Oakes reminds us of the vital role we all have in keeping it that way."

This 30-minute presentation includes a ten-minute talk and a ten- to 15-minute Q&A session. The film is available in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, German, Dutch, Greek, Russian, Swahili, and Persian subtitles.

Bringing Up the Next 2 Billion: Why We Need to Change the Way We Live & Do Business

Between now and 2050, the global population is expected to rise from 7 billion to 9 billion with nearly all the growth happening in the developing world. It's in these tides of growing population, shifting power, increased consumerism, and ever-shrinking resources that we begin to glimpse a predictive blueprint of what life may be like. In this multimedia keynote presentation, speaker Summer Rayne Oakes takes her audience on a visual journey through the rapidity of change while critically highlighting the challenges that lay ahead and ways for us to create opportunities for our communities. She also outlines a ten-part framework to address how business can thrive with new green developments.

This speech can be tailored for a ten- to 20-minute talk or a 45- to 60-minute keynote and is ideal for university and corporate audiences.

The Art & Science of Sustainable Design

Though sometimes slighted for its frivolous and fickle nature, the textiles and clothing industry is undeniably one of the most important trades today. Serving as a linchpin for national economic development, cultural identity, and consumer engagement, the fashion industry has been and will continue to be an integral player on the world stage. Model, sustainable design activist, co-founder of Source4Style, and speaker Summer Rayne Oakes presents a provocative and engaging keynote that revisits the genesis of some of the practices - multi-season presentations and manufacturing - that we have come to take for granted and critically challenges the audience to re-imagine what a new world of fashion may look like. This speech includes Oakes's decade-long journey in sustainable design, a brief history of key developments within fashion over the past four centuries, a snapshot of sustainability advancements over the past three decades, and an evaluative inspection into the future of sustainable design.

This 45- to 60-minute keynote is a must-see for fashion design students, green business and design conferences, and corporate audiences. Breakout groups for brainstorming are highly encouraged.

Designing for Sustainability

Model, author, entrepreneur, and speaker Summer Rayne Oakes shares how the biggest sustainable design innovations are being formed out of open-source collaboration. From the development of the Higg Index to the practice of collaborative production to the co-founding of her company Source4Style - a trends-driven marketplace reducing the boundaries to sustainable sourcing - Oakes effortlessly captures the current zeitgeist that is shaping the future of design and helping make sustainable design possible throughout the world.
This eight- to ten-minute speech is ideal for university and corporate audiences.

Insights from Insects & Other Lesser-Known Stories from Below

Entomology, or the study of insects, is a far cry away from the world of fashion, but that hasn't stopped model, activist, former entomologist, and speaker Summer Rayne Oakes from pursuing her love for bugs. An insect enthusiast from an early age, Oakes tells a delightful and charming tale of the insect underworld. From the busy bee to the fastidious orb weaver to the enterprising ant, Oakes shares how these often-overlooked creatures are integral indicators into how our world is changing and tells us what we might be able to learn from our creepy, crawly counterparts.

This 45- to 60-minute multimedia talk includes photos, visuals, sound, and a show-and-tell presentation.

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