How Did I Get Here?

Rebecca Taylor

Creative director, Rebecca Taylor
  • Education
  • St. Catherine’s College, Wellington, New Zealand
  • Wellington High School
  • Wellington Polytechnic, class of 1992
  • Work Experience
  • 1988–89
    Maid, Plaza Hotel, Wellington, New Zealand
  • 1989–90
  • 1993–96
    Designer, Cynthia Rowley
  • 1996–Present
    Co-founder and creative director, Rebecca Taylor
  • Life Lessons
  • “Stay true to your brand’s DNA. The key is to be consistent—and evolve at the same time.”
  • “There’s no such thing as having it all. As a working mom, I’ve found that you have to create your own balance.”
  • “Your boss can’t read your mind. Be vocal about what you want and how you want your career to grow.”
  • Family portrait, 1972
  • “I dressed like I lived in a thrift store. Once, at a bus stop, the lady next to my mom said, ‘Those girls look terrible,’ and Mom looked at my two friends and me and said, ‘Don’t they?’ and walked away, pretending not to know us.”
  • “It was for more artsy students. I had the opportunity to learn guitar, and I didn’t take it—something I thoroughly regret. I left in 1987. I have the high school education of about a 15-year-old.”
  • “I cleaned Rudolf Nureyev’s room and met him in the hallway. I’m a huge ballet fan.”
  • At Saks, 1997
    “I was 26. I bought saris in Queens [N.Y.] and made sundresses, had someone sew at night, and then shopped the collection around. In 1997 our first order came from Saks Fifth Avenue, for $40,000 in black crepe dresses.”
  • At the White House, 2014
  • In San Francisco, 1980
  • “This high school didn’t know what to do with me. I just left in 1986.”
  • “I had to do some vocational training, so I took a costume design course. I worked in a shop that made costumes for one of Peter Jackson’s first movies, Meet the Feebles.”
  • “It was early days, just her and me. I did everything from making patterns to making sandwiches.”
  • Kate Middleton wearing Rebecca Taylor, 2014
  • “We did catwalk shows for 20 years and only recently stopped. The shows became a distraction. If you’re going to do a show, you need to do a show, you know?”