• Rebecca Taylor in her studio

Rebecca Taylor

New Zealand-born fashion designer Rebecca Taylor has made a name for herself redefining modern femininity with her eponymous fashion line. A self-described “tomgirl,” Rebecca balances the feminine with androgyny and sporty details for the ultimate uptown-meets-downtown style. Fresh from showing her Fall/Winter 2014 collection at New York Fashion Week, Rebecca talked to us about how she got her start in the industry, what influences her designs and how she would define her brand.

Did you always know you wanted to be a fashion designer?

Not specifically. My mum sewed all of our clothes growing up, so I was definitely around clothing construction and all that. I also painted a pair of pumps I had with nail polish once so I could have a red pair. But I had a lot of other interests as well, like dance.

What brought you to New York? Why did you choose NYC over other fashion capitals like Paris and London?

It’s funny you should ask that, because I was actually on my way to Paris when I stopped in NYC. I fell in love with the energy here and decided to stay.

How did you get your start as a designer?

I worked for a Seventh Avenue designer, and I met my business partner, Beth, there. We then decided to branch out on our own.

Where do you draw inspiration for your designs?

I draw inspiration from so many things—music, film, art and New York, to name a few.

How does your upbringing in New Zealand influence your designs?

New Zealanders have an attitude of “anything is possible,” which I carry with me in my design process.

How would you describe the Rebecca Taylor customer?

She is confident, cool and has a bit of a downtown edge.

Who is your favorite fashion designer?

I love the work of Gaby Aghion of Chloe.

If you could collaborate with any artist or designer, who would it be?

I’m really into the street art of Philippe Baudelocque right now, I saw a lot of his work in Paris, and I just love it.

When preparing for a runway show, how closely do you work with the lead hairstylist and makeup artist to create the final runway look?

Very closely. We want to make sure the hair and make-up fit with the mood of the collection.

How do you like to style your hair? Do you have a hair routine?

I used to wear my hair pretty short, but I’ve started growing it past my shoulders and wearing it a bit wavy.

When you're not designing, how are you spending your free time?

Spending time with my family and traveling.

If you were asked to create a uniform for a high-end salon, what would you design?

Something comfortable yet modern. Something people can be functional in but still feel really cool. That’s sort of the ethos behind my own brand.
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