Rachel Roy’s Amazing Grace
It’s the transposing of tradition that Roy does so well, both in her ready-to-wear collections and through her personal style. During our interview she hinted about her inspiration for the Fall 2012 collection, which she is currently working on. It has to do with “woman landscape architects.” Something tells us we have much more than floral prints to look forward to for Fall.
What are you looking forward to most in 2012?
In 2012, I’m really focusing on what I can do to improve myself, and the world around me. My passion is not only dressing women to feel their best. It’s also to help give a strong voice to women and children in need around the world. I’ve been involved with OrphanAid Africa for a number of years and have designed a Kindness Is Always Fashionable clutch where proceeds will directly benefit the children in Ghana. A guiding principle that I truly believe in – through giving back you gain clarity, peacefulness and happiness in your own life.
To what do you attribute your success as a designer?
From the very first day I started my company, I’ve instilled a sense of pride in my team. You really have to believe in what you are doing and be passionate about it. I’m lucky to work with a group of people that feel this way. It makes it easier to approach the challenges in business when you all share the common goal of excellence. But, what motivates me is doing work that makes women feel special and confident.
You’ve embraced a masculine edge in recent collections. What sparked this source of inspiration?
I was inspired by the movie, The Lover. What immediately moved me was the soft, white suiting in the movie. I love mixing masculine and feminine qualities in my designs. This beautiful portrayal of a love story inspired this idea of movement, growth, and forwardness. These elements were a strong reference point — a romantic innocent, woman who explores and breaks tradition by diving into a dynamic, complex modern world. I feel like that’s a story that every woman can identify with.
Your collections tend to feel feminine, strong, and eclectic yet minimalist. Do you design with a specific woman in mind?
My design inspiration comes from all of the women around me who show strength through grace. The women who balance professional and personal lives. It’s very important to me that every woman who wears my designs feels strong, smart, and confident. I like that my clothing and accessories help women look like the individuals they are.
What is the ultimate craftsmanship for you?
I think it’s all in the details. I love mixing fabrics to create textures and to create something different. I could sit and talk about a hem or the detail on a neckline for hours. One of my joys is to sit with my patternmakers and sewers and talk about the details. They can make the garment feel so special.
Your personal style is much admired. You can make anything look artistic and modern. What’s your approach?
I think one needs to exude femininity and poise while embodying sheer power. These are the qualities I attribute to my style success. Getting dressed in the morning is my chance to be a chameleon. I rely on a few staples in my closet that can be mixed and matched and are super versatile such as a trench coat, car coat, thin turtleneck and printed shift dress. There’s an emotion when you get dressed, and I try to capture that in the clothing and accessories I design.
Describe style in 2012.
Be bold, be brave and take a risk.
Shop Rachel Roy online at NeimanMarcus.com or select Neiman Marcus stores.