A confession: we love Rachel Roy, the California native whose clothes are taking red carpets and haute closets by storm. Rachel began her career as a Rocawear intern and worked her way up, first through the Rocawear ranks and later with her own eponymous label. And it's really, really gorgeous. A favorite designer of Vogue's Andre Leon Talley, Rachel is also the mom of seven-year-old Ava and wife to rap mogul Damon Dash. Rachel's Fall '07 collection debuts next week, but before the madness of Fashion Week set in, she joined Fashionista for a discussion on her process, her latest pieces, and - yes - her favorite curse word. Click below to read Rachel's interview, and then check out her favorite charity, The World Food Program, which helps children in developing countries get nourished.
Name: Rachel Roy Age: 32 Clothing Designer Since: 1999 First Fashion Job: Folding t-shirts at the Monteray Bay Aquarium Describe Your Design Process: "Really, I design for what I want to wear. There are no inspiration boards, no trend forecasters, it's just a matter of me saying, what am I missing in my closet right now? And also, what do I never want to wear again? That's important!" Describe Your Latest Obsession: "Again, it's controlled volume - the idea of bubble skirts or floating silhouettes but not to the point where you look like you're about to float away - or the point where you can't see the body underneath. I mean, I personally love that, but in terms of what most women want, they're not comfortable in a very risky silhouette. So I'm trying to reign in the bubbles a little bit - working with organza is great because it's sheer and gives great volume in the sleeves or the neckline, but you can also shape it and give it structure." Fill in the blank: every Rachel Roy piece has... the power to give you confidence. I go to a lot of Hollywood parties and Damon and I are not exactly Hollywood, so sometimes I feel very out of place. I know what it's like to be the girl that nobody talks to! And I also know that if you have a great attitude and a great dress, you can get over that feeling and just be yourself, the best version of yourself. What's your design philosophy? Some people say, oh, they're just clothes, but I really believe, no! They're aids or stepping stones or things that can really help you see yourself in a new light, in a beautiful light. Clothes are unbelievably positive things. What's next: Department stores! Smaller boutiques are amazing because they let you be more directional, more cool, but when a department store buys into your brand they make everything else possible - more sales, shoes, perfume - I mean, perfume is a few years down the road, but yeah... - so our next step is to get bigger. Of course, that means we have to get a bit more conservative, too, and that's the challenge. AND NOW, THE PROUST QUESTIONNAIRE... What's your favorite word? Mom! I believe very strongly that your children don't belong to you, they're just yours until they're ready to move forward. And my daughter Ava is really the most amazing person, I feel so lucky that she's entrusted to me. And when she says "Mom," I kind of freak out because I feel so lucky that such an incredible person is a part of my life. What is your least favorite word?: Fuck. I didn't even realize I hated it, because I certainly say it, but yesterday I overheard someone having a very heated business discussion over their cell, in public. They said "fuck" 37 times. I counted. It was too negative; I hated it. What is your favorite sound or noise? The noise of a bed with lots of covers. I love to cuddle. I love to sleep. TV is fine but all I really want to do when I'm alone is sleep. It's heaven. What is your least favorite noise? Anything related to a chalk board, chalk, nails, anything. It makes my whole spine freeze. It's awful. What turns you on, creatively, spiritually...? Looking at what girls wear on the street. Seriously, it gives me a rush. What turns you off? Negativity. Whenever I hear myself saying "I can't" or "That'll never happen," this little voice in the back of my head says, "Well, you're right, now it really will never happen." What profession would you want to attempt besides your own? Did you know I was going to be an English teacher? Did I ever tell you that? A high school English teacher. I would have done that. What profession other than your own would you never want to attempt? I would never want to work with sharks. I am terrified of them. They are everywhere in California, and when I worked at the aquarium, they scared the crap out of me. I even brought a shark expert to a party once to tell my friends about sharks, about how scary they are. My friends didn't believe me until that night! What is your favorite curse word? Shit! Ha! And the best one - if heaven exists, what do you want God to say to you when you arrive at the pearly gates? You fulfilled my plan for you; you did exactly what I wanted you to do.