I had the opportunity to sit down with Rachel Roy yesterday for a couple of questions before her personal appearance at Nordstrom. Though it was only a few minutes, it was so lovely to chat with the Northern California girl turned mother, philanthropist and acclaimed fashion designer. Ms. Roy was so warm, friendly and insightful. She complimented me on my dress, shoes and necklace all at different times, and even asked me about my Meatball tattoo :) I don't think I've received that many compliments from one person in one sitting in a long time!
Because I only had a few minutes with her, I made sure to make my questions good. Here are some of her paraphrased thoughts on social media and what inspires her everyday:
FJ: There's been a lot of talk around social media and its impact on New York Fashion Week, including bloggers getting paid big bucks to wear designers' clothes. What are your thoughts on social media and its impact on the industry?
RR: [My line]'s not big enough to pay people to wear it! Haha. I started my line in 2005, and before that I was at another clothing line (Rocawear) for seven years. I've always thought it was great to see what the stylists, hairdressers, writers were doing. What was going on behind the scenes. Now social media gives us that insight. Some bloggers might be considered celebrities in the sense that they give us that, and some might be paid to. I think celebrities...people in general like to wear what makes them feel good. They just might be heavily scrutinized for it.
FJ: Do you like using social media for yourself?
RR: At first I was like, "Twitter? No way!" I'm too busy, I have a daughter...but I am active now. I think it's important for people to know it's my voice. Intent doesn't always come across if it's not from the authentic source. When it says "RR" you know it's from me. My team tweets the brand-related stuff. I like Instagram. I took photography in college. It's nice to take a break from the day and play with all the filters for a minute!
I read all the comments on Twitter and Instagram, good and bad. I appreciate them all!
Social media is fun. It's relatable. I especially relate to the Macy's collection customer, because I was that girl growing up. My designer line is much more aspirational.
FJ: I know there are different inspirations for each of your collections, season to season. What has inspired you over time, from when you started your line to now?
RR: That's a good question! I was 7 or 8, living in Northern California and back-to-school shopping with my mom. I think I had a budget of $150 or $200, and she took me to Mervyn's. I said, "Mom, there's nothing I want here." She said, "If you don't like anything here, then be a buyer!" I eventually went to San Francisco to apply for assistant buying internships at Bloomingdale's and other places, but I was rejected. I just wanted to go and make pieces I wanted at prices I could afford.
I also bought Vogue back then, and I still have my whole collection now.
I've always loved fashion. You can change to whoever or whatever you want to be with it. I love that fashion can affect how people feel, and make them feel good. Have fun with it!