We have been fans of the tough-meets-feminine mix for as long as we remember. In fact, our perennial go-to outfit is a well-loved leather jacket tossed over a sundress. It’s flattering. It’s confidence boosting. It’s interesting. What more could a gal ask for in a uniform? We were looking to capture that exact feeling when searching for our Emerging Designers Class of 2016. A fan of juxtapositions, Rachel Marus has built her brand on this same blend of strength and sensuality. Her inspiration—as well as her materials—are found all over the world (lace from France and silk from Japan), but the work is done right here at home, in NYC. Wouldn’t expect any less from a native New Yorker.
Voted: Biggest Flirt
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Known For: Directional, strong, yet feminine silhouettes
Inspiration: I find inspiration everywhere—through nature, pop culture, music, and vintage garments. Almost every collection I design includes the recreation of vintage designs with natural elements and a modern twist. My AW16 collection was inspired by the photography of Ansel Adams and the landscape of Santa Fe.
Mantra: The woman I design for isn’t looking to be sexy. She isn’t looking to be overly saccharine. She’s strong, and wants to come across as exactly that—and she’s not apologizing.
First lingerie love: The corset-style bodysuit designed by Jean Paul Gaultier that Madonna wore in her Blonde Ambition Tour for “Express Yourself” in 1990. I was just a kid at the time but I remember thinking: She looks so strong! I had the pleasure of seeing it on exhibit at Brooklyn Museum’s The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk exhibit in 2014.
by Bella Cacciatore