Rachel Roy’s had quite a rough go of it lately.
After last week’s HBO release of Beyoncé’s visual album, Lemonade, many celebrity gawkers assumed Roy was “Becky with the good hair,” mentioned in the lyrics of Sorry after an innocent (she said) Instagram post mentioning her, um, hair.
Talk about guilt by association. Roy started out in the fashion industry at Rocawear, owned by Bey’s husband, Jay Z, and Roy’s now ex-husband Damon Dash. Rumors have lingered that she was Z’s mistress for a time — and the cause of Beyoncé’s sister Solange Knowles’ elevator outburst at the rapping mogul during the 2014 Met Gala.
The timing is actually pretty awful for Roy, who is currently promoting her first book, Design Your Life (HarperCollins), a how-to fashion guide and memoir. Earlier this week, amid the social-media hoopla, the California native canceled an appearance in NYC and Chicago, even though it seems the internet has moved on. The general consensus now is that “Becky” is an amalgam of many past lovers, and not specifically her and not specifically Jay Z’s lover. (Yes, we know. You need a scorecard to keep up.)
Anyhoo, lucky for us. We were able to catch up with the mother of two before all the chaos hit. Highlights from the interview:
How did it challenge you to go from a known place as a designer to pursuing a different professional project like writing your first book?
I’ve always loved to write and am an avid reader. But when it comes time to sit down and write about your own life, it does take organization and time. I had a great deal to say, so I was really focused on distilling it into a story that was full of information.
Who is the targeted reader?
We are all a work in progress. This book is for anyone who is on a journey and likes to seek out guidance that can help them. I want my reader to take away the confidence and conviction to live their true life — and one that’s not determined by anyone but themselves.
What qualities make you a good business leader?
Staying true to my point of view and living my truest most authentic life both personally and professionally. There is no other way.
Let’s talk style: For people who are on a budget, what accessory takes a simple outfit to the next level?
For me, it’s always been the shoes. Buy the best quality and beautifully designed pair you can afford. There is a story in my book on how I saved through college and made friends with a salesperson at a local department store to find out when the Manolo Blahniks were 70 percent off. I still have those shoes 20 years later.
What do you put on when you feel like you have nothing to wear?
I think everyone has felt that way! A blazer has always been my go-to to feel pulled together and intelligent.
What’s a great outfit for women to wear when running errands but they still want to look kept together?
A midi dress over tight leggings (I like leather). Add a biker jacket or blazer on top. Classic but with a twist and just as comfy as your yoga pants.
What future projects can your followers expect?
I’d love to write more, but right now I am focused on my website, RachelRoy.com. We have a section called “The Life” that brings together everything — beauty tips, cooking skills, guest bloggers. I’m curious to share engaging experiences with my customers and vice versa.