ROYL has reimagined everyday dressing by introducing collections of monochromatic, easy-yet-elevated pieces, that are comfortable enough to wear all day but that you still want to keep on when you walk through the door when you get home. The luxe pieces float over the body and are meant to exist as cohesive layers to be dressed up or down. Because it is such an edited, well-crafted collection, the decision is essentially made for you, you put it on and walk out the door—everything goes together and is in harmony which essentially distills dressing down to its core.
Melissa: Tell us about your love of monochromatic dressing as well as the form and function behind this collection of intelligent separates.
Rachel: I started styling almost 13 years ago. When I started, I quickly boiled down my process to creating these very utilitarian wardrobes so that people had one functioning wardrobe, but everything went together, and it worked for a variety of different instances. I thought that it was incredibly self-explanatory, but I would still get texts all day and emails saying, ‘Can this go with this? Can this go with this?’. So, when I was coming up with this idea, I thought, ‘What is a way to make it foolproof?’. Just so incredibly easy so that people not only understand why they need this collection, but it’s so easy they can’t live without the collection. Because of this we decided to make only one color. Every base layer goes with every top or bottom, you don’t have to think about it.
Melissa: We love the notion that clothes you throw on to go out of the house for a quick errand or the school run should still be elevated, is this your answer or reaction to the ubiquitous athleisure trend?
Rachel: Well, we started it with the idea that this was for your après day. So, when you came home and you wanted to take your clothes off that you wore the entire day, but you’re not ready to get into your pajamas. You still want to feel great about yourself. It has really translated now more into everyday wear and for travel. What I found is, I’m 44, I was getting into Lululemon pants because I didn’t want to think about it; they were soft, I wanted to just run out of the house. Over time your self-esteem and everything just falls to the ground. I thought ‘There just has to be an answer to this,’ because while Lululemon is comfortable and amazing, it’s not incredibly flattering. It’s not made in really robust shapes, and chic colors, and things like that. So, this was definitely my answer to that, definitely.
Melissa: Even though you live in a four-season town, the pieces in the ROYL collection seem to transcend weather, do you believe in season-less dressing?
Rachel: There’s a couple things. Number one, we launched Midnight One, Midnight Two, and Phantom—we never said winter and summer, we just said there’s a variety of fabric weights. From the get go, I never switch out my closet, so my closet is four seasons all of the time. When I buy for my clients, I try to buy pieces that unless it’s a 100 degrees or -20, they will work for four seasons. My collections are definitely supposed to span all four just with the concept of layering. You can still have really soft fabrics next to your skin and it can be really hot outside, or you can have really soft fabrics next to your skin and it could be freezing outside, it just doesn’t matter. There’s a variety of layers to it, and additionally can be added on to your top pieces.
Melissa: With such a strong aesthetic and clean lines, how have you seen ROYL’s designs accessorized for day / night or home / out?
Rachel: I’m an enormous classical nighttime dresser, so I want the fit to be amazing. It doesn’t need to be the trendiest most out there piece, so I like pieces that can just sort of sit on my shoulders, grace my shoulders; the fluffy cardigan, the duster, the silk bomber, I wear those out with really nice high heels and high-waist jeans. Day time is so much more casual. I want to be running around, I want my shoes to be flat and comfortable, I want to be wearing a belt bag or a hobo that I can just throw a million things into, it’s much more useful.
Melissa: What are your favorite shoes to wear with ROYL’s looks?
Rachel: I have so many shoes. I have a hard time picking. I’m a clogs girl, a clog and sneaker girl. So, for during the day, I’m all clogs and sneakers. With any outfit, that’s normally what I put on, and Birkenstocks.
At night, I really go for the drama; high heels, block heels, knee boots.
Melissa: If you’re wearing ROYL, what are your daily particulars? Do you go more gold, silver, or colored stones when you’re wearing the collection?
Rachel: I’m not a big jewelry person and I don’t style my clients jewelry-wise either. I feel like clothes speak everything. Everything else on your body is a distraction, so I’m very minimal, very minimal. I don’t think I ever really wear jewelry except for my wedding and engagement ring, that’s it. Well, and my Fitbit.
Melissa: I know that you used Missy Rader and Nikki Taylor as your models, they are so gorgeous and classic beauties. What was the reasoning behind using a more mature model? Did you have a relationship with these models beforehand?
Rachel: It was a cold call to both, we did not have a relationship with either. We worked, when we launched, with a branding person who brought in a slew of models that were all 24, 25 year-olds and I couldn’t, I didn’t even look at them. I said, ‘No, you got to get them out.’ I just feel like in this day and age, my core customer is a woman who is a little more self-assured, which I feel occurs as we get a little bit older. They don’t follow the glitter, they want refined, chic, elevated elegance. The way I look at this is both women really, to me, project this elevated chicness. They both are over 40. They both age like normal women over 40, neither one embraces these crazy regimens to appear so much younger, and they’re natural. Without makeup, both are absolutely stunning as when they are all made up.
They require very little airbrushing to look authentic, which is exactly what I was going for. I mean, one of our favorite games in this office is trying to pick who our next model is going to be because we want it to be iconic. But they’re very hard to follow and they’re very hard to find.
We’ve also played with the idea of, ‘Do we get customers, clients, as our models moving forward?’. But I think that the two that we’ve chosen so far speak so much about the brand without saying anything at all, which has been my goal from launching in every venue, I wanted it to speak for itself.
Melissa: What’s next on the horizon for ROYL? Any new colors, designs, or collaborations that we can look forward to?
Rachel: In February, we’re actually coming out with a special occasions capsule. These are the pieces that you wear in-between all your special occasions. So, it’s while you’re at a hotel away for the weekend, but you still are going down to grab drinks with all of your friends, or you have a very intimate dinner party while you’re on vacation. We’ve got two, these are real statement pieces. All of the fabrics are from Paris, they’re all handmade. All the pieces work together, they’re all one color, and each one is more special from the next.
Melissa: You heard it here first people!