Rachel Riot is an independent fashion designer that creates clothing and accessories with a dark and elegant avant garde twist. Every single piece is handmade by Rachel, with help from her assistant and aspiring designer, Tessa Spangler. She will soon branch out and work with other independent seamstresses to mass produce and expand in a way that keeps the line ethical, hand crafted, and unique.

Originally operating under the name “Manic Designs”, Rachel is heavily inspired by metal music and vintage fashion, but has recently re-branded and broadened her vision.  She is dedicated to reviving the art of handmade clothing to overcome a world polluted by fast fashion and sweatshop labor, and her sales approach promotes self-love and confidence, rather than falling slave to the subliminal body shaming and abusive marketing tactics that fuel the mainstream fashion industry.

Often donned in all black, Rachel Riot’s collections are quietly intense, and subtly decorated with intricate pin tucks, cut outs, and pleats. She mixes textures on a monochrome palette to create a powerful and fashion forward look.

Rachel grew up in Oakland and started sewing at age 7 when her mom taught her how to embroider. She fell in love with the artistry of every stitch, and went on to study at FIDM in San Francisco. She started her business when she moved to Santa Cruz in 2010 and has participated in local events including FashionART, Pivot runway shows, and collaborations with many other talented south bay artists, primarily in San Jose.