Home Featured Jacqueline Rabôt: Prioritizing Sustainability and Mentorship in Fashion

Jacqueline Rabôt: Prioritizing Sustainability and Mentorship in Fashion

by Art U News
Fashion designer and Academy of Art University alumna Jaqueline Rabôt. Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Rabôt.

By Rachel Reyna

When 2012 School of Fashion (FSH) alumna Jacqueline Rabôt transferred to Academy of Art University in 2009, the level of design was a whole new experience for her. 

“I grew as a designer immensely at the Academy of Art just within a year’s time. I really commend my teachers for that,” said Rabôt. “I learned how to make patterns, but I also learned how to sketch, how to design, how to sew. I created a collection senior year that walked on the runway at [the Graduation Fashion Show]. It was a really high level of education.”

Womenswear designer and Academy alum Jacqueline Rabôt. Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Rabôt.

“As a university, we never impose our personal opinion; we let the student lead that. It’s not about whether I like it or dislike it; that’s completely irrelevant. It’s about whether [the student] has a point of view and can actually lead the process themselves,” said FSH Director Gary Miller. “Students that are really successful are students that just need guidance, and they have a strong point of view, and they do the sampling, and they have a vision as to what they want to achieve and just need nudging the right way.”

“Academy of Art University is very proud of Jacqueline’s accomplishments,” said Academy President Dr. Elisa Stephens. “Her sense of style and sustainable designs appeal to women worldwide.”

Throughout her career, Rabôt worked for various brands and had the opportunity to see firsthand how the industry works. What she took note of was the number of materials being disposed of. 

“I worked for many big corporate companies, and I saw a lot of waste in the industry. A lot of fabric was discarded, a lot of orders and styles canceled, and so these garments usually don’t go to markdown; they sometimes get burned, which is an industry-standard.”

After gaining years of experience in the industry and seeing how companies dealt with waste and the lack of equity in how workers were treated, Rabôt knew that when it was time to create a brand of her own. She wanted it to stand apart from the others with an ethically sound approach.

In 2020, Rabôt, the womenswear fashion brand, was born. 

Rabôt uses sustainable fabrics and natural dyes in the creation of her pieces. The brand prioritizes community service through projects like Sunny Stuffies, where stuffed suns for children in Los Angeles shelters are made from excess fabric.

Rabôt collections contain pieces such as skirts, dresses, blouses, pants, accessories, and more. The brand is well-known for its silk scarves, which feature beautifully crafted prints. These pieces influence the rest of the collections with bold prints, patterns, and colors. 

“She made this beautiful art piece, and I turned it into a silk scarf,” shared Rabôt. “Every season, I want to work with a different Los Angeles female artist. [T]hey create artwork for me, whether it be an oil painting, a ceramic piece, or digital art. I’ll create that into the silk scarf. I look at the scarf for color, for silhouette, for the rest of the pieces for the collection.”

In April of 2021, Rabôt launched the Rabôt Female Portrait Series. The series was created to highlight Los Angeles female artists. The series has so far featured 85 women, including entrepreneurs, chefs, artists, makeup artists, stylists, and more. 

“I really wanted to initiate a project that was so personal and so intimate, and so we started just with friends in the beginning,” said Rabôt about the series. “We would go to their homes, style them in Rabôt, and ask each woman to invite a friend who inspired them for the shoot.”

In addition to giving back to the Los Angeles community, Rabôt is also giving back by hiring interns from the Academy. She aims to hire current students and alumni who are seeking experience in the fashion industry. Alexandra Flores is a 2023 FSH graduate who is just finishing up her internship with Rabôt after six months. Throughout her internship, Flores has worked with Rabôt on various tasks while learning more about the fashion industry.

Jaqueline Rabôt and Academy President Dr. Elisa Stephens at the Brent Shapiro Foundation for Drug Prevention Summer Spectacular 2023 fundraiser in Beverly Hills, CA, on Sept. 30, 2023. Photo courtesy of Dr. Elisa Stephens.

“What I am learning and taking away most is the connection I made with Jaq and how she took me under her wing and taught me what it’s like to run a business and be a fashion designer,” said Flores. 

Flores said her internship with Rabôt is something she will look back on as a core career memory in the future.

“It’s like we’re helping each other. I helped her for the six months I was there, and I was super into it and super passionate, and now [after] she saw the passion I had for design and for helping her and her business, she’s turning that around and helping me with my personal career goals,” said Flores. “I think this experience was really special.”     

Rabôt is much more than a fashion brand. It is a community where artists are celebrated, and collaboration, sustainability, and giving back are the main priorities. 

“My intention for Rabôt and a goal that I have for it is to grow it in such a way where it’s bigger than just fashion, where it’s bigger than just clothing,” shared Rabôt. “Giving back to the community is really, really important to me, and being sustainable in as many practices as possible is really important to me.”

Related Articles