Rachel Roy, designer, entrepreneur, philanthropist and mother, designs to inspire women to feel smart, confident and individual. Raised in Northern California by an Indian father and Dutch mother, Rachel grew up immersed in the issues of Vogue magazines she collected and dreams of being a designer. After attending college in Washington, DC, Rachel moved to New York City and began styling magazine shoots. Her feminine aesthetic with a twist quickly earned her a reputation for knowing how to enhance a woman’s body without revealing too much. After almost a decade at a global urban brand, where she rose to Creative Director overseeing seven licensees and running all of design departments, Rachel launched her own brand.
Inspired by the strong, confident working women she knew, the Rachel Roy New York collection debuted in Spring 2005. The collection embodies an effortless, elegant and exotic lifestyle with Rachel’s design hallmarks of print/pattern mixing, the pairing of opposites and defining details that take women from day to evening. From the very first collection, Rachel has created modern iconic pieces – the trench, the blouse and the dress – that are, and continue to be, the cornerstones of women’s wardrobes.In August 2009, Rachel launched RACHEL Rachel Roy, a downtown, youthful companion to her designer collection featuring affordable contemporary sportswear, footwear, handbags and jewelry that has quickly become a destination brand.
A frequent lifestyle, fashion and culture contributor to various publications, Rachel is a featured monthly columnist for InStyle Magazine and a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. Rachel has appeared on numerous national TV programs; The Oprah Winfrey Show, Project Runway, The Nate Berkus show, Lifetime’s Catwalk 24/7, Sundance’s All on the Line, and Extra TV as the red carpet style correspondent for the 2011 Oscars. Rachel and her work has been featured on leading blogs like The Cut, Refinery 29, WhoWhatWear, and The Glamouri to over 200 million web viewers annually. Fascinated with technology and how it enhances women’s lives, Rachel has created a robust social network that engages women and acts as a research and laboratory to test new designs and ideas that includes Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Youtube, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+.
Rachel has garnered editorial acclaim in publications such as Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, W, Vanity Fair, Glamour and InStyle. Rachel has had the honor of dressing First Lady Michelle Obama, Eva Mendes, Kate Hudson, Jennifer Garner, Iman, Halle Berry, Sofia Vergara, Christina Hendricks, Jessica Alba and Gwyneth Paltrow among other esteemed actresses, musicians and businesswomen.
Giving back is one of Rachel‘s greatest passions and one of the founding principles of the Rachel Roy brand. Rachel always looks to create opportunities to give women and children in need a voice. As you can see Rachel really embodies true inner beauty.
Rachel Roy has teamed up with Deepak Chopra to collaborate together on a collection of tshirts featuring Chopra’s inspirational quotes and a jewelry line showing her favorite evil eye symbol. “I have a vision of vintage rock-and-roll tees, but instead of the title of the album, it would be the saying,” Roy said. “Even girls who don’t know Deepak will think they’re wearing a cute shirt.” . And the collection involves charity: All proceeds will be donated to the Chopra Foundation to support education in India. I think it is truly remarkable what they are doing~ to see more on their collaboration click Here. I am absolutely in love with the pieces and am having a hard time deciding which one I want!
In September I was invited to meet Rachel as she unveiled the most coveted items for fall with her latest RACHEL Rachel Roy collection at the BAY. The evening consisted of an informal fashion presentation where the models stood on platforms displaying her beautiful creations. There was refreshing sips, sweet treats and hot dj beats. I had the opportunity to try on most of her collection, her designs are a perfect fit (for us shorter girls too!). I fell in love with her purple and black banded cut out dress (on the mannequin in the video and photo), it fit like a glove and hung perfectly on my body. I actually came out of the change room and Rachel gave me her approval with a smile and nod. You can’t get a better compliment than from the designer herself. She was such a sweetheart, I was captivated by her elegance, grace and beauty. Rachel is even more beautiful on the inside with her heart of gold. I was definitely a fan before, but after attending this event I have a whole new level of appreciation and admiration for her. I was beyond excited when Rachel agreed to be featured for a beauty Q&A. So get cozy while we get up close and personal with Designer Rachel Roy, she may just inspire you to give back and dream big!
BB411~ When did you know you wanted to be a designer?
RR~ I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be designer. Vogue magazines were my escape and really inspired me to design the life I wanted to live – and that life, for me, was design.
BB411~ Have you always been in love with fashion and beauty, what is your earliest memory?
RR~ Always! I was the young girl who was always styling her family members, my poor brother! I was also the girl who took a job in fashion at 14 and begged my bosses to let me style the mannequins in the store window.
BB411~ If you weren’t a designer and you could be anything in the world what would it be?
RR~ A travel writer. I love exploring new places around the world and sharing it.
BB411~ You collected Vogue magazines growing up, what did it mean to you to be featured in Vogue?
RR~ It was one of the highlights of my career. To have the support of something that was so influential and instrumental in my development as a designer means a great deal to me.
