I was originally introduced to ARAE during various Phoenix Fashion Week events in 2015. Designer and owner Rachael Levine hand makes her pieces and uses a special tie-dying treatment on silk like in the first look. The second dress is also tie-dye and it is a cotton fabric. I love the high neckline in the second dress and the free flowing feeling of the first dress. In both looks, I worked with Stacy Eden to style Clutch Jewelry with these looks.
I reached out to Rachael recently to see what her and ARAE have been up to. Here are her answers…
TFK: Since you showed your collection in PHXFW 2015, what have you been keeping busy with?
ARAE: Since PHXFW 2015, I’ve mostly been focusing on designing and perfecting a couple of styles that are my best sellers and developing new styles based around them. Since I’m not a manufactured designer and am more of an artisan brand, my garments are more about the shibori technique and need to showcase that really well, along with being an easy to wear piece.
TFK: I’m obsessed with your pieces! Where can I buy them?
ARAE: Nowadays my collection is sold in high-end boutiques and artisan handmade gallery type shops in Colorado and on the East Coast.
TFK: I’d love to know what the most valuable lesson was that you learned from PHXFW and one that has really paid off this year?
ARAE: The most important thing I took away from PHXFW is to always look for the ‘yes.’ A lot of the time it means being patient, and trying again and again to get what you know you deserve!
TFK: From your experience with PHXFW, have you noticed doors opening for you that wouldn’t have without the knowledge, connections, and exposure you gained from PHXFW?
AREA: Evine definitely would not have happened for me if I hadn’t won Contemporary Designer of the Year. I’ve been so blessed to work with them and Apparel Solutions since Fall of 2015. When telling people about my brand, it’s always fun mentioning Evine because it gives a WOW factor, and gives me credibility as a fashion designer and maker.
TFK: What is new for you and your collection since last year and/or what’s to come for this year?
ARAE: Earlier I mentioned expanding on my best selling products as well as always keeping them in the collection. So, this year my silks will include the Kimono, Capsleeve Cardigan, and expanding to a Bell Sleeve V-Neck Top, and a Bell Sleeve V-Neck Dress in a couple different lengths. All featuring some sort of shibori and possibly adding some fringe trim, inspired by my recent travels to Thailand.
My winter collection will have more of a focus on Gloves this year. I am still using shibori boiled wool and will be adding different kinds of trim as accent as well as refining my color scheme a bit.
Last but not least.. I have a New York trade show on my radar that has a very good handmade section that I’d like to try out in August called NYNow. I’m hopeful that it will help to grow my brand and give me exposure to more shops looking for artisan made goods.
Thank you Rachael Levine and ARAE for participating in an interview with The Foxy Kat. I am so excited to see what’s to come for ARAE!
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Be you, bravely.
The Foxy Kat