When you think Rachel Antonoff, the intersection of stunning design and civic good probably comes to mind. This brand not only embodies the responsibility and ethics behind slow fashion, but also participates directly in campaigns for social activism. Now you can catch a glimpse behind the scenes and into the minds of those who have made this brand a staple in thousands of closets. Call your mom, call your sister, call your friends - Antonoff is here to stay, and the sooner you know, the better.
1. Take us back to the conception of your FW18 collection.
Can you tell us about your design process?
We typically start with a theme; Fall 18 was deemed 'Royal Bitch' because our mood board was filled with references to the comedic opulence of royals. We were really taken with were the countless references to royal dogs - hence the 'bitch’ - and created our color stories for the collection from a mood board dotted with regal dogs and their coiffed owners. Once we've got our colors we begin sketching and try to outline more than we actually need so that we can have a good edit and make sure we are coming out with our top shelf ideas.
2. Three words to describe the FW18 collection?
Who do you envision wearing your pieces?
Royal. Unapologetic. Poodle. I know it's a vague answer, but I really hope there is something in there for everyone. We have spent a lot of time trying to figure out who "our girl" is, and we’ve come to realize that no woman can be neatly fit into a box. I love that different people will gravitate towards different designs.
3. Tell us about your studio space and neighborhood.
How does your community influence your collections?
Our office is in the middle of the garment district in a cozy space that looks like a snow globe placed on top of a small building, complete with windows for walls and a small upstairs loft space. It's got a real tree house vibe and is a true escape from the madness that can be midtown.
4. We know that design is only a small part of running your own business.
What do you love most about your job that has nothing to do with design?
So true - it often feels like design is only 10% of my job. Another aspect that I love is putting together shows and videos. I've always seen the collections as a vehicle for story telling and it’s fun to get to expand that story in different ways. I also love set dressing!
5. How do you define sustainable fashion?
What's the greatest challenge on the design end?
What's the challenge on the consumer end?
Sustainable fashion is slow fashion. We want to manufacture responsibly and there is simply no way to do that quickly. People want sustainable fashion, but they don't really want to pay sustainable fashion prices. We are constantly trying to figure out how to best show the customer that they aren't just paying for a dress: they are paying for ethical treatment of everyone involved in making that dress.
5 things you can't live without?
1. Blistex chapstick
3. My dog, Lafitte
4. Gilmore Girls
5. Honestly, my stupid phone