Hi TUC Fam, my name is Marie and I am a contributing writer at True Urban Culture magazine. Welcome back to our Behind the Seams interview series and let me introduce you to this month’s guest, Alana Rae, the incredible owner of SORAE STUDIOS, a brand you should definitely look out for!
Marie: Where are you originally from and what did you study in the past?
Alana: I am actually from Long Island and then I moved to New York City to study advertising and marketing communications at FIT. It’s been about four years now.
Marie: You liked it, right?
Alana: Omg, I loved it, I love the fashion institute.
Marie: I checked out your social media and my first impression is that you have a lot of creativity, who are your biggest inspirations?
Alana: I’m not going to lie; I pull many inspo from many people, such as underground influencers.
I really like Kanye West, his way of moving through fashion
Marie: What inspires you to create and also, what is your creative process like?
Alana: So, I would say that my creative process is very unconventional; so as you know in school I majored in advertising, marketing so I don’t have any background in fashion design, I just have a really good eye: So, I just cut my fabric and sew it up, which works for me. Right now, I am on a one-woman team and it’s working so I just go with it.
Marie: I am curious now, how did you learn that?
Alana: I would first take a scarf and then make a shirt out of it. I innovated my outfits and my clothing and it led me to where I am now.
Marie: Amazing, it’s like upcycling?
Alana: Correct, and good for the environment too, it’s a win-win I would say.
Marie: How would you describe your clothing style ?
Alana: It varies depending on my mood. But my go-to is a sexy 2000s with a little touch of new, and the same goes with my brand. It’s a little bit sexy and I fit some classy pieces in there, I like to keep a balance.
Marie: What are some challenges that you’re currently facing as a fashion brand owner?
Alana: As an upcoming designer, there’s a lot of struggle. Doing it by myself is definitely a lot. I am doing the production by myself, styling, cutting, and sewing every piece. I also created my website. The biggest challenge is finding a solid team to work with where you can all grow together.
Marie: Yeah, a team that understands your vision.
Alana: Yeah, we all have a vision, totally. I am just waiting now.
Marie: How was your experience participating at the SAIKO FS 2020 ?
Alana: That was my first fashion show rebranding, and it was amazing, it made me fall in love with curating runway shows. I felt like I was creating to showcase my pieces. My work is almost like art, it’s made to be presented, shot in for photoshoots, more like collective pieces. It’s not pieces you’re going to wear in your everyday life, for most people.
My biggest clients are our stylists. The pieces are really purposeful and fragile, they’re statement pieces.
Marie: Could you tell us which one of your fashion creations you are most proud of ?
Alana: I’ve always been a fan of pants, it’s my specialty. I really did love my original set, the patchwork denim. They were so cute, an essential pair of jeans But my upcoming collection is coming so I can say that it’s also one of my favorite pieces coming soon.
Marie: You did all your patchwork jeans yourself?
Alana: Literally, I did all the cutting etc… I stitched those pants, I went in, cut up, it was very tedious, but worth it in the end.
Marie: I saw that you were also a model. How do you balance your life being a fashion model and fashion designer?
Alana: That is a great question. I feel like life is all about balance. You know, I struggle with balance, but I try to keep it between my real work because I need to make an income right now. I am always busy, after a casting, I go right next door to a designer casting, after my own runway casting. I make it work right now because it’s part of my mission, and there’s an end goal.
Marie: Being a model also helps you with your own fashion brand.
Alana: Correct, I started off on the runways, and I feel like it definitely helped me to understand more of what I have to bring, to do, and to expect out of my shows. It was definitely a great start, and my own runway walking is still relevant, still here. Timing as well, the right timing for everything.
Marie: So you just told us about your new collection coming up. Can’t wait to see it by the way, but what other goals for the end of the year?
Alana: Correct, well, I have many goals, but for the near future, my goal is to get a couple of my pieces onto some influential artists. I am involved in the music industry as well, so I feel like both industries are tied in together so I plan on finding someone that I am really interested in. I just want to keep expanding. Keep getting seen, moreover, by the right people.
Marie: Wow, I didn’t know you were also part of the music industry as well.
Alana: Yes, I do. I been working for artists for a little while now, and it also has been official now because I still network, promote my brand and mix it with my clothing, and my work and I end up styling them, working with the artist personally.
Marie: Now, one of the toughest questions is, where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Alana: That is a great question, I would definitely want to have my name Alana Rae as a household name. I want people to know my work. And I want people to be interested in wanting to know what I am bringing next. I want to continue to do this fashion show and hopefully, they will be my own.
Marie: What is your favorite fabric? Denim I guess.
Alana: Denim is my go-to. I do love denim, but I love ostrich fur, it’s more like an embellishment than a fabric.
Marie: What does True Urban Culture mean to you ?
Alana: Urban culture to me is a community of undeniably talented creatives. We are bringing a lot to the table, a lot of creativity, and a lot of new things. I am feeling it is very powerful, what is going on. I am very excited to see where everybody is going to go, where all of this is going to go…
For all things Alana, follow her here on Instagram
For booking inquiries, visit her website here
All Photos Courtesy of Alana Rae
Thank you so much for sharing a lil bit of your time with us. For those who would like to learn more about Alana and her brand, you will find all the links in the description box down below.