Olive Loves: Rae


For those of you who are just getting to know me, I am an avid traveler who has been all around the world. From 2011 to 2012, I lived in California but I recently moved to New York City. During New York Fashion Week, I had the pleasure of meeting New York-based designer  Denise Gertmenian. I discovered that she has California roots and now lives in New York too. We had a delightful conversation about the differences between living on both coasts, and I thought I would share her thoughts on West Coast vs. East Coast fashion styles. She was a breath of fresh air, and dare I say, a “rae” of light in New York’s fashion world!

Olive: Having lived in California for a year, I am having a hard time adjusting to the cold weather in New York. In California, I could wear short dresses to show off my long legs. I can’t do that as much in New York. Any advice on how I can best adapt to the change in both weather and fashions?

Denise: Rae’s shirtdresses are the perfect solution because you can wear leather leggings, jeans or tights underneath them. I love “Plush” black fleece tights because they are super warm and very opaque.

Caravan Stylist Studio Fashion Show; Feb. 13, 2013 during NYFW

Olive: What are the main differences in New York fashion vs. Los Angeles fashion?

Denise: There are rules about dressing appropriately in New York, that are mostly based on tradition and social codes. Being appropriate and presentable is extremely important. You have to get it right very quickly because it is always a mad rush in the morning and you never have time to go home and change, yet you are visible on the street throughout the day. In LA, there are no rules! Things are more casual, colorful and bohemian. You can hide in your car whenever you want. I can appreciate the best of both worlds.

Olive: What stores would you recommend to shop in New York?

Denise: Fun pop up stores and sample sales are the best. Bergdorf’s has the most creative and inspiring window displays. And, of course, I would recommend my online store! f you would like to buy anything from Rae, you can find it at www.raecollections.com.

Hanna Top

Olive: Well, I followed Denise’s advice and shopped her site. Here’s what I picked up for myself: Bateau Ribbon Dress, Penelope Ribbon Dress, Claudine Shirtdress, Celine Peplum Dress and the Hanna Blouse, which I’ll wear with my favorite pair of black skinny jeans.

Bateau Ribbon Dress

About Denise Gertmenian

In 2008, while working as a designer for major brands in New York, Denise Gertmenian began constructing jersey dresses and jumpsuits that she and her friends could wear to work during the day, out in Manhattan at night, or to Sunday brunch.  This was the very beginning of Rae:  flexible, comfortable, multi-purpose, transitional pieces in solid colors. Rae was officially launched by Spring 2009 when Denise used her own penmanship as the gold cursive logo on the “Rae” tag and created the brand’s first iconic California  “Bird of Paradise” print, which in turn inspired colorful and one-of-a-kind exclusive prints to become the trademark of Rae.



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