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Brand Spotlight: Rachel Comey

Written by Maggie Stoll

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Posted on July 27 2022

I am so so excited to welcome Rachel Comey as the newest core fashion brand to Burke! I'm not quite sure how it took me so long to decide to bring the brand in, as it is my personal favorite brand and one I've been a customer of for years. In 2015, I decided to invest in a pair of Rachel Comey Legion Jeans I had been lusting over for so long. I still have and wear the pair of jeans 7 years later, and the fit and quality of them has been practically unmatched in my wardrobe. This single pair of jeans began my entire shift to shopping smaller independent brands, shopping quality over quantity, shopping sustainably. Rachel Comey has always been progressively marching to the beat of their own drum both in their designs, models, and business practices in general. The brand has always served as a huge inspiration to me in how to run my own business. You could say in terms of values and personal style, I've never identified more closely with a brand, and their pieces continue to be the longest lasting pieces in my closet.

Maggie in Rachel Comey Legion jeans 2015

*A very 2015 selfie wearing my first RC piece - the Legion Jeans

So here we are 4 years into Burke, and finally connecting all those dots! Maybe I felt like Burke had to earn the brand. Maybe it took trial and error of many other brands (all of which were wonderful in their own ways and at their own moments) to realize this was the one that was missing in the assortment. But as business has slowed through pandemic and inflation, I continue to pare down the curation in the shop to really just the necessities, the things I consistently use and love, the brands that really speak to the core of who I am - essentially the core of Burke. So I hope you will come to love the brand as much as I do and discover all the style, comfort, and confidence the clothes can offer you. And aside from my personal love affair with RC, I wanted you to learn more about how incredible they are as a business and some of the many initiatives they have in place to make conscious business decisions for both people and the environment. Read on to learn more!

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No independent brand has come to define the aesthetic of a creative class like the eponymous Rachel Comey. Conceived in New York City’s downtown art scene, the brand now extends in reach nationwide. Rachel Comey’s evolutionary definition of style transcends trend-driven design and rapid cyclical consumption, aiming to produce garments unique to the moment and wearable over a consumer’s lifetime. Were her customers – Cindy Sherman, Michelle Obama, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Tracee Ellis Ross, to name a few – questioned regarding Comey’s brand identity, you’d be certain to hear descriptions of “intelligence,” “integrity,” and “care.”

It’s this deep understanding and consideration for the customer – a tenacious focus on “the wearer” – that has allowed Rachel Comey both cult status and subtle permeation of popular fashion. Comey has pioneered the development of several now widely familiar styles including stacked heel clogs and booties, utilitarian jumpsuits, and unique denim.

Since the brand’s inception in 2001, Rachel Comey has become somewhat of an informal uniform for women fluent in their expression of intelligence, creativity, and style – a nod and a wink to a community of like-minded individuals seeking to add a bit of unexpected glamour to their routine. Throughout development, the brand evaluates the practical needs and visceral desires of their diverse clientele base. Their design process is driven by the relationships between a woman, her environment, and the materials she wears.

Check out some of my favorite looks from Rachel Comey shows over the years below!

 Rachel Comey Resort 2019 collection

Rachel Comey Spring 2017 collection Rachel Comey FW 2019 collection

Rachel Comey Spring 2016 Collection  Rachel Comey FW 20/21 Collection

Rachel Comey Spring 2022 Collection

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Brand Initiatives:
- Like us, Rachel Comey is a brand that has recently chosen to refuse U-Line! The owners of ULine have given mass funding to extreme right wing politics, and there has been a movement among progressive independent businesses to find alternative suppliers. We've avoided ULine for 3+ years here at Burke and love to see larger companies like Rachel Comey finding alternatives as well! 

- RC has recently become a brand partner of Canopy. Canopy’s mission is to protect the world’s forests, species, and climate, and to help advance Indigenous communities’ rights. Every year, 3.2 billion trees are cut down to make paper packaging or fabrics such as rayon and viscose. Many of these trees come from the world’s most Ancient and Endangered Forests, integral for life on Earth. Canopy works collectively with some of the world’s largest fashion, food and beverage, and beauty and care brands, as well as publishers and printers, to bring forest-saving solutions from the margins to the mainstream. As part of this commitment, they are working to use FSC-certified fibers whenever they are not using recycled fibers, which ensures that the products come from responsibly managed forests.

- Denim styles are a staple in the Rachel Comey line. They are continuing to use The New Denim Project's Upcycled Denim on a regular seasonal basis. They are making an effort to order their core denims further in advance to ship by ocean freight as much as possible, thereby avoiding air freight while also striving to keep their liability and excess to a minimum.
RC is running trials on a new wash technology that uses a laser to print the denim. As opposed to traditional denim processing, this process doesn't use potassium and they use organic neutral enzymes to wash the denim, so there are less harsh chemicals involved. Their wash house also has a recycled water system in development, in order to treat and recycle a portion of the water used at their facility. 

- Rachel Comey is committed to producing everything Made to Order as a way to minimize waste in production. From past season overstock, they donated pieces of business attire to Dress For Success, an organization which seeks to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. They have donated to Dress For Success for several years and plan to continue supporting them with regular donations.

These are just a few of the many programs in place for the brand that I wanted to share with our introduction! I can't wait to share more with you with each season as special styles and fabrics are implemented. As always, if you have any questions or want to chat - you can always email me at maggie@burkemercantile.com

Shop the Rachel Comey collection available at Burke by clicking HERE. 

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