History Lesson: Rachel Comey
By Chloe Henderson
Rachel Comey serves as an inspiration to women all over who want to feel empowered in their femininity and be respected in their everyday lives. Comey’s pieces have a timeless feel, emphasizing wearability and longevity rather than the next fad during the upcoming fashion season. Being in the industry for 20 years now, Comey has accomplished her popularity by word of mouth rather than more common endorsements and articles detailing a new brand launching that you typically see with the biggest names in fashion. Her brand is rooted in feminism and created for women who have busy days but still enjoy fashion and creating an outfit that makes them feel confident.
Comey attended school at The University of Vermont, where she graduated in 1994 as an art major focused on sculpture. She first got into fashion in 2001 when she began creating woven shirts for her boyfriend, which then caught the attention of David Bowie, who then went on to wear one of these pieces on The Late Show with David Letterman. In 2004 Comey introduced womenswear to her brand and never looked back. The first piece to bring her some popularity and profit were her signature heeled clogs.
Comey is well known for being kind and down to earth. She doesn’t let the fancy New York designer life get to her. She is commonly known for showing her clothes of the season with a dinner and show, which felt like a better way to display the pieces in her own way. Rachel Comey mainly sells in boutiques other than Nordstrom, with which she has a close relationship with, and, of course, her two flagship stores in Soho and L.A. The boutiques (like MODISTE) provide Comey with reports of what women buy, why they buy it, and what else they want to add to their collection, which is her primary concern for her brand.
The focus and women’s wants and needs are what has brought Rachel Comey so much success, with women like Rashida Jones, Greta Gerwig, Maya Rudolph, Tracee Ellis Ross, and so many others being prominent supporters of Comey’s collections and mission statement. Rachel often credits the five teenagers who lived next door for piquing her interest in fashion, saying their style in the 70’s “...really influenced my nostalgia.”. But even as a child, her interest in fashion wasn’t for the glitz and glamour of the garments themselves but what the pieces told her about the people wearing them. Rachel Comey only continues to grow as the years go by, with more and more customers each year. Her authentic take on each piece speaks to women all over and brings comfort in oneself.