Legendary stylist, costume designer and sartorial star Rebecca Weinberg is constantly pushing the definition of “fashion forward,” dressing everyone from Sting to Sarah Jessica Parker. On HBO’s “Sex and the City,” she paired the quirkiest of fabrics with the most unusual hues, and mixed high fashion with high street, earning an Emmy for her work. It’s been said she created the “fifth character” on the hit show because her fashion choices were as iconic as the ladies who wore them. As part of our ongoing #BeLegendary series, we talked to Weinberg about leather jackets, being creative on a dime, and why being legendary “takes a village.”
Where do you find the inspiration for your eclectic style?
I moved to New York when I was 7 years old and it was like a magnet. I said to my mom, “I will live in NY forever.” I was attracted to the color, the people, the excitement. I remember walking in the West Side and seeing hookers in the Meatpacking District with fur coats and thongs. I knew it was where I belonged.
I love big cites like NY and LA. Seeing groups of people marching to their own beat is like ecstasy for me. I like people and lifestyle. We’re all visual creatures just wanting to love and be love—those are our feathers. [It’s] exciting to see when there is one stand out bird. That’s what inspires my next project, fashion shoot, or character I’m styling. I’m always looking for the madness, the color and layers.
You’ve won an Emmy award for your work as a costume designer for “Sex and the City.” We’re still partial to Carrie’s iconic tutu, but what were your favorite looks that you’ve style for the legendary ladies?
[There are] a lot of favorites. I liked when we played with the audience. Like when the girls go out to LA and they’re coming out of The Standard and we put two different colored shoes on Sarah Jessica Parker, an acid green and an electric blue. Every scene became costume driven. For Kim, I loved her bedroom attire. Those were my favorite to style because she has such a great figure and is such a sexy creature. I loved making Kristin a sexy secretary because it was out of her comfort zone. I loved the couture outfits, but loved the early seasons when we didn’t have much of a budget and really had to stretch ourselves.
You have several celebrity clients and have styled many major campaigns. What legendary moment throughout your extensive fashion career is the most memorable for you?
Styling Raquel Welch for her wig line. She’s like a Lauren Bacall. She came into our wardrobe room to try on these outfits. I was taking Polaroids of her posing in the mirror with her leg up on my ironing board like how she was going to do in the shoot and it was such a moment. You couldn’t write this stuff. I need to do something with all those Polaroids!
What is the one thing in your closet you can’t live without and why?
My Rick Owens leather jackets. I have a green, navy, and black one. I love a good jacket. Love a soft tee shirt too, and colored, wireless bras. Paired with Paul Smith cashmere socks, and boots or sneakers.
What does being legendary mean to you?
Extending a hand and being kind to the next level of legends coming up. There’s room for all of us. That to me, is legendary. Otherwise, you’re out there on your own. It takes a village to be legendary and to be recognized. Being kind and genuine makes you legendary. Treating everyone the same across the board. People will remember that.