Kate and Laura Mulleavy

November 16, 2012

Kate and Laura Malleavy, sister designers

By Koseli.

Sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy are the designers behind Rodarte, and they are awe-inspiring! Although they had no connections and no formal experience, they cold-pitched ten miniature pieces on paper dolls to editors in New York City and found themselves on the cover of Women’s Wear Day within days. They’ve designed a diffusion line for Target (don’t you just love the designer lines for Target?) and designed the costumes in Black Swan. Last May, their costumes adorned performers in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Don Giovani. Shall we call them the Super Sisters?

Can you believe how young they are? Would you — or do you — work with your sister? I have three sisters and would absolutely love to work with them, but I’m not sure how much we’d actually get done. Ha!

P.S. — Gabrielle works with her sister Sara on Alt Summit.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Azra November 16, 2012 at 8:01 am

What a nice collection they have! I am impressed.


2 Koseli Cummings November 16, 2012 at 9:17 am

It is so amazing! I had never heard of them in 2009 when their exclusive Target line emerged. Or of now famous Tavi Gevinson, their guest commentator for the line, who was only 13 years old at the time. They’ve done so much in only three years!


3 shadygrove November 16, 2012 at 8:41 am

I’m fascinated by their story, mostly in that jealous way. (As in, why doesn’t anything like this ever happen to me?!) I’d love to hear the backstory. How — with no connections and no industry experience — did they even get anyone to look at their paper dolls in the first place? Do you just saunter in to Anna Wintour’s office and hand her admin your genius idea? (And of course s/he immediately recognizes it as such, cancels hir boss’s schedule, and sweeps you in on a river of champagne to discuss it over brunch?)


4 Koseli Cummings November 16, 2012 at 9:15 am

They’re both UC Berkeley graduates but I’d love to know what their combined experience was prior to 2006. Rodarte was the runner-up for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award in 2006 so maybe that spawned their relationship with Anne Wintour. Amazing, isn’t it?


5 Jack November 16, 2012 at 10:11 am

Absolutely adore my sister and love to spend as much time as possible with her. That is why I quit my corporate job, 9 year ago, and started my own business. We now work together and I have absolutely no regrets. I’m not the least surprised by the Mulleavy Sisters’ success simply because of my experiences with working with my sis.


6 Koseli Cummings November 26, 2012 at 6:49 pm

That is so wonderful. I love this!


7 Liz November 16, 2012 at 12:22 pm

My sister and I have the distinct pleasure of working together now in running a small independent community school! We took a huge leap of faith almost two years ago now and embarked on a journey conquering fears and fulfilling a dream. It’s not always easy, but doing this with my sister means the joys are greater, and the sorrows are shared. We are in it together all the way. It’s funny, in our case, our strengths are different and so we compliment one another. We make a great team. And it helps that I happen to think my sister is the coolest, smartest, funniest, most thoughtful gal around–I couldn’t be luckier. So great to see a post on sisters who work together, it is a special bond.


8 Koseli Cummings November 26, 2012 at 6:50 pm

So sweet, Liz. I imagine it is so amazing to work with your sister. It is a very special bond.


9 Kerry November 17, 2012 at 11:52 am

Their line is actually the only one I purchases items of from Target’s Designer Series. I still wear the dress to this day. Love them.


10 Joslynn November 19, 2012 at 5:37 am

Dream come true ! How inspiring !


11 Koseli Cummings November 26, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Let’s do it, sister.


12 Pepper December 19, 2012 at 11:04 am

Wait, we have worked together…. remember? haha!


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