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Friday, September 21, 2012

smitten: an interview with designer and icon rachel roy

photo courtesy of Ashley Boero
designer and icon rachel roy
(photo courtesy of Ashley Boero)

Sometimes a girl just needs a pair of shoes to lift her spirits. Yes, sometimes they are running shoes that make you feel bouncy and fast and happy but sometimes, you come across very special shoes that make you feel beautiful and ladylike. This is something designer Rachel Roy excels at.

Last night at a lovely (and yes, very ladylike event complete with sparkly lemonade-cucumber drinks and hors d'oeuvres on silver trays) Rachel debuted her new Footwear and Dress Salon Collection at the Nordstrom downtown Seattle flagship store. (10% of the day's sales were donated to the Pacific Northwest Ballet's Backstage Pass program.)

There is a reason that fashion standouts like First Lady Michelle Obama, Kate Hudson, Jennifer Garner and Penelope Cruz are drawn to Rachel's collections. Her style is tailored yet cool and luxe. Wearing  Rachel Roy whether it's a trench coat, illusion dress or houndstooth heels adds that punch of confidence.

Last night I spoke with Rachel and I became smitten. You will too.

The Happygirl: It's so good to meet you, Rachel! It's such a great event tonight! You look so happy. What makes you happy?

Rachel Roy: Oh, a lot of things! I try to surround myself with love, good intent, being around people with good energy and good spirit who want to be people that don't mind fighting for the sake of good and who want to learn.

HG: Are there are particular things that you love?

Rachel: Oh! I love candles, incense, good food, good wine, good tea, shopping, bubble baths. . .

HG: Is there a scent that makes you happy?

Rachel: Yes! Red roses. Jo Malone Red Roses is my favorite perfume. I love the body lotion. It reminds me of everything magical and glamorous that I aspire to be. This scent reminds me of 1940's movie icons. . .

HG: Is there a movie that makes you happy?

Rachel: Yes! Lots of movies. If I want fashion and inspiration "The Women"-- the 1930's version. If I want a good love story, "The Notebook." Each and every time I cry with my 12 year-old daughter.

HG:  What is you idea of a perfect Saturday?

Rachel: Good question. Sleeping in in my bed. That makes me happy! It's like a cloud with soft pillows and yummy sheets. Being with my girls, of course, and surrounding myself with love and fun, somewhere where we are in the sun and we can hear the ocean with people who care about us around us.

(note: Here's where Rachel did something that no other interviewee has ever done. She flipped the interview around and started asking me questions.)

Rachel: What makes you happy?

HG: Wow. Being around other people who are happy. Just being around people who are honest and who choose happiness in their lives.

(note: When I first met Rachel I introduced myself as The Happygirl.)

Rachel: Tell me about The Happygirl.

HG: It's the adventure guide to getting your happy back. It's about living your life with intention even after loss that you feel like you can't rebound from. . .

Rachel: So you found out how to do that and you're passing the tools on. . .Oh, I love that! You ARE The Happygirl.

HG: So are YOU!

One of the things that stood out for me about Rachel is this moment: Before the event started I watched a 12 year-old girl (accompanied by her sweet dad) carefully taking photos of the shoes displayed and patiently waiting to meet Rachel. It was an awesome moment to behold when she got the chance to meet Rachel and talk with her about fashion.  There were also the friends who came to the event together and squealed when Rachel took a picture with them and the fashion stylist who seemed almost apoplectic and who could barely speak when Rachel smiled at him.

Thank you to Nordstrom for hosting this event and to Rachel Roy for not just being a style icon but for being the kind of person a 12 year-old girl will always remember.

* Which shoes did I buy? The black and white houndstooth 'Ana' on the left. Do you like them?

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