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Born and raised in Beckley, West Virginia, jumpsuit maven Ripley Rader called both New York and Paris "home" before finally settling down in Hollywood. The designer, who is currently planning her August nuptials that will take place on a Wyoming dude ranch, made her first one-piece for herself. She wanted a go-to day-to-night look that she could throw in the bottom of her purse and pull out wrinkle-free. It was a chance encounter with the owner of Fred Segal's Rocks & Silk last September that changed everything for the designer. "I ran into her at a concert and I was wearing the jumpsuit." Rader told us of the meeting. "She said 'If you make these, I well sell them.' So I did."
The designer's jumpsuits launched just this past March and are 100% made in LA. The signature style is made of poly-lycra in a variety of colors, with some limited-edition fabrics that include sheers and sequin. For now, she is solely focused on jumpsuits and is working on her next, backless silhouette that will be available this summer. "I only wanted to do one thing, and I wanted to do it really well," she says. We wouldn't be surprised if she expands her brand in a couple of years.
Rader, who is quickly becoming the Diane von Furstenberg of jumpsuits, designed the garment so that when women put it on, they felt fabulous. "I'm a girl's girl," Rader explain of the brand's core. "I wanted this company to grow from girlfriend to girlfriend to mother to sister. It's great to get them on a celebrity but at the end of the day, I want the stylist to have one so she can wear it on a hot date with her boyfriend and then tell her sister about it."
We sat down with the multi-tasking designer (she is also a partner in production company, Red Tent) at Solar de Cahuenga, just down the street from her live-in studio, where we got the 411 on everything from her favorite mascara to what her mother doesn't even know about her.
What are you drinking today?
"I'm drinking a liquid Dreamsicle, it's an orange and vanilla blended fruit juice. [Laughing] I think it's the healthiest thing they have."
LA or New York?
"I love LA; its got everything you need. [But] New York is like a lover, I'm always going to want to go back to it. It's that thing, where I know it's not good for me, but I need to go back to it."
What was your favorite childhood book?
"Charlotte's Web. I always wanted to name my kid Fern but I'm going to marry a guy whose last name is Floor so then it would be Fern Floor. I won't do that to her."
Sequin or Lace?
What's the last thing you did before you left the house this morning?
"I hand-painted the ice buckets we're using for our wedding reception."
Team Mariah Carey or Team Nicky Minaj?
"I'll go with Mariah."
Describe the perfect vacation.
"Somewhere that's metropolitan but also relaxing. Somewhere you can lay on the beach, be in a hotel with a robe and a good spa, then go out somewhere really succulent at night and put on a pair of good heels and a sequin number. Maybe the South of France. To be honest, the perfect vacation would be a pool, me laying beside it with some gorgeous man feeding me grapes and fanning me with something beautiful. That's the perfect vacation, I take back everything else."
Blended or On the Rocks?
"On the rocks."
What superpower would you like to have?
"I think about this all the time. The superpower to bring joy to people, like if you were just around and were suddenly able to lift the spirits of the people around you."
What is one material possession that you could not live without?
"It's corny, but my jumpsuit. My black jumpsuit."
What are you most looking forward to about the summer?
"The wedding. But the launch of this backless jumpsuit is a real close second."
What is your favorite song lyric?
"My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard."
Home or Out?
"I love being out."
What is your greatest fear?
"My greatest fear is that I'll trust the words of a stranger and get carried away and lose my sense of self. One of the most important things in my life is to stay really true to myself. Live right here."
Green Grass or Pacific Ocean?
What's one thing that your mom doesn't know about you?
"I don't think my mom knows that I've jumped out of a plane."
Late Night or Early Morning?
What would you be doing if you weren't doing all of this?
"I think I would be working with underprivileged teen girls."
What's your favorite place to grab a bite?
"Pizzeria Mozza on Melrose—it's classic. It's our go-to date place."
Where do you splurge?
"Good underwear and good makeup. Cosabella underwear and I try to use quality makeup. Benefit's They're Real! Mascara is going to change your life."
Words to live by?
"The wilder the better."
The entire Ripley Rader collection is available at the brand's e-shop and exclusively at Fred Segal Santa Monica.
· Ripley Rader [Official Site]
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