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My Style, My Story: Rachel Antonoff

Like any great story, personal style includes journeys, tall tales, heroes, dreamers, life-altering experiences even. So when we ask you, What’s your personal style? we’re also asking…What’s your story? Designer Rachel Antonoff has one of those personalities that makes you want to make fast friends with her. On top of that, she has a quirky, adorable style that makes it almost impossible not to be curious about where she gets her inspiration from. We listened in on how Antonoff describes her personal style and what shaped it...

"I have two significant style memories of my mother. The first, Annie-red cinch bottom sweatpants. When I was in middle school, there was no such thing as 'chic' sweatpants. Sweatpants were just sweatpants and these were really shameless. Bright red, elastic in bad places and for some unknown reason, always one leg pushed up to mid calf like she was just coming from something strenuous and gross. She would sometimes wear them to take us to school and we thought it was hysterical. My other memory was, as she called it, a "chiquita banana" cocktail dress she wore to some fancy function, probably some kid's Bar Mitzvah in the city where the BM kid was carried in by the NY Knicks or something similarly ludicrous. Oh my god, this dress. It was a fitted mini, off the shoulder, black and COVERED WITH FRUIT. At least this is how I remember it. In this dress, hair piled on top of her head in an elaborate 'up-do', she was the coolest, most sophisticated thing I had ever seen.

One thing my mother and I share is an all or nothing approach to dressing. It's really either red sweatpants or cocktail attire for us, very little in between. I actually sort of admire this in myself and credit/appreciate her for it. This no-middle-ground tendency packs a sort of 'psych!' attitude, as you can really make an entrance at a party following months/years of friends seeing you exclusively in T-Shirts from Spencer's Gifts. Although more than the excitement of a good ta-da, what I really learned from @snufflesa is this: in period colored sweatpants and a bandana or an outrageous Pretty Woman-esque get up, she was always really, really pretty - and funny, cool, smart, bizarre, silly, etc. So while this feels strange to say when I have made fashion my life's work, she taught me that while clothes can be really fun, they aren't all that important."

-As told by Rachel Antonoff