Who is Rachel Roy?
Rachel Roy is an American fashion designer and the UN Women global champion for the advancement of women and girls in technology and entrepreneurship. She is famous for dressing high profile personalities like Michelle Obama and Kim Kardashian. Born to an Indian father and American mother of Dutch descent, she grew up in a working class family. Throughout her career, she has faced several setbacks but nothing could stop her from achieving her dream of owning her business. Notwithstanding her humble beginnings, she worked hard to become the creative head of the women’s and children’s wear division at Rocawear. Early on in her career, she married Damon Dash and gave birth to two daughters. The marriage was over in five years, followed by a nasty divorce and custody battle for the children which she eventually won. She also fell out with Jones Apparel Group, the fashion giant who licensed and promoted her designs. Regardless of these obstacles, she worked on her craft and emerged successful not only as a high profile designer but also as an inspiration for budding entrepreneurs.
Rachel Roy studied Psychology and English at Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Maryland. After graduating, she moved to New York City where she began her career as a wardrobe stylist. Later, she took up internship at the fashion label Rocawear. There she rose through the ranks to become the creative director of the women’s and children’s wear section.
In 2004, Rachel launched her own fashion collection. By 2006, her work had become popular in the fashion industry and she received an award from the Indian Hindi film industry for her contribution to American fashion. In 2007, she was inducted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America. In June 2008, she embarked on a partnership with the Jones Apparel Group. Meanwhile, her designs became popular with fashion conscious teenagers and in the April 2009 issue of the Teen Vogue, she did a “how to” article on transforming a simple T-shirt into a prom dress.
In August 2009, she launched the ‘RACHEL Rachel Roy’ collection, a reasonably priced diffusion line of sportswear, shoes, and accessories. The label is available exclusively at department store chains — ‘Macy’s in the U.S.A and ‘The Bay’ in Canada. The same summer, she collaborated with British pop singer Estelle to work on a jewellery line for the Spring 2010 RACHEL Rachel Roy collection.
In Fall 2010, she collaborated with model Jessica Stam to design a capsule collection for her website rachelroy.com and Macy’s stores. She has dressed several high-profile individuals and celebrities like Michelle Obama, Kate Hudson, Kim Kardashian, Sharon Stone, Penélope Cruz, et al. In 2010, she also established a charity foundation called ‘Kindness Is Always Fashionable’ that supported UNICEF for their relief work in flood-stricken Pakistan. Later, the foundation continued to sustain projects that empowered women and children. She wrote a self-help book titled Design Your Life: Creating Success Through Personal Style’ published in 2016.
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Controversies & Scandals
Rachel Roy was married to American entrepreneur Damon Dash from 2005 to 2009. In April 2015, she won the sole custody of both her daughters and was granted a three-year restraining order against Dash. Soon after, Dash sued her for $2.5 million, charging violation of fiduciary duties and other claims related to ‘Royale Etenia’, a fashion company they had established when married. In 2016, she again found herself in the mid of a controversy when rumour spread that Jay Z had cheated on Beyonce with her. Rachel denied the allegations.
Family & Personal Life
Rachel Irene Roy was born on January 15, 1974 in San Bernardino County, California. She was raised in Seaside, California and followed the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Her mother is Dutch by descent and her father is of Indian ancestry. She is quite proud of her Indian and Dutch heritage which is clearly reflected in her designs, work ethics and strength of character. She began working and contributing at home when she was just fourteen years old. Growing up, she graduated from California Seaside High School and later attended the Columbia Union College in Takoma Park, Maryland. Her brother, Rajendra Roy, is the chief film curator of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.