I'm proud of my Indian heritage: Rachel Roy 

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Born to a Bengali father and Dutch mother, American fashion designer Rachel Roy, whose client list includes the likes of Michelle Obama and Penelope Cruz said that she is proud of her Indian heritage and India has influenced her work in many ways, especially the colours and prints in her designs.

Born to a Bengali father and Dutch mother, American fashion designer Rachel Roy, whose client list includes the likes of Michelle Obama and Penelope Cruz said that she is proud of her Indian heritage and India has influenced her work in many ways, especially the colours and prints in her designs.

“It’s (travelling to India) always an emotional experience for me as I’m quite proud of my Indian heritage and also quite passionate about philanthropic causes I’m involved in, including Children's Hope India and World of Children,” added the designer in an interview.

The Rachel Roy brand debuted in 2004 and for over a decade she has built her ready-to-wear and accessories business into a globally recognised brand with categories including jewellery and home products.

Talking about India, Roy said, "It (India) has influenced so many parts of my life from design to beauty to accessories. I remember my aunts putting on kohl on their eyes and loving the ritual and process, it felt really special to watch them,” she said.

“Fashion for me is very reflective of culture, a large part of that starts on the streets. When I travel, I make it a point to spend a great deal of time seeing what people are wearing as they are in the throws of their life. It’s inspiration to me,” she added.

It's not just the country that fascinates her, but also the creations of some Indian designers. “I always love what Bibhu (Mohapatra) and Waris (Ahluwalia) do and have been watching people like Manish Malhotra, Payal Singhal and Priyanka Lama.

India holds a special place in my heart, so I look for growth and success of designers and businesses with roots to the country,” said Roy, who added that she would love to expand into India when the time is right.

In addition to running her brand, Roy is a sought after speaker on topics ranging from entrepreneurship to philanthropy and has shared her story and experiences at forums like the White House and Fortune Next Generation conference along with other various women’s empowerment summits.

“Fashion is a business, it is important to understand that from the very beginning. Designers are really taking control of the business side of things from Alexander Wang and Christopher Bailey being both the CEOs of their businesses and running the design side as well,” she said.

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