Born outside of Hartford, Connecticut, Rachel Comey attended the University of Vermont as an art major with a focus on sculpture. After college, Comey moved to New York City to further pursue opportunities in the arts. Her earliest efforts in fashion came as costume designer for bands in the burgeoning downtown music scene, earning her a place in the 2001 Whitney Biennial.
Inspired by that same arts scene, Comey launched her first eponymous collection of menswear. Thanks to strong word of mouth, the collection proved a success, and she began to develop a loyal following. By 2004 Comey had added womenswear and footwear to her expanding business. The women's collection quickly took off and developed its own grassroots following among New York's creative elite. Her collections became known for artful custom textiles, graceful modern silhouettes, and covetable footwear. Her work is said to be designed for real women, like herself, with strong opinions, big aspirations, and a view to the world that is at once radical and romantic. "Ms. Comey has long had a reputation for going her own way and for being inventive,” said Cathy Horyn in a recent NYTimes article featuring Comey’s Spring/Summer 2014 show.
All woven garments are made locally in midtown Manhattan while footwear and knitwear is made in Portugal, Spain, and Peru. The collection is carried in over 100 of the world's finest boutiques and department stores, across 16 countries.
Comey was widely credited for being the first major American designer to break with longstanding tradition and present her collection in Brooklyn over an intimate dinner party. The dinners provided an opportunity for Comey to show her collections in a fresh and intimate setting, and to create an atmosphere for conversation, as opposed to the typical runway show. Notable guests included Maggie Gyllenhaal, Cindy Sherman, Rashida Jones, Zosia Mamet, and Parker Posey.
June 12, 2014 marked the opening of the first Rachel Comey boutique, located at 95 Crosby Street in Soho, NYC. The collection is also available online at www.rachelcomey.com.
Comey is a member of the CFDA, and splits her time between NYC and her converted-laundromat home on Long Island's North Fork.