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Industry Fashion
Founded 2005; 13 years ago (2005)
Founder Kate Mulleavy
Laura Mulleavy
Headquarters Los Angeles, California, United States

Rodarte (/ˈrdɑːrt/)[1] is an American brand of clothing and accessories founded and headquartered[1] in Los Angeles, California by sisters Katherine Marie "Kate" Mulleavy (born February 11, 1979)[2] and Laura Mulleavy (born August 31, 1980).[3]

Rodarte has received a number of fashion industry awards since the line's inception in 2005.[4][5] In addition to their main fashion line, the sisters have also collaborated with Gap and Target on limited edition pieces.[6]


Katherine Mulleavy was born February 11, 1979, in Alameda County, California, and her sister, Laura, was born August 31, 1980, in Pasadena, California.[2][3] Their mother, Victoria Rodart, is of Mexican-Italian ancestry, and their father, William Perry Mulleavy, is a mycologist of Irish descent.[7][8] Both sisters attended the University of California, Berkeley with Laura studying English literature and Kate studying art history.[1]

In 2010, the Mulleavy sisters had their first foray into film, collaborating with costume designer Amy Westcott on some of the costumes for the movie Black Swan.[9] In May 2015, the sisters announced that they had written a film script entitled Woodshock which was purchased by distribution company A24.[10]


In 2002 after leaving college, the Mulleavy sisters returned home to Aptos, California, where they spent the intervening years saving up USD$16,500 in order to create a capsule collection,[11] with Laura working as a waitress and Kate selling off a collection of rare records.[1] The label Rodarte is the original Spanish pronunciation and spelling of their mother's maiden name, Rodart.[12]

After their initial collection of just ten pieces (which included seven dresses and two coats),[1] the Mulleavys traveled to New York City and appeared on the cover of a February 2005 issue of Women's Wear Daily.[1] This led to their meeting with Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who personally flew to Los Angeles to meet the sisters.[5][1]

The Mulleavy sisters garnered notoriety early on for their meticulous approach to clothing, with one chiffon dress from their 2006 collection taking over 150 hours to complete.[1] In the spring of 2007, the label released a line of limited-edition exclusive shirts in collaboration with Gap.[13] In December 2009, the label released another separate line of limited-edition pieces in collaboration with Target.[6]

Style and influences[edit]

They both credit their West Coast upbringing as a major source of inspiration for their collections. The natural American landscape is of particular inspiration to the sisters.[14] Rodarte's aesthetic influences have evolved since the label's establishment, with their evolution described in 2010 as "darker, their clothing riskier, more deconstructed, punk, and gothic. Each collection has been stranger than the last, influenced by anime and horror films, and elements of S & M culture."[1] In an article published by The New Yorker, the label was described as "the fashion equivalent of a Basquiat. People in the know really love it, but to everyone else it’s inscrutable or a little bit ugly."[1]

Museums and exhibitions[edit]

Backstage at Fall 2008 Rodarte fashion show

Rodarte is in the permanent collections of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art,[15][16] the Fashion Institute of Technology Museum in New York,[17] the Los Angeles County Museum of Art,[7] and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.[18] Rodarte was featured in the fall 2007 exhibit BLOGMODE at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, as well as several exhibits at The Museum at FIT including Luxury in spring 2007, Gothic: Dark Glamour in fall 2008, and American Beauty: Aesthetics & Innovation in Fashion in spring 2010. Arnhem Fashion Biennale featured Rodarte vignettes in July 2007, 2009 and 2011. In 2013, the Boston Museum of Fine Art featured their Blue and White Embroidered Spring 2011 Dress and Printed shoes. For the 2013 Punk: Chaos to Couture Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute show, 4 looks of Rodarte's Spring 2009 and Fall 2008 Collections were on display.[17][19][20][21]

