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The amazing Rachel Roy – An exclusive with one of fashion’s trailblazers

Posted on November 06 2010

“My biggest influences are strong, creative women that chart their own path, lead their own lives and drive the course of history” Rachel Roy

Designer, Rachel Roy

Rachel Roy is the kind of woman that you want in your corner. Behind those brown eyes, you can tell she’s everything she’s asking other women to be; confident, supportive, and strong. Most importantly, a fearless woman who makes her own rules and is in control of her destiny. Tall, lean, put together and soft spoken, she’s also incredibly polite…wants to know just as much about you as you wish to know about her. She’s chic and modern and her curiosity is enchanting. Twenty minutes into our meeting, we’ve touched on both of our travel experiences, our history with the state of Maryland (she attended Columbia Union College), and broken down each of our ensembles (she’s in a long cardigan, harem pants and military style boots). Today, she’s presenting her Rachel Rachel Roy Fall 2010 collection at Macy’s at the Beverly Center, Los Angeles. One could say Rachel defines her eponymous brand. The Rachel Rachel Roy woman is on a journey the designer explains. Getting to know that woman, it’s clear that her wardrobe reflects her journey and while one isn’t exactly sure where she’ll land, one thing’s certain, her life and her clothes exude confidence and hers is a story of living and learning through amazing experiences.

Here’s life and fashion according to Rachel…

Defining the Rachel Rachel Roy woman

We have a lot of fun with the Rachel Rachel Roy brand being the younger sister to the Rachel Roy brand. I think that the Rachel Rachel Roy woman is someone that is looking for classic clothes with a twist. She’s looking to stand out in a room and not fit into a crowd. She takes chances in life and that also trickles down to her wardrobe. She wants to have fun with it, mix things. She wears many hats, pursues many passions in life and her clothing is just an extension of that.

Rachel’s personal style and celebrating the chic, modern woman

I definitely design for the woman that I aspire to be and I’m always influenced by strong women who take chances and make their own paths. I’m very curious about so many different things and I think that curiosity keeps me going. Working with different artists that I collaborate with from Estelle to Jessica Stam helps with getting a fresh perspective and making all the designs relevant.

How Rachel’s personal style influences her designs

My style influences all my designs. One of my favorite things to do with all my design teams is to choose prints, colors and fabrics; to really talk about them and develop the stories behind them.

Traveling + the Rachel Rachel Roy woman

It’s really important for our customer, our girl to travel as much as she can. Traveling is something that is very costly and it’s hard for many young girls to do and we just want to encourage that as much as possible. Whether it’s through scholarships or exchange programs…however they can, even if it’s within the United States. I just think that it’s one thing that brings us all closer together and helps us realize how similar we are. To me, it’s the best life changing experience in terms of education.

Supporting other women

We hire a group of women out of Tanzania and Rwanda through an organization called Fairwinds. It’s a very small factory of women who create fashion pieces for the brand. It is of course more expensive to do it this way but these women were chosen as “women in need”. Their need is to get out of their situation; so whether that’s a bad marriage or losing their husband to a war, they’re funding their own lives through this job. I’m not just handing anyone anything, I’m hiring and helping them to make their own way. The more I can do that, the better and that’s what pushes me to keep doing better each season because the more I have, the more I can give to them.

Rachel’s must have fall pieces

There’s a red leather pencil skirt that I love from the line and it goes with so many different things. It’s really simple and well made; Leather well made and simply cut will last for a very long time. It’s something that you can invest in.

Rachel Rachel Roy Red Leather Skirt

My second pick is a light weight military jacket. The military look is very strong this season but if you think about it, the military look never goes away for fall/winter.

Rachel Rachel Roy Military Cardigan

Looking towards the future – The Rachel Rachel Roy Woman in Spring 2011

We use travel as a source of inspiration and reference and for spring, it’s about hope and renewal and what we’re looking forward to. It’s colors and it’s bright, mixing prints is something that I have a lot of fun with and I find beauty in mixing odd prints, matching them so that they almost don’t work but when you sit back and look at it, it works so beautifully.

Shop the RACHEL Rachel Roy  line at Macy’s.

For more chic pieces, visit the Rachel Roy website at www.rachelroy.com

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