What I Wear to Work: Rachel Koffsky

Christie's International Head of Handbags values timeless investment pieces and dressing on a theme.

Rachel Koffksy International Head of Christie's
(Image credit: Rachel Koffsky)

In our bi-weekly series, we highlight dynamic women—from entrepreneurs and small business founders to CEOs and celebrities—discussing their style ethos, the pieces that empower them, and how they balance life alongside whirlwind careers.

Rachel Koffsky, International Head of Handbags at Christie's, finds herself momentarily back in New York getting ready for Luxury Week, held at Christie's Rockefeller Center from December 2 through 9 and showcasing the world's most coveted handbags and accessories to be sold at auction. This comes after a recent auction in Paris, a stop in London for a client visit, and prepping for Geneva luxury week in Switzerland.

Koffsy's background studying art history and math set her up well for a career in the  auction space, but her infatuation with handbags—starting with her admiration of her grandmother's purse collection as a little girl— fueled her passion for the luxury accessories market. Her job now connects her with other handbag lovers around the globe—from entry-level buyers to seasoned collectors who bid for bags at a wide variety of styles and price points, including coveted Hermès Kelly bags and vintage Gucci pieces.

Wearing many hats in her role at Christie's—from nurturing client relationships to cataloging handbags to auctioneering—Koffsky has mastered dressing for days when, sometimes, no two hours are alike. It's her devotion to investment pieces, her ability to master any dressing theme, and her keen eye for detail that keeps Koffsky ready to take on the day, one handbag at a time.

Rachel Koffsky Christie's

Koffsky surrounded by a collection of luxury handbags from the Christie's archives.

(Image credit: Rachel Koffsky)

On Her Morning Routine:

I spend a lot of time on the road, but if I'm in New York, which is home, I wake up around 6:00 or 6:30 a.m. I work with teams across Europe and Asia, which often means early morning calls. I make coffee at home and go to a workout class if time allows. Then, I'll walk from my apartment on the Upper West Side through Central Park to our office in Rockefeller Center and respond to emails and calls en route. That walk is one of the best parts of my morning. I'm usually at the office by 9:00 or 9:30.

Rachel Koffsky Christie's

Koffsky wearing a Gucci monogram suit.

(Image credit: Rachel Koffsky)

On Her Work Wardrobe:

We have a professional aesthetic at Christie's, but I have to be able to go from one task to the other—and the two could be vastly different from one another. I might meet a client for lunch, catalog in the warehouse, and then take a flight somewhere. So, whatever I wear must be functional. That usually means a suit—they're comfortable and warm. I'm always cold.

Mrs. Anne Getty was a lover of beautiful textiles and brocade. I have this gold and brown Etro dress that has a brocade quality, so I wore that on the rostrum. I once auctioneered a collection called Extra Innings with all baseball memorabilia. I have this red and white tweed jacket that looks like the lines on a baseball, so I wore that during the sale. I put a lot of thought into my outfits, and I'm usually a bit more thematic than your average auctioneer. My accessories? I will never forget to bring along my lucky pen and gavel.

Rachel Koffsky Christie's

Koffsky handles Hermés handbags.

(Image credit: Rachel Koffsky)

On Investment Pieces:

I love investing in jackets. Vintage shops are a great place to buy them, especially pieces like vintage Chanel. Because I work in the secondary market for handbags, I'm a big fan of investing in great vintage pieces that you can have for decades. That's what I advise my clients to do when they're bidding in our handbag auctions. I'm always searching around at vintage boutiques when buying workwear for myself. I love following different European vintage accounts on Instagram, and if I have a work trip where they have a location, I'll make a special stop. 

I've repeatedly purchased the same Chanel cap-toe block heels—they're the absolute perfect height and comfortable for being on your feet all day. If I love a piece, I will try to buy it again and again. My boldest investment piece is my Gucci emerald green monogram suit. I've never felt more empowered than when I'm wearing that.

Rachel Koffsky Christie's

Koffsky outside of her office at Christie's Rockefeller Center.

(Image credit: Rachel Koffsky)

Shop Rachel's Favorite Pieces

Sara Holzman
Style Director

Sara Holzman is the Style Director at Marie Claire, covering runway trends and tracking down the latest finds to buy and wear. When she’s not writing about fashion, she pens about the best places to jet-off to. Over her six years with Marie Claire, Sara has reported on the ever-evolving world of fashion— covering both established and emerging designers within the industry. Sara has held fashion positions at Lucky and SELF Magazine and was a regular contributor to Equinox’s Furthermore website, where she wrote across their style, wellness, and travel verticals. She holds a degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and currently resides in Manhattan. Follow her along at @sarajonewyork.