Isolation Insights: Q&A with independent American designer Rachel Comey

Isolation Insights: Q&A with independent American designer Rachel Comey

Isolation Insights: Q&A with independent American designer Rachel Comey

American born designer Rachel Comey's label has fast become the uniform of choice for cool downtown girls and New York's creative elite with its artful custom textiles, graceful modern silhouettes and covetable footwear.

Couverture: What was the concept behind Rachel Comey when you first started the brand?
Rachel Comey: Well, that was nearly 20 years ago and we started with menswear! In the first two years, we made menswear and shipping almost all of it to Japan! Things have really changed and evolved over the years.

C: How does your background influence the current running of Rachel Comey?
RC: I've always loved how people choose to express themselves through their clothing and style. As a kid in the 70s, I was very inspired by the family of teenagers that lived next door...the boy and girl teens wore clogs and gold chains. I loved their teen freedom....I wonder if that joie di vivre stays with me to this day?

C: What are the new big trends you’re seeing for next season?
RC: Stay tuned!

C: Looking forward, what is next in the pipeline we can get excited about for Rachel Comey?
RC: Well, we look forward to shipping our PF and FW collections as soon as we can. It seems like many of us will be pushing those deliveries a bit as the factories in NYC and LA where we sew and even some of our mills in Italy are still closed. There are a ton of great knit styles, shearling, and great new footwear styles we are excited about.

C: How are you adapting to now working from home?
RC: It's been super busy. The first two weeks were night and day trying to figure out how to manage with all of our various locations being closed. We also trucked a bunch of older season's goods up to my house so that we could host our first ever online sample sale. Usually we have one sample sale a year in a large gym in Manhattan. It's usually very fun and wild, long lines with amazing people eager finding gems from older seasons and samples. Since we had to close our warehouse, my kids, husband and I held the sale out of our garage... packing and shipping boxes night and day. Finally teaching those kids about hard work, haha.

C: How are you maintaining a positive headspace throughout everything going on?
RC: I'm trying to stay calm, be grateful, and be helpful where I can.

C: What is your go-to outfit to work in around the house?
RC: The first two weeks, it was jeans and sweatshirts and jumpsuits, Steer and elkin pants, Fond and Mingle sweatshirts, knits, clogs... but now I"m ready for other outfits that make me feel both in control and feminine, like our stretch suiting. On the warmer Spring days, I've been wearing the Capa dress and our Suzanne sandals.

C: What are you listening to whilst working through the lockdown?
RC: I was listening to NPR, but that got too exhausting, then switched to podcasts, love listening to Kara Swisher, but then switched to Bill Withers and then John Prine, since they both passed away in the past week. I'm also looking forward to listening to your playlist next! Thank you!

C: More time at home means more cooking - which recipes have you been trying out?
RC: Like many, I've given to a bit of early morning baking. I'm used to commuting 1 hour and 45 minutes to the studio every morning, so now I have more time! I should be going for a run, but the idea of the sleeping children and the smell of baked goods in the house is so "Little House on the Prairie", I can't resist. So, banana bread, olive oil cake, and bagels have all been made in the past week. My husband usually does all of the cooking in our house so this is very novel for all. He's very happy to have a break, for sure.

C: What tv / films have you been enjoying whilst at home?
RC: Berlin Babylon, My Brilliant Friend, Tiger King and with the kids, Lego Masters.

C: How have things changed in your local area since the lockdown came into place?
RC: I live in a very quiet area, so honestly not much has changed, except the kids are all home from school and people are standing 6 ft apart at the farmer's market and all are wearing masks. In the city, it is very quiet, but it seems the moments of appreciation for the medical workers at 7pm every evening and the rainbows put in windows, among other things are providing love and support for the community and reminding New Yorker's that we are all in this together.

C: Who do you share your home with?
RC: My two children, husband, and cat.