Five-Minute Pow-Wow: Rachel Roy

Rachel RoyWildly chic and completely on the pulse of women’s sartorial cravings, Rachel Roy is a force to be reckoned with. The New York-based designer has made quite a name for herself in the fashion world, turning out collection after collection of strong, incredibly wearable pieces. Here, we sat down with the fashion favorite for a few questions.

Rue La La: We imagine you were born stylish. Tell us how you got your start in fashion.
Rachel: I had wanted to be a designer since I was 8 years old. While back-to-school shopping, I realized that I wasn’t happy with the selection I had to choose from and decided to do something about it myself. My first job was in retail at the age of 14, and I’ve worked in the industry ever since. When I moved on to the more behind-the-scenes side in licensing, I got a firm understanding of the business side of fashion which helped me to build the foundation to eventually start my own company.

Rue La La: You always look so put-together. Do you have any guiding rules for your personal style?
Rachel: I love mixing things – hard and soft, masculine and feminine. I mix prints, colors, and textures and take risks by trying new things. My style tends to lean toward the classic side, but there is always a twist. If I have a simple, feminine dress on then I will wear a strong statement piece of jewelry to balance it out.

Rue La La: You’ve dressed Michelle Obama over 18 times. We admit it – we’re jealous. How does it feel to work with a First Lady?
Rachel: I’m so honored that she chooses to wear my designs. When I think about the First Lady and what she puts out there, how strong she is, and how she works at balancing her public responsibilities and her family – she really does represent everything in a woman that I aspire to be.

Rue La La: Will you let us in on what inspires you?
Rachel: I’m most inspired by traveling to different places and seeing how each culture dresses. I can sit in a café anywhere and spend hours just watching people go by. I also get inspiration from my books. I surround myself with all kinds of books in my office and at home. Fall 2011 was inspired by Peru. I fell in love with the rich colors and eclectic mix of layered print and texture from the Andean culture. I can’t wait for you to see – the collection is hitting stores as we speak.

Rue La La: What is your favorite style from the Fall 2011 collection?
Rachel: A dinner blouse. I have been designing them more and more every season. They are the perfect option instead of a dress to make you feel polished, effortless, and chic. You will see them in a variety of different styles and colors in the Fall line.

Rue La La: Give us the inside scoop. What will you personally be wearing come fall?
Rachel: A great trench coat or trench dress is key to any wardrobe. They can be worn across seasons and in many ways. Trenches can be worn from the office to a cocktail party. I always give them as gifts to my busy girlfriends.

Our Rachel Roy Boutique opens Friday, August 5 at 11AM ET.

August 3, 2011