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by on November 22, 2011

Over the weekend, you may have werqed designer discounts for charity at the Housingworks Fashion For Action sale. We caught up with charity co-chairs Rachel Roy and Thom Browne at the launch event last week about their recent travels, the thrill of the thrift, and their will to give back. See what these design ingenues have to say on the matter.

Rachel Roy and Thom Browne Talk Travel, Luck & Thrifting at Housingworks


Where have they been travelling?

Rachel Roy: “I was in Ghana at the orphanage that Margherita Missoni introduced me to. She and her mom work on it, and now myself and my daughter my older one, we work on it. Kids run up to the cars as you’re arriving. Little girls, they wanted my lipgloss. It’s the same everywhere! In terms of what can make someone feel god about themselves, it’s universal.”

Thom Browne: “I just got back from back from Tokyo, and it’s amazing. Tthe best place to go is to the Okura Hotel and experience the lobby.”

Clothing essentials for the journey?

Rachel Roy: It depends because I have 2 distinct lives when traveling. I have with my girls, because then it has to be comfortable and quick: for example I’m taking my girls to Miami this weekend, so in my bag I will have men’s Levis 501s and indian thong sandals. And I won’t take them off. Then I have business, so that means I’m usually presenting a collection so I’m wearing something from the collection.

Thom Browne: A grey suit! Of course.

Were/are you a thrifter?

Rachel Roy: I grew up shopping in Salvation Army by necessity. I wasn’t that cool of a 12-year-old, I just couldn’t afford anything. And I didn’t like the options in Mervins. Also I was quite tall so things didn’t fit. I liked the hunt of it, and to this day there is not a garage sale – well you’re not gonna find them in NY, but if I’m away – that I can’t walk by without stopping. I can’t stop looking. One strong passion is making something beautiful out of something someone has discarded. That was pretty much my childhood. The other is proving that things really aren’t modern today unless you mix it.

Thom Browne: I used to be, but not as much now. [My involvement with Fashion for Action is] more for the organization [Housingworks]. It’s an amazing organization, they do such amazing work and give back. I think we’re all so lucky, it’s nice to be able to give back.

Shop Housingworks year round in NYC for thrift worth the hunt.


Contributed by Jessica Lapidos

I impart my daily love of light layering, thick-as-thieves platforms and undiscovered fashionable gems. I love to turn a phrase, and in truth I'm a designer at werq.