The Rafaella Apparel Group was founded in New York City in 1982 to serve the clothing needs of working women. It quickly rose to prominence because it was one of the first brands to offer pants in several different fits that would flatter a range of different body types. In 2005, Rafaella was acquired by Cerberus Capital Management, L.P., and it entered a new phase of profitability and growth under the leadership of veteran fashion maven Christa Michalaros.
In 2011, the American holdings conglomerate Perry Ellis was seeking to expand its offerings for women. Impressed by the management team behind Rafaella, Perry Ellis acquired the brand. Over the last several years, the new parent has helped build on Rafaella's excellent reputation. The brand continues to stay true to its longstanding mantra of "Fit Your Shape," and it seeks to fit into the on-the-go lifestyle of the modern woman. Focusing on quality of fabric, comfortable fit, and impeccable attention to detail, Rafaella is easy to wear for work, play, and plenty of other activities. The brand has frequently been spotlighted by Oprah Winfrey--both on TV and in fashion editorials. Its clothes are available at most major department stores.
Rafaella's introduction of pants in three distinct fits was revolutionary at the time, and the brand continues to focus on making sure that its pants are as flattering as possible. You can choose between the curvy fit, classic fit, and comfort fit, depending on your body type and the look you are trying to achieve. Rafaella offers trousers, dress pants, capris, ponte pants, crops, and more. Shorts are also available for warmer weather. Bottoms are available in several different colors, and some products also feature patterns. Rafaella further divides its clothes into missy, petite, and plus sizes to ensure that they fit women of all sizes.
Dresses are available in styles like sheaths, fit-and-flare, sleeveless dresses, and maxi dresses. Skirts are also popular and come in several different lengths. You'll also find a variety of tops, including blouses, tunics, keyhole tops, tees, tanks, and more. Since one of the primary goals of Rafaella is to create clothes that can transition from daywear to eveningwear, many of these products are designed to wear to work and also wear for a night out. Sweaters and cardigans are perfect for layering, and you can find an assortment of jackets and blazers.
Acknowledging that different women prefer pants that fit differently helped put Rafaella on the map, and its bottoms continue to be some of its best sellers today for that reason. The brand is also a great choice for women who work office jobs but don't want to feel like their clothes are too stuffy. With its versatile designs, the brand does a good job bridging the gap between business apparel and casualwear. Rafaella also prides itself on using only the best materials, and its clothes are built to last. We give Rafaella 4 stars out of 5.
- Established 1982
- Versatile business apparel
- Sold at:
- Major department stores and online
- Types of items:
- Trousers, dress pants, ponte pants, capris, crops, shorts, leggings, dresses, skirts, blouses, tunics, tees, tanks, sweaters, cardigans, jackets
- Related brands:
- Perry Ellis, Axist, Farah, Original Penguin, Jag, Jantzen, Callaway, Ben Hogan, John Henry, Peony