Images by Travis Levius. All Rights Reserved. -
“What would truly make me think ‘Wow, perhaps I’m starting to accomplish what God has intended for me to accomplish’ is when I truly give back to others and help others have freedom…that’s when I’ll start to think that maybe I’ve started to accomplish something truly great.” -Rachel Roy
My personal experience with lightning-speed success doesn’t hold a candle to the accomplishments of fashion designer Rachel Roy who- in just 5 years- has become a definitive figure in the critical, competitive fashion world. Enamored with vintage film belles as a youth, she carried her passion into several divisions of Rocawear as an intern, and soon became creative director of its women’s and children’s divisions. Her decision to launch her own line in 2005, however, was when she struck goldmine.
Ever since, fashion’s “it” girl has seen her vintage-inspired garments adorned on the likes of Oprah, Gwyneth Paltrow, Michelle Obama, Tyra Banks, Jennifer Gardner, and Ivanka Trump and can be seen in every major fashion magazine over the globe. Her greatness, however, is not only found in her fashion career but in her valiant efforts to change the world through humanitarian work (this year she’s partnered with Fairwinds Trading Co. to actively create craft-based jobs for women in Rwanda and Tanzania). I had the honor to sit down with the remarkably humble and stunning Rachel Roy before her RRNY runway show to discuss her journey and wonderful ways that she is inspiring the world.
ML.com: You went from: impulsively wanting to dress your mom, dad, and brother in your youth (she giggles) to…[Michelle] Obama.
Oh my goodness! And just last night again, I found out that she wore a piece from my pre-Fall collection for a speech in Mexico.
Yeah, it’s probably the best feeling that I could have in the business of dressing women
“…because if you’re not making people feel good about themselves, you’re not doing your job.”
So when someone that I’m inspired by wears it- especially in this point in her career where what she is wearing is so scrutinized that she can’t just throw something on, that means I am starting to do my job in a sense of making women feel good and strong and confident. And I was absolutely over the moon (giggles).
ML.com: It’s evident that your clothes have elements of vintage Hollywood. Why does that era inspire you?
Growing up I couldn’t watch TV, but my family had all the channels that you get when you don’t pay for cable (laughs). So one of those was Turner Classic, and Continue reading