Robert Rodriguez is a Los Angeles-based womenswear designer known for his commitment to elegant dressmaking. A Fashion Institute of Technology alum and recipient of the prestigious Critics Award for Designer of the Year, Rodriguez started his career designing at Christian Dior, under the guidance of Marc Bohen and Geri Gerald. In 2003, Rodriguez founded his namesake label, and has since launched two more lines: Black Label, a collection of eveningwear, and Robbi and Nikki, a more youthful interpretation of his signature sophisticated and sexy aesthetic.
Living in New York and attending design school in the late 80’s, early 90’s, what were your inspirations? Where were you hanging out?
Always at the DISCO!
After studying at FIT, you went on to work at Christian Dior. What year was that? What was the house like then?
It was the late 80s, early 90s. Couture was the word!
How has your brand been influenced by your time at Christian Dior?
I’m always paying attention to quality and detail.
What made you leave New York and open your business in LA?
I was offered a job in LA, and decided to take it. I wanted to make a fresh change and create new ideas.
You have been in business for 10 years—can you describe how the retail climate has changed and affected your brand in that time?
I’m always looking forward to creating new and innovated ideas. Technology and social media are the wave of the future, and they’ve both successfully changed the way women shop today.
How do you get in sync with your customer season after season?
I go with my instincts.
You recently spoke at a conference hosted by Fashionista entitled “How to Make It in Fashion.” Can you clue us in to your secret?
Follow your dreams, and be true to yourself so that you can always leave a mark.
Was there a turning point in your career when you thought, “Wow, now I’ve made it”?
Never. I always feel that I can do bigger and better things.
Are there any limits to the future of your brand?
There are no boundaries, I always dream of what I can do next!