Studio Stalking: Rachel Roy's Glam Work Digs

Rachel Roy's garments are immaculate: The cuts are neat, the colors bold, the styles universally flattering. So, naturally, we had to stop by her midtown showroom and office to look for SOME semblance of chaos in all that outward flawlessness. No such luck — all we could find were rows and rows of perfectly tailored separates, a design studio Parsons students would kill (or cheat) for, cupboards of brightly colored thread, a well curated bookshelf of glossy coffee-table books that could stock a small Phaidon store, and, of course, Rachel, sporting a stunning smile and dreamy outfits. It's not that Rachel isn't too busy to keep things tidy (she's got two young daughters, a new line of makeup, and a collection to finish before fashion week), but her excess of cool collectivity, poise, and effortless grace doesn't allow for anything like a mess. And yep, aside from the bright-and-neutral wardrobe, we'll also borrow some of that inner zen, if you don't mind.
Click through for an exclusive look into Rachel Roy's high-fashion (and ultra-glam) life with our studio tour.
1 of 24
How does your studio and showroom reflect your design aesthetic?
"Designing the showroom was really like designing a collection. The inspiration was a Parisian apartment in New York with beautiful wood details that felt clean and modern but warm. The details are what really stand out — the handmade lighting fixtures, the hardwood floor, the beautiful sculptural piece in my lobby that we hang a formal piece on. We added color with beautiful textural pillows, much like I do in my own home!"

Metallic mixed stripe tunic from her Summer 2012 collection, skirt from Red Rachel Roy, Hermes double strap watch, Lorraine Schwartz evil eye bracelet, rose gold choker, and heels from her pre-fall collection.

Photographed by Sam Horine
2 of 24
Rachel's showroom is sleek, yet as whimsical and inviting as her designs!

Photographed by Sam Horine
3 of 24
Do you have any office traditions or rituals before Fashion Week? 
"Drinking lots of coffee, spending time with good friends, and enjoying the fact that I’m working on what I truly love."

Cascade blouse and modern suiting slim pant from Rachel Roy, Cartier watch, RRR jewelry necklace and ring, Pamela Love rose gold dagger rosary, Tom Ford glasses, nude Vanchetta sandals.

Photographed by Sam Horine
4 of 24
We'd be surprised if Rachel didn't pull inspiration from the slick midtown view outside her showroom window.

Photographed by Sam Horine
5 of 24
How important is the order of the clothing as it is hung/presented on the runway? How does it effect the story you're trying to tell? 
"It’s super important. The collection tells a story so we approach the order of my looks with an opening that makes you want to see more, which leads you to the middle of the show and then a fantastic finish that hopefully takes your breath away."

Photographed by Sam Horine
6 of 24
Describe a typical day in the office. 
"Does beautiful, delicious chaos count? I start my day very peacefully with time with my girls. Once I’m at the office, it’s a full day of meetings with sales, design, marketing, and fittings, maybe a photo shoot and then usually evening business events. I think I ate lunch today, not sure."

Photographed by Sam Horine
7 of 24
What are your go-to lunches for the work week? 
"Besides Sant Ambroeus Downtown, I love the outdoor restaurant at The Greenwich Hotel. When I do go, I order the blue crab with jalapeno and tomato and the radish and cucumber salad with tuna vinaigrette. Yummy"

Photographed by Sam Horine
8 of 24
A cabinet of colorful threads shows a sneak peek of Rachel's current favored color palettes.

Photographed by Sam Horine
9 of 24
What are your secret beauty tips? 
"Lots of Bobbi Brown eye-stick foundation for those under-eye situations (no sleep) and always Estee Lauder Turbo Lash mascara to make me look awake. I always carry Burt’s Bees lip balm."

Crinkle georgette cascade blouse and mandarin pant from Rachel Roy, Givenchy blazer, Celine shoes, vintage glasses, and Manon Von Gerkan body chain.

Photographed by Sam Horine
10 of 24
Rachel's Celine shoes? Yes please!