In 2008, Rodarte was featured in Artforum, making the Mulleavy sisters the first fashion designers to be featured in the magazine since Issey Miyake in 1982.[22] In February 2010, Rodarte had their first solo-exhibition, at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum (the design branch of the Smithsonian Institution).[23]

In May 2011, Rodarte contributed artworks to the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts Cell Phone Stories project. Their contribution included sketches based on artworks held in the LACMA's permanent collection.[24]

In February 2011, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles opened Rodarte: States of Matter, the first West Coast museum exhibition of the Rodarte's fashion and costume designs from Fall 2008, Spring 2010, Fall 2010 and pieces from The Black Swan.[25]

In 2011, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) acquired the Rodarte Spring 2012 couture collection.[26] LACMA displayed the renaissance-inspired clothing in their Italian renaissance gallery, alongside Italian renaissance artworks, in the exhibition Rodarte: Fra Angelico Collection from December 2011 to February 2012.[27]


Rodarte was nominated for its first CFDA Swarovski Emerging Womenswear Designer award in June 2006, followed by another nomination in 2007. Rodarte was awarded the CFDA Swarovski Emerging Womenswear Designer in June 2008. Rodarte was then awarded the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award in June 2009.[citation needed]

In Fall 2006, Rodarte was awarded runner-up in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund competition.[citation needed]

In the summer of 2008, Rodarte was selected as a finalist in the ANDAM competition.[citation needed]

On November 13, 2008, The Mulleavy sisters won The Swiss Textiles Award in Zurich Switzerland, worth 100,000 euros. They were the first women to win the award and the first winners from outside Europe.[citation needed]

Kate and Laura Mulleavy were one of the 50 recipients to win the 2009 United States Artists Fellowship.[28]

Rodarte was Cooper Hewitt's National Design Awards Fashion Design Finalist in 2009 and winner in 2010.[29]

Rodarte is the first fashion house to be awarded the National Art Award from Americans for the Arts in 2010. The award is a custom Jeff Koons gold bunny sculpture.[30]

Rodarte is awarded the Star Honoree Award from Fashion Group International in 2011.[31]

Rodarte was named one of Fast Company’s 50 Designers Shaping The Future in October 2012.[32]

In May 2014, Rodarte's short film directed by Todd Cole is awarded the People's Choice Webby Award for Branded Scripted Entertainment.[33]

