Feeling the need to help others, Rachel Hurst- Rae Marie to her friends and clients- believed that from a very young age she was going to be a doctor. The desire to become a doctor, fireman or astronaut is often romanticized and something many kids dream about doing. As we continue to grow and discover a whole world of careers, though, our romantic dreams expand (or fade, for some) and we decide to walk- or in this case sew- a different path. This happened for Rae Marie when she took an art class in high school and studied the female form and the seeds of her future life as a designer were sown.

One year while still in high school, Rae designed a Victorian gown for her Halloween costume. She knew she had some design skills but was still pretty green- in fact she sewed half the costume inside out! Still, that little seed had sprouted and was now growing into a fully realized dream of fashion design.

Fast forward to 2008 when Rae sold her very first piece- a colorful bubble dress. “I really loved that piece,” she says. The Fashion House of Rae Marie was born. Rae now specializes in custom-built fashions and has a flair that she has identified with roots in theatre and theatrical design.

“I like the dramatic. I really want people to be blown away when they see my fashions.” she says.

Rae likes to think of herself as a creator of personalities. Like playing dress up, the ability to create a character for someone is something she really loves. Rae believes her overall design aesthetic is unique in the sense that she aims to make women feel beautiful no matter what their sizes are. She has said that she loves making women feel beautiful and excited about wearing a Rae Marie Design that was made especially for them.

“I use colors, patterns and textures to create a glamorous look for my clientele that is sexy, edgy and chic.” she says.

Since its inception, the Fashion House has entered designs in numerous runway shows throughout Denver. While we are not New York are L.A., Denver’s growing fashion scene is beginning to be recognized and is finding a place on the fashion map. Folks outside of Denver are realizing that we are no longer a town of cowboys and ski bums. This design explosion and subsequent recognition is in part because of designers like Rae Marie.

“The industry here is rough.” Rae Marie says. “At times there is very little reward for all of the hard work and it gets frustrating.” She continues.

But Rae Marie gives solid advice to those who are trying to break into the industry. “It’s a tough industry,” she says. “You're going to cry and scream and have to say ‘no’ and you’ll hear ‘no’ a lot. But if you love it, stick with it because I promise it gets better.”

Being in many fashion shows has also helped Rae Marie establish her name. She has put in the time and continues to market her unique custom-made designs and her look. It’s all about building the brand and Rae Marie looks to the big guys to find inspiration.

“I love Gucci, Valentino and I really have started obsessing about Alice+Olivia.” she says.

She also draws from life itself, being inspired by the people she meets, the things she sees, how she feels and where she looks. “All of these things inspire and influence who I am, how I design and who I want to become both as an individual and as a designer,” she says. Currently her fashions can be found online- and, of course, she’ll custom create any design but Rae Marie soon hopes to be in boutiques throughout Denver. She is also making plans to open her own studio.

People who wear a Rae Marie design feel good about themselves and love the look she provides. In many ways Rae Marie has fulfilled her inner child’s dream to become a doctor. As she points out, “The ability to make someone feel special and happy is the best medicine in the world.”
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