News & Runway

(No) Smoking, Coffee and Chapped Lips: 5 Minutes with Designer Rachel Antonoff

Designer Rachel Antonoff

"In general, there's an offbeat humor about everything Antonoff does. Her novelty items may have the most immediate appeal, but the rest of the retro-preppy range shouldn't be overlooked." – Brittany Adams,  

Rachel Antonoff is one of those designers who is just so completely relatable. Like one of your closest friends…who just happens to be insanely creative, talented and well-dressed. You know the type. Case in point? The whimsical videos she creates each season to showcase her collections in action.   

Her Fall 2014 collection is brought to life with "Dress Rehearsal." Inspired by the 1972 book Shockproof Sydney Skate and its female protagonists, it's a quirky vignette that held my attention for the entirety of its nearly six minutes (this, ladies and gentleman, is quite the feat).   

"One of the main themes was 'mundane secrets,'" Antonoff told me. "Basically, the small rituals and habits we all do in private." I caught up with Antonoff for a hot second to pick her brain on smoking, coffee and chapped lips:  

Julie Bensman: Which are some of your favorite pieces in the new collection?

Rachel Antonoff: I'm really partial to the No Smoking pieces. I'm a sucker for embroidery.

No Smoking Jumpsuit by Rachel Antonoff

JB: You can count legions of Hollywood ladies as fans (including a few who showed up in this video). Who is the Rachel Antonoff girl?

RA: Any girl who likes to have fun with her clothes and generally be comfortable. These pieces are not for anyone 'suffering' in the name of fashion.

JB: Besides your own label, which are some of your favorite brands?

RA: There are so many! I love Timo Weiland, Whit, Samantha Pleet, Peter Jensen, Calla, Miu Miu…  

JB: What is the best part of your day?

RA: My first cup of coffee.  

JB: Which items do you never leave home without?

RA: Blistex lip balm (I have like 3 of them in my bag right now) and my phone. Thats about it.  

JB: What was the last thing you googled?

RA: How to take a screen shot. And then I screen shot it.