The Crème de la Crème of Fashion :: Rodarte

Laura and Kate Mulleavy. Their names may not ring any bells, but the sister duo are making a statement in the fashion industry with their ethereal clothing line dedicated to delicateness and details. After graduating from UC Berkeley in 2001, the Mulleavy sisters returned to their Pasadena home to work on their clothing line, Rodarte [pronounced ro-DAR-tay]. Selling their record collections and working odd jobs, the sisters were able to start their business. But hard times are things of the past with their dresses selling between $2000 and $3000.

Since the brand’s entrance in 2005, Rodarte has become a part of the crème de la crème of forward fashion, unbounded by latest trends or era. Celebrity style icons like Cate Blanchett, Keira Knightley, Kirsten Dunst, Chloe Sevigny, Dita von Teese, and others have worn Rodarte to galas, award shows, and movie premieres. In 2007, the
Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute purchased a Rodarte evening dress at $20,000 for its permanent collection.

Sibling designers, much less sister designers are a rare occurrences in the fashion industry. The Mulleavy sisters are often compared to the French fashion house
Callot Soeurs, operated by four sisters, most famously known for training French designer Madeleine Vionnet, designer of Grecian-style dresses and introducer the bias cut. But Rodarte is becoming famous for its soft but edgy look. Their new Spring collection has already been named as one of the “Top Ten Collections” by Women’s Wear Daily.

Since Rodarte began, the brand has garnered fashion awards and nominations like the 2005 Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award, 2006 CFDA Swarvoski Emerging Womenswear Designer, 2006 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund competition, and 2008 Swiss Textiles Award. With the brand’s promising career, Rodarte has become a member of the
Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Keira Knightley at the London premiere for Atonement in a Rodarte gray, wispy draped dress
Picture courtesy of LA Times Blog

Ellen Wang
BARE Reporter

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