Passion for Design
Preparing to meet the world impeccably dressed was something Rachel mastered at a very young age. Rachel worked hard as a student all the while being drawn to fabrics, design, and creation. This dichotomy would be at times a thorn, sometimes a stepping-stone and ultimately the key to Rachel’s success.
Rachel considered Parsons and the Fashion Institute of Technology in her senior year of High School. However, the more sensible less riskier side of the dichotomy won out. In 2002, Rachel attended Hofstra University and pursued a degree in English Literature. As an English major, Rachel was exposed to all genres of literature and authors who span the globe. Her studies in international literature influenced her decision to study abroad in Spain and Japan.
Throughout her undergraduate career Rachel continued to sketch, but what filled her drawing tablet wasn't still life impressions of fruit but elegant dresses. The dichotomy still ever present continued nagging as an ever-present specter in all her decisions about her future. After graduating from Hofstra in 2006, Rachel spent the summer in Japan. She visited Issey Miyake’s design center and the creative force there and everywhere in Japan moved her to make fashion design a goal.
When she returned to America she set her sights on attending Parsons The New School for Design, she submitted her application two weeks before the deadline and was accepted for Spring 2007. Always business minded, Rachel worked at an investment firm full time to learn more about finances, while attending Parsons full time.
Rachel later applied to Parsons in Paris, she worked tirelessly on her application and portfolio. In her heart she knew the timeless elegance of Paris would be exactly where she should go to pursue her third degree. She was accepted into the competitive Fashion Design program in June of 2008.
While working to complete her degree in NY, Rachel received a letter to say that Parsons in Paris was taken off the list for student loans. Rachel was devastated that she would not be able to attend. Refusing to be discouraged, Rachel went on to intern for Catherine Fung during the fall of 2008 and after, Rachel worked for a startup Design House (Rafael Cennamo) as the Operational Manager.
On January 1, 2011, Rachel and her sister Marshea, founded Pepper Jacques, an innovative luxury clothing brand that utilises smart, sophisticated design to capture the shapes and styles of a woman’s body. Pepper Jacques is not a Misses brand, Pepper Jacques is not a Plus brand, Pepper Jacques is a Women's wear brand, that designs for all women.
In 2016, Rachel decided to further her fashion education in fashion capitol of the world Paris, France. In late 2016, Rachel was selected out of 1500 students across Europe to be an LVMH Talent for the Inside LVMH event in Paris held on November 22, 2016. In May 2018, Rachel successfully defended her Master’s thesis titled “JAY JAXON: A Biographical Study and Media Discourse Analysis Reinstating A Designer Into Fashion History.” Thereafter, Rachel was awarded a MA Fashion Studies degree from Parsons (Paris) The New School of Design.