I Met My Idol…Rachel Roy. Kimberlee’s Interview With Rachel Roy in Chicago

In the fashion industry, there are hundreds of designers with brilliant ideas and collections that surprise and amaze me on every level.  There are, however, only a select few that leave me enamored with their work as well as their personality.  And even fewer that leave their haunting mark on my mind, paralyzing me with awe.  My iconic inspiration, exceeding all of my capacity for adoration, is the timelessly stunning Miss Rachel Roy.
A fan of her name on every level; an award winning fashion designer having worked her way up to celebrity status through the ranks of retail beginning in her early teens, a Mother of two beautiful and busy little girls, a female entrepreneur able to find peace and balance in her home life as well as her fashion immersed lifestyle, I cannot even begin to find words to describe how much I relate to Rachel’s story and how truly inspirational she is straight down to my soul.

On Wednesday, Jacyn and friends were graced with the opportunity to visit her and speak with her at an event in San Francisco, and I wished will all of my soul that I could have been there with them in that moment.

What would I have asked her?  What would she say?  Would she be as amazing and brilliant as I imagine her to be?  On Thursday when asked in a random poll who I would meet in the fashion industry given the opportunity, I answered “Rachel Roy.” On Friday, I realized that either irony or destiny was on my side, as she announced via Facebook that her next stop to unveil her Spring 2011 lineup would be at Macy’s in Chicago, IL. A two and a half hour car ride from my home, and home to family and friends.  Shut it down people, shut it down.  Husband and four year old in tow, we hit the road Saturday morning and arrived at the event with my dear friend and daughter prepared for anything.

Rachel’s jewelry collection was the first stop, piece after piece of stunning creations of rock star stones, feathers, and a treasure chest of gold.  I chose a colorful feather ring that spans across two fingers and could not be more unique or well stated.  My friend selected a large statement necklace of clustered golden medallions sprinkled with brilliantly colored accents of a reddish orange coral.  And thank you, CJ, for purchasing my ring for me, you have no idea what this means to me.

Her runway presentation was next, featuring color and style that is signature Rachel.  Taking note of the drape, the bold and brilliant hues, and the footwear she used to style each look, the show was simply stunning.
As the crowd began to thicken, I quickly jumped in line hoping to be close enough to the front of it that I might actually speak with Rachel.  The line was long, but I remained hopeful and found myself drawn to the energy of a fellow Rachel fan behind me.  Our conversation was amazing, and I hope to cross paths with Miss Michaela and her music at some point in the near future.

And then, just like that, it was my turn.

Walking up to meet Rachel, the first words from her mouth were, “I love your dress!”  Seriously.  I wore my Jovovich Hawk piece from the Go International Target collection, and Rachel Roy just told me she loved it.  Gushing to her about this being my “Michael Jackson moment” she was so natural and genuine that it almost seemed like a ridiculous comparison to her…and yet, it is so true to me.  As my son had become sleepy and needed to have the attention of both myself and my husband, Rachel smiled and comforted my embarrassment by sharing how she too is a Mom and not to worry a bit.  In fact, her assistant spoke with empathy to my husband as he held my sleepy little boy waiting for his mommy.  My first question to Rachel?

How do you hold down this amazing career and balance this with your children?

Her response was that she has learned over time to treat each day as a new start.  Some days will be great, and some will be hard, but begin again when the next day begins.  Allow yourself time, 15 or 30 minutes each morning, to just unwind with something that makes you laugh or prayer to lift your soul.  Take your kids with you to work once in a while, let them see what you do, let them cling to you and embarrass you with their complete disregard for business etiquette.   When you leave the earth, you will leave them knowing you have taught them how to work hard and take care of themselves without your hand to hold.  It is not easy, but it is possible and amazing.
As she was answering this question for me, my son had come up to my side and wanted me to hold him.  Right there, in my moment, with my icon.  And so I did.  She touched his hair and offered him anything she had on her table…he looked at her like she was crazy.  Oh Javon, someday you will appreciate this story.  Once he was calmed, I was able to hand her my card and explain who I am, and what I do.  She enthusiastically supported my ambition and drive, being a woman working toward a dream.  This led to my next question:

What decisions, important decisions, have you made in your career that you feel were imperative to lifting you to the heights you are now?

Her answer?  Stick to your convictions. Stand behind what you believe in, regardless of what the trends tell you.  If you believe in a mini skirt and maxi’s are on everyone’s body, do not change your view.  Individuality is key and crucial to moving forward and getting further.  Believe in yourself and promote yourself in every way possible.  She loved that my business cards had my picture on them, and a QR code that leads you to a profile page about me and links to where you can find some of my work.  This, she said, is perfect. 

Rachel asked me questions, took my business card, and even told me that she would look out for my work and if there was anything that she could do to help me, she would.  She was amazing, and genuine, and patted my sad faced son on the head with a smile.  She allowed me pictures, a hug, and an autograph.  And the icing on the cake was that of her vast new collection of jewelry on display, the pieces she herself had chosen to wear were the very ring I had purchased prior to seeing her and the necklace my friend CJ had purchased.  Irony or destiny?

Whatever universe, I just met my idol, and my lifetime has been made.  What an amazing woman, designer, and human being.




  1. -I adore this Story… Rachel Roy
    Is one of my Favorite Designers…
    What a great Interview!!!
    Good Luck!

    • Thank you so much for your support! She truly is amazing, genuine and every wonderful thing one imagines their idol to be. So thrilled I could share my experience for fellow Rachel fans!

  2. Hi Kimberlee, thank you for the wonderful story. I live in Australia and came to know about Rachel Roy recently. Love her style and bought a few outfits online (great customer service!) and very pleased with them. Best of luck in your business!

  3. Suzanne says:

    What a great story! Love the picture of the two of you–gorg! :)

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