IMPERFECTLY CRAFTED: Arae uses Shibori tie-dye techniques to create original patterns and colors in our fabric. Being that ARAE textiles are handdyed and handcrafted, there is natural variation making each piece one-of-a-kind.
SHIBORI: A Japanese textile technique which involves creating a resist in the fabric to then add or remove dye, revealing intricate patterns and colors.
Rachael Levine is the designer of ARAE. She first started practicing shibori during the summer of 2013 at Haystack Mountain School of Craft in Deer Isle, Maine under the instruction of Michael Olszewski. Rachael enveloped herself in the technique and beauty of the northeastern United States, becoming inspired by the natural surroundings. Textures and colors were easily transferable onto fabric through shibori and she was hooked. Doing this textile design technique on a thicker fabric gave it a strong, animalistic, yet soft and organic feel. Going into her last year of undergrad studying fashion design at Columbia College Chicago, she made an entire clothing and accessories collection featuring shibori on boiled wool. Rachael was awarded scholarships and acceptance into Chicago’s best fashion design runway competitions. She called this collection ARAE, a play off of her own nickname ‘Rae’, and the word- array: an impressive display or range of a particular type of thing. Since graduating May 2014, Rachael took a month off for travel then launched her accessory line in August 2014 at StyleMax at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, which proved to be a successful beginning for the brand. Since then, Levine has expanded ARAE to include apparel and home decor.
Rachael has a cultural background and loves to travel, soaking up every new experience, which influences her design aesthetic. With a Bolivian/Japanese mother and a Jewish/American father, it is easy to see where her creativity, love of textiles and design come from.
ARAE continues to explore new shibori techniques in each collection and the company is currently is based out of Denver, CO.
ARAE is also the 2015 Contemporary Emerging Designer of the Year with Phoenix Fashion Week and shortly after sold out of the exclusive collection on Evine – live television home shopping channel.