x

The Style Line x Brand Assembly: Rachel Antonoff’s Wisdom and Wonder

the style line rachel antonoff brand assembly

Photos of Rachel Antonoff by Joanne Pio for The Style Line

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 11.53.48 PM

One of the things we love most about our community is realizing how truly connected we are to one another. In the case of today’s collaborative story with Brand Assembly we’re referring specifically to Rachel Antonoff, an inspiring talent who we had the opportunity to reconnect with after our initial conversation in early 2014. Since then, it’s come as no surprise how quickly Rachel’s business has taken off, though as you’ll read in our conversation below, Rachel attributes her growth and success to the small victories and every day building blocks. We were thrilled to rejoin the designer at her new design studio in the Garment District where we played catch up on what’s changed in terms of her approach to design, personal style and everything in between. Discover a few snapshots from our afternoon below and catch the second half (featuring more of her studio) on The Assemblist.

HEAD OVER TO THE ASSEMBLIST TO SEE PART TWO OF OUR STORY AND MORE FEATURED DESIGNERS.

the style line rachel antonoff brand assembly

I’m Rachel Antonoff! I think a lot of things have changed since our initial chat,

but also the time goes by so quickly so it’s probably like living with someone everyday and not noticing they’re getting fat. We’ve expanded as a team, started doing transitional seasons including Pre-Fall and Holiday – they’re fun and great for sales! We’ve also moved into a bigger space which is really exciting.
the style line rachel antonoff brand assembly

What tools would you advise aspiring designers to utilize in their own endeavors? 

On the one hand as a non-tangible, I’d say get rid of shame and even potentially self-awareness altogether. You just kind of have to stop worrying what people are going to think about you. On a more boring, bummer and realistic scale, having some sort of backing or funding or capital to start is important. I don’t want to say it’s impossible without, but I also can’t imagine how that would work. I think that’s an inconvenient truth that people don’t like to say and it makes me feel really irresponsible to say things like, “Just go for it! Believe in yourself!” But what about real life? We have to eat and pay for things. I don’t love it when people act like it’s not a thing. I do however, also believe if there’s something you really want to do, you make it happen.
the style line rachel antonoff brand assembly

How do you celebrate personal style?

I feel like sometimes when something is your job it’s pretty easy for it become less fun in your personal life and so I’m sort of rediscovering my love for that and why I loved it in the beginning, lately. How I love the development of costume and how it can be transformative – so I’ve just been giving more thought into my wardrobe. Personally, a lot of the feedback we get from buyers [are along the lines of them saying] “Girls want to know if they can wear this from work to dinner.” or “It’s daytime but its sexy.” For me, I want to feel like I am dressed as a sailor! You know what I mean? I just want to feel like I’m a character. So that’s actually pretty different from some of the ways we have to design in terms of sale-ability and general business structure. I like to feel like I’m in costume.
the style line rachel antonoff brand assembly

In your opinion, what has been the most exciting design milestone the Rachel Antonoff brand has achieved since it’s initial inception?

One of the things that I find the most exciting about this in general is that I don’t think I can actually pinpoint one milestone. It’s been tiny tiny building blocks, mixed in with some medium sized and bigger blocks, like doing collaborations with And Other Stories or BASS – those were really exciting great things for us. But it’s actually the small gradual daily work, combined with all of that stuff, that’s cemented and gotten us to where we are and where we want to go. We didn’t have a “thing” or catalyst for good things. Slow and steady!

  • the style line rachel antonoff
    Rachel Antonoff design studio
  • the style line rachel antonoff
  • rachel antonoff the style line
  • rachel antonoff the style line

“I love clothing and fashion but I’ve also found that this industry can feel a little bit exclusionary and sometimes elitist. I feel a lot of the ways fashion is perceived is an ideal and not always true.”

Discover our first story with Rachel Antonoff and go behind-the-scenes into her former Garment District studio here.