Co-Designer and Co-Founder, Rae Francis
Current home: New York City | Hometown: Palm Beach
Hailing from a family of celebrated Palm Beach restaurateurs, Christina Coniglio, 27, is making a big splash of her own in fashion’s fiercely competitive pond. In 2011, Coniglio and longtime friend Ariel Lilly launched their women’s wear line, Rae Francis, and now business is booming. Fans like Halle Berry and Nikki Reed have been snapped wearing the duo’s ultra-luxe, bohemian-inspired designs, and upscale retail sites like Shopbop have tapped them to sell some of their most provocative pieces. Tying the knot this summer, Coniglio is especially excited about the Rae Francis hippy-chic wedding dress she designed for the cult fashion site Bona Drag.
- Favorite piece from her current collection: The Beau dress.
- When she’s not designing: I spend a lot of time at Laughing Lotus in New York City. I recently became a yoga instructor there, and it’s my home away from home.
- Most challenging part of her job: Our products are made entirely in New York’s Garment District. It can be challenging to find local quality at a cost our customers can afford.
- Favorite Palm Beach boutique: Zan Hogan. She’s a talented jewelry designer, and every time I walk into her store I melt.
- Fashion icon: Literally everyone from the 1960s—Jane Birkin, Mama Cass, Catherine Deneuve—and my mother, Gail Coniglio.
- Most overused word or phrase: Some very R-rated language.
- Style tip for turning heads: Wear what you want and be yourself. The ones you want to attract will take notice because you look like you.
- Advice for budding designers: You must be able to be a jack-of-all-trades and understand the bigger picture to become a successful designer. This is a cutthroat business, and you have to be willing to go the extra mile to stand out.