Ariel on the left in the Carlos Blouse from Holiday 2011 Collection and Christina on the right in the Craig Skirt from Holiday 2012 Collection.
Where are you both from?
Ariel is from Boston, MA and Christina is from Palm Beach, FL
How does coming from different parts of the country influence your designs?
Coming from the north Ariel influences fall collections a bit more. She grew up used to buttoned up cold weather dressing and leans towards more neutral colors. Christina coming from bright and sunny Palm Beach, absolutely influences the summer season with bright colors and easy to wear pieces.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
We love street style and can often be found walking the streets of NYC from Nolita to the the Upper East Side, we are always looking at how people dress and which trends they are gravitating towards. Since Rae Francis is a mix of Ariel, the uptown and Christina, the downtown we find all areas of the city to be incredibly inspiring. We never know where the next great influence for our collection will come. We are also very lucky to have some insanely talented friends so we immerse ourselves in all the creative things they do which is beyond motivating.
What are your style icons?
Our style icons change depending on how we may feel with each new season and collection. We stay constant to the great style icons like Iris Apfel, Jackie O, and Edie Sedgwick but most recently our Spring collection was highly influenced by Florence Welch and our Holiday collection by Bridget Bardot. A person or even certain items spark something inside us creatively. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a person, sometimes it is a song or even a movie that we just feel moved to design around.
What motivates you to do what you love?
A: Growing up it was always my dream to work in this creative industry and I feel very lucky going to work every day to do something that excites me as much as Rae Francis does. It is an amazing thing to watch all of your hard work come to life when we see someone wearing our clothes on the street or in a magazine.
C: I’m very motivated by the message behind Rae Francis which is support the local economy. Being produced and designed in the City that I love gives me the the daily affirmation that what we are doing is not only a major feat but doing so with fabric vendors & pattern makers that are in our backyard in the garment center make it even more of a triumph.
Is there a philosophy behind Rae Francis?
Rae Francis is a desk to dinner collection and the go to for any young professional looking to let loose at 5. Rae Francis is classic and luxurious while still referencing the trends and adding an innovative twist. It is meant for the girl that appreciates beautiful fabrics and simple silhouettes that complement her easy breezy lifestyle. By designing and producing in New York City we set ourselves apart from other brands because we support the garment center and the local economy. We pride ourselves on being active in every part of our brand which includes the design process, trend research, production and we make sure that we have final approval on all garments. No single garment is shipped without getting our stamp of perfection!
What is something you could pass along to me?
A: “Take chances, take a lot of them. Because honestly no matter where you end up or with whom, it always ends up just the way it should be. Your mistakes make you who you are. You learn and grow from each choice you make. Everything is worth it, say how you feel, always. Be you, and be ok with it.” –unknown
C: “Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain