Model Raenee Sydney explains how fashion retail influenced her style



“I think trying to fit into a box is too linear and ends up making everyone look the same.”

We know personal style is a journey (I’m looking at you, Tumblr years), so we’ve introduced a new series Hey, I Like Your Style! delve into the fashion psyche of our favorite designers. We are talking about the good, the bad and the 2007.

While the Internet has made our fashion icons feeling closer than ever, even the simplest outfits came from a closet with (well dressed) skeletons. Clickable product labels, photo archives and the lives told in 30-second clips just don’t tell the whole story.

For more fashion news, shoots, articles and reports, visit our Fashion section.

These are the stories behind wardrobes, exploring how we develop our own personal style. There is genius in the way we choose to express ourselves and at FJ we know that every outfit has a story.

This week, we dive into Raenee Sydney’s enviable wardrobe. Raenee, or @itsrainybaby_ on Instagram, is an Australian model and ceramist whose style we have admired for a long time. Both casual and eclectic, she mixes bold patterns and prints with perfectly chosen shoes and accessories. Read on for her style journey.

Who are you and what do you like to wear?

Hi! My name is Raenee and I’m a ceramicist and a model, and I love wearing pants.

What does your style evolution look like? Do you feel like you’ve gained confidence in the way you dress?

I like to think that my style has never really changed over the years. The only difference would be that now that I’m doing ceramics and riding my bike, I wear less skirts and dresses and definitely own more pants. I have always worked in retail / fashion (until March of this year) which had a major influence on the way I dress and interact with clothing.

I was an intern at Rush when I was in college which definitely gave me some insight into fashion and ‘trends’. When I worked at Ellery, I was a little more dressed with my outfits, but it was mostly because of the environment.

While my time at Supply saw me dress a little more “boyish” with sneakers and T-shirts. However, luckily I was always confident in what I was wearing as I never really cared what people thought. In the end, these are just clothes and the style is subjective!

Personal style is a journey. Have you ever felt the need to fit into a particular fashion company?

Fortunately, not really. I think my time in the two stores (which I think are completely opposite) helped me expand my wardrobe and allowed me to become more versatile with the way I dressed.

There were definitely times when I felt badly dressed – that is, maybe I shouldn’t have worn sneakers, but other than that I’m pretty confident in myself. I think trying to fit into a box is too linear and ends up making everyone look the same.

Take us back to those tough teenage years. Do you have any fashion regrets?

I always shopped in op stores because I didn’t have a job when I was in school, so I think my style was very influenced by what I could find. It might have been a bit experimental at times, but it was generally always safe.

However, I have this vivid memory of my 14th birthday party wearing sparkly silver leggings and a neon pink headband, pink elastics in my suspenders and neon pink Raben slip-ons. Not necessarily a regret, but certainly a very interesting choice.

What are the most expensive and cheapest items in your wardrobe?

Very expensive [is] a Louis Vuitton bag with its matching shoulder strap (which barely sees the light of day now), and the cheapest [is] a white cotton dress that I bought in an op store in Paris for one euro.

What’s the most significant fashion piece you own?

I have this mid-calf square neck burgundy velvet dress that my mom has been wearing since I was 20 and is mine now. It is so beautiful and fits me like a glove, but I have never worn it because I can’t seem to find the right occasion for it. This is very sexy Cameron Diaz in The mask atmosphere!

What’s in your cart right now?

New underwear! My underwear drawer looks pretty dark and definitely needs a makeover.

What fashion item are you saving for right now?

I can’t think of a particular room in general. But I really like the The Row Allie Bag. It’s big enough to hold all the essentials (water bottle, keys, bike lock, headphones), while still looking good. But I will never commit because this price is just a little silly (however, one can dream!).

What wardrobe items do you wear on a loop?

i have these Awesome fucking camo pants that I wear constantly. They have different country military men in their respective camouflage as printed there, so it’s kind of like camouflage on camouflage. I also have these Skepta x Nike white shoes but with different colored ticks, so they look like two separate shoes.

They are so comfortable that it is difficult not to wear them. Other than that, I never take my jewelry off (even in the shower). So every time you see me, I will always be in the same earrings, necklaces, and rings.

Who are your favorite local designers?

I feel quite grateful to be surrounded by a lot of friends who are doing wonderful things. Brands like Emsah, Worldwind Worldwide, PAM, Emily Watson, (who is Australian but now lives in London) are some of my favorites.

See more killer looks from Raenee here.

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