The designer of several eponymous collections–including her new affordably-priced Rachel Rachel Roy line at Macy’s– shares a bit of what she’s learned about work, life, and looking great.
What elements does an item of clothing need to look expensive even when it’s not?
As a shopper, you should look for good fabric–how it feels when you touch it–and try the piece on to see how it’s constructed. You still might have to get it altered for a little more cost, but tailoring helps the piece look richer right away. Also, check the stitch. If a designer uses a very thin thread, it looks much cheaper than a nice, thick thread. You hear about thread count with sheets, and it’s the same with stitches. If the thread is thicker, I find it makes the garment look richer. Those are little touches I try to give to my [Macy's] collection.
What did you learn back as an intern at Rocawear that prepared you for running your own business?
I learned so much! I think when you work in every department, even departments you don’t like, you learn to appreciate every position. Working in, for example, the mailroom and in marketing, I learned seemingly little things like how much messengers cost and what time FedEx closes. But those are the things that you actually need to know to run your own company. Also, I’m used to the long hours because I did intern. Now, I don’t mind the hours because I’m working for myself.
You recently told Vogue that you don’t make the gym an utmost priority given your busy schedule as a mom of two daughters. How do you keep it all together, so to speak?
It’s not easy. I do take it one day at a time, and try to make time for myself, literally just “mind-melting.” Some people call it meditation; I call it mind-melt. Everyday for a few moments (not even 10 minutes if I don’t have it) I either talk to myself or, since I’m a bit spiritual, I talk to God, just trying to put everything into alignment. I also do deep breathing. All of these things sound so corny that I hate kind of listing them, but if you try it when you’re alone–just a deep breath, or sitting up straight–it works. It calms me, and I’m able to be more present for the people that deserve it, like my two little girls. They deserve a really active, present mom. So, that’s what keeps me going.
To learn more about Rachel, visit www.rachelroy.com.
Photo Credit: Barry Williams