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Designing women

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New York-based designer-turned-entrepreneur was in Delhi to unveil her piece for Forevermark. Priya Kumari Rana caught up with the 38-year-old designer whose latest collection will soon be available in India.

INDIA PLANS
I'm collaborating with on a line of jewellery and T-shirts that are out next month. I will be retailing out of Kitsch with my Spring Summer 2013 collection.

HALLMARKS OF YOUR BRANDS
My ready-to-wear line, Rachel Roy New York (started in 2005), is for the working woman who is a bit older and more established. Then I have (RRR) which debuted in 2009, that is affordable and is made for women of all age groups — from girls all the way to my mother.

YOUR IDEAL WOMAN
. She’s someone who’s working as hard on her family as she is on her career.

CELEBRITIES YOU ENJOYED DRESSING THE MOST
. I have a body form for her in my sample room. On her 2006 TV show, she called me “The Next Big Thing in Fashion”. Then, Freida (Pinto). She’s so easy to dress, and is so classic and talented. Sharon Stone — I love her — is a very bold woman who’s willing to wear riskier designs, and that’s quite fun. We recently dressed Solange Knowles (singer Beyoncé’s sister) for the Met Gala. She wanted a dress in yellow. It was perfect — strapless, very strong, very modern. She looked beautiful.

The perfect RRR day-to-evening look
For the working woman, I’m into great fitting trousers with a shirt, in a print or in a feminine colour. Or, a great fitting dress with a zipper up the back. And, a bag large enough to fit a pair of flats in. (I put three insoles into all of my shoes!). For shoes, I’ll either do an animal print or a colour, and that allows a woman to express herself and still be serious enough for work. Plus, I always design a cardigan because it’s always a bit cold on the inside, because of air-conditioning. So, you can go straight from work to the evening, since it’s not always possible to go home before we go out. And then I’ll throw on some costume jewellery.

SOURCING THE MATERIALS
From all over. I visit Première Vision, a big fabric show in Paris (it’s the size of six football fields). You can purchase directly from there, but since 2005 I have Indian, Japanese, and Portuguese suppliers.

INDIA CONNECTION
My dad’s from Madras and my mother’s Dutch. I grew up in northern California and haven’t been here in 20 years

SUCCESSFUL CONTEMPORARY DESIGNERS FROM INDIA IN THE WEST
, who works in New York. And Prabal Gurung. As long as you are authentic, you will be rewarded.

FAVOURITE FASHION WEEK
The New York Fashion Week, twice a year, is the busiest time for me. What I like is the camaraderie that all designers share; we’re all stressed out, we’re all tired, we all support each other.

THE SECRET TO CREATING AN EMPIRE FROM SCRATCH
Your own mind and creativity. If it’s design that you want to start a brand in, start writing online, a blog, and have a point of view or voice that’s consistent so that people come to you, and you never have to ask people anything. Be willing to work years and years, for very long hours.

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