If you asked Rachel Marie Hurst a year ago if she would be showing at New York Fashion Week, she wouldn’t have believed you. But that’s not to say she never dreamed about it. The Denver designer has worked diligently on her craft for years, making a name for herself locally, but never experiencing that breakthrough moment so many designers yearn for. Then, in January, Hurst received a career-changing call.
Hurst, whose brand is called Fashion House of Rae Marie, was one of four regional designers chosen by Diet Pepsi to showcase three outfits at New York Fashion Week’s kick-off event, ‘Style Studio’ fashion show presented by Simon Doonan. The other designers included Genoveva Christoff from Columbus, OH, Elise Bergman from Chicago, IL and Shirin Askari from Dallas, TX. Each designer portrayed their hometown perspective with Doonan (Barney’s Creative Ambassador-at-Large) serving as a mentor.
New York Fashion Week wrapped up last week, but Hurst’s dreams did not end at that stroke of midnight. She has returned home, but is more focused on fashion than ever. She took the time to answer some of 303’s questions about her experience, who made her starstruck and what’s next for the Fashion House of Rae Marie.
303: You were selected by Diet Pepsi to showcase three outfits during New York Fashion Week. How did it feel to be chosen out of hundreds around the country?
RH: This opportunity was so surreal. It was such a dream come true! If you had asked me at the beginning of January if I thought I would be showing pieces at New York Fashion Week this year, I would have laughed and said only in my dreams! But, it was such a humbling learning experience. I feel so blessed and so excited!
303: Once you arrived in New York, what was your schedule like?
RH: It was a little crazy since I still had some sewing to finish. All four of the Style Studio Fashion Show participants flew into New York on Tuesday night. We had fittings all day Wednesday with models from Wilhelmina New York. The models were stunning. On Thursday, we had dress rehearsal, hair and make-up and then the show was at 8pm sharp. Following the show, we had interviews. We also met Christian Cota on Thursday. Friday we had more interviews. Saturday we attended Christian Cota’s show. It was crazy, but so amazing!