Featured in the likes of Vogue, WGSN, and Dazed and Confused, London College of Fashion-grad Natalie Rae’s designs are subtle but not simple. Her eye for twists and embellishments and her astute sense of color produce standalone pieces that work across ages and styles, making them – and her audience – timeless. In this Designer Spotlight, we learn how the california-based designer’s devotion to detail and aesthetic bests makes for good business.
1. How and why did you start designing?
I’ve always been fascinated with clothing design. I use to reconstruct my own clothing when I was a teenager. When I was 15 I got a sewing machine for my birthday – it was the best gift ever! I started buying patterns and teaching myself how to cut and sew. As I began college, I decided to start taking courses on pattern cutting and design and really just fell in love with the whole process.
2. What is your biggest hurdle building a brand today?
Being solely responsible for everything. I love running my own label but it can a bit overwhelming with the amount of things you have to do day to day but I wouldn’t give it up!
3. What is your fashion philosophy?
I try to create fashion that is sustainable on many levels, both in the longevity of the design but also the process and environment in which its made, being conscious to use sustainable fabrics and ethical production. Most importantly, I want a person to love the design before anything else.
4. Where do you go and what do you do for inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere. I try not to limit myself to only books but of course I always refer to books for additional research. I think its important to keep a constant look out, you never know when inspiration will strike you.
5. Any tips and tricks of the trade?
If it’s not ready, it’s not ready. Don’t put something out there you are not satisfied with as a designer. It’s hard being a small brand but timeframes are not everything. Create things that make you happy and show your talents and inspiration don’t put something out there that you feel is only half of what you were trying to accomplish.
See Natalie’s SS14 collection on Nineteenth Amendment.