Photographed by Sam Horine
11 of 24
I know this year you're focusing on keeping price points affordable — who is your target shopper now and what would she be surprised to find in your latest collection?
  "It’s important to me that every woman who wears my clothing feels very strong, smart, and confident. The RACHEL Rachel Roy collection is the fashion I wanted, and couldn’t find growing up. It has a cool downtown edge and intelligence to it. We take girls on amazing journeys around the world through color, print, fabric and details."

Photographed by Sam Horine
12 of 24
White bookshelves frame a cute mini sewing machine, and perfectly inspiring coffee table books.

Photographed by Sam Horine
13 of 24
What music do you listen to when you sketch? 
"Music helps put me in the right frame of mind for whatever I’m doing. Gary Clark Junior, Jay-Z, and musical compositions from John Williams are favorites for when I’m working."

Graphic floral front tuck blouse from Rachel Roy, Margiela pants, Pamela Love single spike ring, Valentino kitten pumps, Tom Ford glasses.

Photographed by Sam Horine
14 of 24
How many discarded sketch drafts does it take you to get to one final runway look? 
"I never throw sketches out. That just feels like bad luck."

Photographed by Sam Horine
15 of 24
Are there any career moves you'd change/redo?
"I have always loved what I do and have never regretted a moment of it — through all of the challenges and successes. I never started out wanting to do anything other than create beautiful things for women — that help them express their individuality."

Photographed by Sam Horine
16 of 24
When you just feel like going to work in your PJs, what do you put on instead? 
"Well I did just recently wear pajamas on the red carpet — so don’t put it past me to wear them to work! A dress to me is always the answer when you don’t know what to wear — it’s always elegant and easy!"

Photographed by Sam Horine
17 of 24
How has your design aesthetic evolved over time? Starting at Contempo Casuals, up until now, what are some things you've learned/mistakes you've made? 
"I’ve always loved fashion, and taking risks in both what I wear and what I design has been a guiding principle for me. With risk, comes a learning curve — some things I’ve done have been more successful than others, but I believe in, and love, what I do and you need that type of resolve!"

Photographed by Sam Horine
18 of 24
These Valentino shoes are the sexiest kitten heels we've ever seen!

Photographed by Sam Horine
19 of 24
What is your winter work uniform? 
"I like a strong, confident, classic look that has a bit of edge. A dress is something that always makes me feel smart. I love a fitted cotton button down tucked into red crop pants with a pair of snakeskin heels. It’s a modern outfit that’s chic, effortless, and mixes color and texture — something I love to do. If it’s really chilly, I put my favorite car coat over it."

Photographed by Sam Horine
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The streamline staircase is complimented by a fun statue.

Photographed by Sam Horine
21 of 24
I love that your clothing mixes neutrals and bold pops of color, any advice on wearing color in winter and/or how to mix it up for work? 
"Color is one of my favorite accessories. I use pops of color in my clothing like I would use it in a ring, necklace, or shoe. I find women are sometimes weary of bright hues — baby steps. First try a colorful shoe with an all black look and then graduate to color from head-to-toe."

Rachel Roy blouse, Margiela pants, Givenchy blazer, vintage glasses, Manon Von Gerkan body chain, and Valentino kitten pumps.

Photographed by Sam Horine
22 of 24
Which websites do you always troll?
  "For fashion, it’s,,, and For news and opinions, it’s the Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, and for spirituality,"

Pamela Love spiked ring.

Photographed by Sam Horine
23 of 24
Your (beautiful) printed clutch reads, "Kindness is Always Fashionable" and from your charity work, this is obviously a phrase you live by — what are some others? 
"Charity = Clarity and never take no for an answer."

Photographed by Sam Horine
24 of 24
Any insider peeks at your collection coming up in just a few weeks? What was your inspiration/what can we expect? 
"The collection explores urban architecture and elements of nature. I was inspired by women landscape architects and how it translates to modern silhouettes and details."

Photographed by Sam Horine

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