  • 2014 Webby Award People's Choice- Branded Scripted Entertainment- Won [34]
  • 2011 Fashion Group International's Star Honoree Award- Won[31]
  • 2010 National Art Award from Americans for the Arts- Won[30]
  • 2010 Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards- Won[29]
  • 2009 United States Artists Fellowships Recipient[28]
  • 2009 CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year - Won[35]
  • 2008 CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear - Won[35]
  • 2008 Stella Swiss Textiles Award - Won[36]
  • 2006 Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award - Won[37]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Fortini, Amanda (January 18, 2010). "Twisted Sisters". The New Yorker. Retrieved December 5, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Katherine Marie Mulleavy". California Birth Index. Retrieved November 28, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Ashley, Autumn (ed.). The Good, Bad, Ugly. p. 15. Retrieved November 28, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Rodarte NY Magazine Fashion Bio". Retrieved November 23, 2007. 
  5. ^ a b Jacobs, Mark (August 28, 2005). "The Talk; Scissor Sisters". The New York Times. Retrieved November 24, 2007. 
  6. ^ a b O'Dell, Amy (December 3, 2009). "The Full Rodarte for Target Look Book, With Prices". The Cut. Retrieved December 6, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b Perez, Eugenia (February 9, 2012). "The Rodarte Effect". Vanity Fair. Retrieved November 20, 2017. 
  8. ^ Kaufman, Amy (September 22, 2017). "Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the sisters behind Rodarte, move into film with 'Woodshock'". Los Angeles Times. 
  9. ^ Milligan, Lauren (February 1, 2011). "Rodarte Row". Vogue UK. Retrieved November 30, 2017. 
  10. ^ McClintock, Pamela (May 11, 2015). "Cannes: Rodarte Sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy Directing First Feature (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 26, 2015. 
  11. ^ "San Francisco Magazine | Modern Luxury". Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  12. ^ Morrison, Patt (April 16, 2011). "Q&A with Rodarte's Kate and Laura Mulleavy: Fabricators - Behind the cerebral and tactile couture of the Mulleavy sisters". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 4, 2013. 
  13. ^ Krentcil, Faran (April 18, 2007). "Cheap Rodarte Is So Much Better". Fashionista. Retrieved December 6, 2017. 
  14. ^ Davis, Allison P. (July 3, 2013). "Rodarte on their true California inspirations". New York Magazine. Retrieved December 4, 2017. 
  15. ^ "The Metropolitan Museum of Art - Evening dress". September 16, 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2016. 
  16. ^ "The Metropolitan Museum of Art - Ensemble". September 16, 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2016. 
  17. ^ a b "Rodarte Gown". The Museum at FIT. State University of New York. Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. 
  18. ^ "MFA, Boston collections search". Retrieved 2014-03-13. 
  19. ^ "Costume Institute Collection Database Available on Metropolitan Museum Website". The Metropolitan Museum of Art. October 2, 2008. Archived from the original on May 1, 2011. 
  20. ^ PUNK: Chaos to Couture | The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  21. ^ "Ming dress (Rodarte)". Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Archived from the original on August 13, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2017. 
  22. ^ Russeth, Andrew (September 20, 2011). "Ready to Wear: After a Long Flirtation, Art and Fashion Have Wed". New York Observer. Retrieved December 7, 2017. 
  23. ^ "Exhibitions Archive | Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York". Retrieved September 24, 2016. 
  24. ^ O'Reilly, Kelly (July 14, 2010). "Rodarte Sketches for LACMA "Cell Phone Stories"". NBC New York. Archived from the original on November 27, 2015. Retrieved December 5, 2017. 
  25. ^ "Previewing Rodarte: States of Matter « The Curve". MOCA. Archived from the original on November 10, 2012. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  26. ^ Binlot, Anne (June 16, 2011). "LACMA Acquires Rodarte's New Bernini-Inspired Collection, Unveiled at Florence's Pitti W". BlouinArtinfo. Retrieved December 7, 2017. 
  27. ^ Binlot, Ann (November 30, 2011). "LACMA to Display Rodarte's Fra Angelico-Inspired Couture Collection in Its Renaissance Art Galleries | BLOUIN ARTINFO". Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  28. ^ a b "Kate & Laura Mulleavy Fellow Profile". United States Artists. Archived from the original on March 5, 2012. 
  29. ^ a b "Rodarte National Design Award 2010". Cooper-Hewitt. Archived from the original on March 5, 2012. 
  30. ^ a b "The National Arts Awards". Americans for the Arts. Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. 
  31. ^ a b "Fashion Group International's Starry Night by Lester Brathwaite". Fashion Indie. July 12, 2011. Archived from the original on December 9, 2011. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  32. ^ "50 Designers Shaping The Future: Part 3". Co.Design. September 11, 2012. Archived from the original on December 4, 2017. Retrieved December 6, 2017. 
  33. ^ "Branded Entertainment Scripted". The Webby Awards. Archive. Archived from the original on August 7, 2015. Retrieved November 28, 2017. 
  34. ^ webby award rodarte - Google zoeken
  35. ^ a b "CFDA Past Winners". Council of Fashion Designers of America. Retrieved August 9, 2009. 
  36. ^ "Stella Fashion Night 2008". Swiss Textile Federation. Archived from the original on June 19, 2010. Retrieved December 22, 2009. 
  37. ^ "Six Talented Emerging Designers Win Top Prize". FashionTrendSetter. Retrieved November 23, 2007. 

External links[edit]