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Q&A with Womenswear Designer, Suzanne Rae

10:30 AM

Womenswear Designer, Suzanne Rae
Suzanne Rae is a designer who has a specific reference in her collection and presentations. I attended her Fall '13 presentation and it was evident that she wasn't trying to conform to anyone rules but her own. She's not even outsourcing her collection in another country, she is currently produces it all in NYC right in the garment district.

I asked Suzanne a few questions about her brand and being designer. ...

For the Fall '13 collection, what made you be inspired by monks, priests and nuns?
I was looking for meaning in what I was doing. I wanted to create clothing that would offer women the kind of confidence that encourages love and
goodness. Something that would make them feel beautiful, chic, comfortable, and at the same time remind them of the selfless acts that we can perform

What was the defining moment that you realized that you wanted to be a contemporary womens designer?
When i was studying for the MCATs. I knew I wanted to do some kind of service, but I just couldn't bear the idea of my next few years being a series of
predetermined stages and tests. I wanted more freedom to figure out my own stages and tests, and creating fashions that spoke of and to the modern
woman. Something where I could incorporate my interests of women's studies, art, and economics; which, I felt I understood better than medicine, and
therefore could make a better impact on society.

Can you describe Suzanne Rae aesthetic in three words?
feminine. feminist. chill.
Feminine, because the fabrics and silhouettes are soft and graceful. Feminist, because the utilitarian aspects are tangible expressions of what women are
and can be capable of. Chill, because there is an overall easy-going and relaxed vibe that stems from the love put in and offered.

Please describe your design process?
With every collection, I have the same goal, which is to create clothing that positively affects the wearer. So, I always want the clothing to be comfortable
and relaxed in addition to being beautiful and cool. I put a lot of thought into the design process…what the silhouettes and fabrics convey and also how
feminine or feminist the pieces are, always readdressing what those words mean. I want the clothing to be progressive and in the process we end up
creating fashions that are sophisticated and edgy by nature. There's a lot of research and conversations that go on in the design process, lots of trial and
error with the styles, and in the end, hopefully, we have stayed true to our vision.

Were there any difficulties starting your own business and building your brand?
Sure, there are always challenges at every step of the way. I suppose the greatest challenge was getting started, just like any project; but, once you're in it,
you're totally absorbed and just working towards the end goal.

Suzanne Rae Fall '13 Presentation

In the next five to ten years, how would you like to see your brand grow?
Within the next five years, I'd like to branch out into shoes and accessories...and within 10 years, I'd like to make a impact on how people view everyday
fashion - that it's not superficial, it has meaning, and perhaps even contribute to the evolution of what is feminine and what is feminist.

Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with?
Ghada Amer. I'd like to sit down and have a good conversation/brainstorming session with her.

If you weren't a designer, what profession would you have?
I'd like to be a teacher.

Do you have any advice for aspiring designers?
Just go for it. If you have a vision, start creating it. You don't have to follow any formula, just your own.

Suzanne Rae can currently be found in many boutiques, including Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Steven Alan, and Henrik Vibskov in New York City.

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