Designer Rachel Roy, 38, wasn’t allowed to watch TV growing up, but the California native found more worthwhile distractions in the nearby Pacific Ocean and Golden Age Hollywood glamour. “I immersed myself in classic movies and icons like Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly and Rita Hayworth,” Roy says in an e-email. The dual West Coast influences of casual beachwear and red carpet glamour continue to inform Roy’s “laidback yet refined” approach to fashion. (Roy’s cinematic roots run deep: her brother, Rajendra, is the film curator at the Museum of Modern Art.)
After graduating college Roy moved to New York, where she styled fashion shoots and eventually became the creative director at Rocawear. (She has two children with her exhusband, hip-hop mogul and Rocawear co-founder Damon Dash.) She says that compared to Northern California, NYC’s fashion is “more produced, structured and elegant,” but that both coasts stress individuality. Roy’s eponymous line, launched in 2005, certainly has coast-to-coast appeal: notable clients include Penelope Cruz, Sharon Stone, and Michelle Obama.
Roy has taken part in some unorthodox design collaborations that she likens to “master classes.” At Fashion Week last September she debuted a collection with New York Knicks hoops star Amar’e Stoudemire. For this season, she worked with literary physician Deepak Chopra. Once the Fashion Week tents come down, Roy will take an overdue vacation. “I’m hoping to catch up on sleep, spend time with the girls, and get a bit of sun on my body,” Roy says. “Then, it’s right back to the next collection.”
A Day In Fashion Week: The Survival Guide
• Someone to keep me on schedule, Bobbi Brown concealer, and good music.
• A juice cleanse. Sounds counterintuitive but it clears my head.
• 15 minutes of complete silence after I wake-up. It can be done.
• A good laugh.