Raquel Allegra, a Los Angeles based designer, working at Barneys New York as a sale assistant, says it was her clients constantly “harassing” her with compliments about her d-i-y shirts which motivated her to venture out into the world of design. In 2006 Raquel became famous for turning reclaimed L.A. County Jail tees into one-of-a-kind shirts with her signature shredding and tie-dye technique. A following of celebrities ensued — Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie, Penelope Cruz – who were obsessed with her uber soft deconstructed tees worn with their skinny jeans. It made for the perfect marriage of urban edge and sexiness.
Raquel has built her t-shirt phenomenon into a full-scale clothing line with editors, stylists and savvy consumers admiring the ethereal and informal beauty of the pieces. She can now be found in Barneys New York, Fred Segal and Maxfields in Los Angeles. Abroad, Liberty of London and Harvey Nichols carry the line. Recently, she has launched an e-commerce store with much success.
For spring 2012, her collection is more refined and grown-up than ever while maintaining its bohemian roots. Although her t-shirts are still a mainstay, Raquel has broadened the line with blazers, skirts, and stretch-lace tops that border on provocative. In general, her silhouettes are dressed up in earthy shades with touches of bold cobalt, retro-red, black and white, which might work in some office atmospheres but are perfect for an after work martini. Raquel’s new prints were created by photographing her archives of tie-dies, and reconfiguring them. The effect is tribal-meets-Op Art, which emblazons breezy shirt dresses, tees and jersey jumpers, as well as Raquel’s more structured blazers and shorts.
Having already sold out at Net-A-Porter, you can bet Barney’s will likely do the same!
Clockwise from top left: Stretch-lace Top $465.00 www.netaporter.com, Shredded Oversized Jersey Dress $380.00 www.netaporter.com, Cropped Angora-Blend Boucle & Leather Jacket $ 1, 030 www.netaporter.com, Asymmetric Shred Top $282 on sale for $109.00 www.barneys.com.