BB411~ Which designers did you admire growing up?
RR~ I am inspired by Coco Chanel and her story. She was an orphan who grew up in a completely different world than those she ultimately designed for and did it with such grace and strength. She did not let her beginning dictate her ending and that’s something that has always stayed with me.
BB411~ I absolutely am inspired by her as well and I love the statement “She did not let her beginning dictate her ending”.
BB411~ What did it mean to be inducted into the CFDA?
RR~ It’s another highlight of my career to be able to stand next to such talented designers and help make the industry a better place, not just for now but for the next generation of designers.
BB411~ Describe your style?
RR~ I’m a bit of a chameleon. Getting dressed in the morning is an opportunity to play to how you are feeling that morning. A little sexy, rocker girl, I love it all as long as you feel like an individual – that’s my goal with how I dress and how I design for women.
BB411~ What kind of woman does your line represent (including Rachel)?
RR~ I love helping women find their individual style – whether they are just entering school or the job market or are established in their career and life. My goal is for women to feel, smart, confident and individual through what I design.
BB411~ Who has been your favorite celebrity to dress?
RR~ I love the relationship that I form with women when I dress them. I learn a great deal from them – entrepreneurs who are starting or running established businesses to amazing actresses and political leaders.
BB411~ What is your favorite thing about fall?
RR~ The change of season – the cooler air, the leaves changing colors. It’s a great time to escape from the city with my girls and take a drive in the country.
BB411~ What are the 5 staple pieces every woman should have in their wardrobe?
- An amazing dress that fits you like a glove.
- A thin black turtleneck that you can wear under a dress to get more mileage out of it.
- An office to cocktails blouse.
- A trench coat in a soft fabric that can double as a dress.
- A caftan. You can wear it a hundred ways from beach to street.
BB411~ What is the #1 fashion mistake a person does?
RR~ I don’t believe in fashion rules
BB411~ What does beauty mean to you?
RR~ I think beauty starts within us. We all choose to express it differently on the exterior but it starts within us.
BB411~ What has being a Mom meant to you and what do you want to teach your daughters about beauty?
RR~ I live for my girls and it’s important that I teach them to be citizens of the world by taking them on trips to other parts of the world to experience different ways of life, cultures and how beauty can take on many forms and expressions.
BB411~ What inspires you personally and professionally?
RR~ I think it’s the opportunity to give women a voice through what they wear, to create a look/style that makes them feel like individuals.
RR~ Each collection starts with a specific inspiration, a story, and builds from there. I personally fit every piece I design – I want my pieces to feel as amazing as they look.
BB411~ Are you involved in any charities that are close to your heart?
RR~ Margherita Missoni introduced me to OrphanAid Africa about 5 years ago and it’s been such an important experience for me. I think of the kids there often and every holiday season we do a book wrapping paper to send to them. Recently I traveled to Haiti with Martha Stewart to visit an artisan colony to develop product to be able to feature on my website. It gives the Haitian artisans a platform for telling their story and showcasing their amazing talents.
BB411~ What does it mean to you to give back?
RR~ I think it’s one of the most important things you can do both personally and professionally. Donating your time personally to local shelter, food banks, or reading programs are simple ways to get involved. One of the goals of my business has been to help create jobs for women and give them a platform in which to create a better life for themselves.
BB411~ If you could tell your younger self something you have learned and know now what would it be?
RR~ I think sometimes as young women we tend to hold our voices and not speak loudly enough on things we truly believe in because we think it’s going to hurt others feelings or not be the popular opinion.
RR~ Loyal, honest, inquisitive.
BB411~ Do you have a best kept beauty secret that has been passed down to you (say from your Mother or Grandmother)?
RR~ My mother passed down the importance of a good classic scent. Hers was Chanel #5 and
so is mine.
BB411~ You have great skin, what’s your secret (skin care regime)?
BB411~ 3 beauty products you carry with you always?
BB411~ #1 beauty product you could not live without?
BB411~ Do any certain scents remind you of your childhood and what is your favorite fragrance?
BB411~ You have beautiful hair, what do you use as your go to products?
BB411~ Fun fact that your fans may not know about you?
RR~ I do a bit of comedy acting in the videos my team and I produce.
BB411~ Favorite quote?
RR~ “Turn your wounds into wisdom.” – Oprah Winfrey
BB411~ What advice would you give entrepreneurs starting out that are following their dreams?
RR~ The road will be harder than you expected, it may take more time you expected but it is
possible to design the life you want to live – just never take no for an answer.
Meeting Rachel was a highlight of my career as I have been a fan of hers for so long. It was such an honour to interview her and I am very grateful to have been able to share this feature with all of you. I look forward to having her designs continue to fill my closet and can’t wait to see all her collections to come. To stay connected and see all the updates on Rachel, be sure to check out her website and follow her on all her social media ~ Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Youtube, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+.
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