303 Style Profile is an ongoing series highlighting unique locals and their incredible style and stories. Go here to see past profiles.
Rae Ridings Scott is a Denver native who intertwines her love for fashion through various mediums to express her passions in life. Although she graduated with a degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations, Scott never truly envisioned herself in this industry.
“I feel like I’ve had three different careers already. When I started working in graphic design, I then moved into design management, which turned into becoming a marketing director. The 9-to-5 lifestyle got pretty exhausting and I quit two years ago. I sort of fell into photography to make money while I figured out what to do next. Now, I have a full-time photography job with my own private studio,” she explained.
Photography is just one of the ways Scott channels her inspiration. Travel has also been a major influence on how Scott finds inspiration in her own style. “A lot of my clothes have been bought overseas and I obsessively take photos of the local fashion wherever I go. My style is influenced by many places — Colorado, Italy, France, coastal California, Oregon, South America, Australia, Japan and New York. I’m all over the place,” Scott said.
303 Magazine: When did you first discover a love for fashion?
Rae Ridings Scott: When I was in kindergarten, I think. My mom encouraged me to dress myself from an early age. It took some coaching on her end. I kept showing up to school in a Peter Pan costume until they told my mom I couldn’t wear it anymore.
When I was in middle school, my single favorite day of the year was when I got to go shopping for “school clothes,” which were basically the clothes I wore for the entire year.
When I was in high school, I got my first job literally so I could buy clothes and decorate my room. I wanted to work for a fashion magazine. I would spend my Sunday evenings in my bedroom planning out my outfits for the week, and then I’d hang them on hooks on my wall. Looking back, I treated them like art. Clothing and books were my first two loves in life.303: Does your love for photography intertwine with your love for fashion? In what ways?
RS: Sure, my eye for both is the same. My photography is clean, intentional and minimal, which is exactly how I’d describe my sense of style. I don’t often photograph fashion-leaning subjects, but if I did, it would be for fashion companies I believe in. My dream would be to work with ethical brands. I feel like my photography aesthetic would work well in that world.
303: How are you able to express yourself through fashion?
RS: I’m a very creative and expressive person in every faculty, so it comes naturally to me in the fashion realm. When you look at my style, you’ll get this paired down version of who I am as a person. I’m both classic and modern. I’m weird and straight-laced. I love both minimalism and texture. I’m intentional, but I also don’t need to constantly fuss over things. I love travel and diversity. All those things are visible in my style.
I am also beginning to advocate for body positivity a bit these days — I think that shows in what I wear more and more. “Body positivity” is something that has started to become a buzzword, but the movement has changed my life. I struggled with my body’s shape for most of my adolescent and adult life and held back on things I’d wear because of it. I used to experience symptoms of body dysmorphia and felt I had to wear clothing that would hide certain parts of me from the world. The comical part is that this happened before I ever gained weight, and in the past few years I went up several sizes.
The experience of gaining weight and finding the body positive movement actually liberated my mind and helped me realize how cruel I was to myself for so long. It helped me see myself as I really am and to release some shame around that. Now I dress however I want to. I work really hard on not worrying about what’s “flattering” on my body and embrace a sense of joy around who I am and what I wear.303: How would you describe your personal style?
RS: Minimal but with an edge. I’m a person of duality and balance, so I am often found wearing something clean, loose and minimalist paired with an edgy accessory or shoe. I’m obsessed with texture and how to use it in clothing. Anything with abnormal cuts, odd details and good construction, I love. I’m not afraid of color but I’m intentional about it. I love classic prints and patterns. Some days I look like I belong on a beach in Malibu, some days I look like I walked out of Rick Owen’s studio.
303: What is a favorite go-to piece of yours to wear for the summer? Why?
RS: A vintage t-shirt. I’m an avid vintage tee collector and in the summer I wear jeans, Birkenstocks and buttery soft vintage shirts. I love finding old Colorado shirts, Bronco’s shirts and Harley Motorcycle shirts.
303: Where do you see yourself in the next five to 10 years?
RS: I hope to have launched my own label — it will involve clothing and some other things. It’s still under wraps a bit, as it’s a slow process to be self-employed and open a second business. I’d love to write a book as well. I think I’ll probably have a couple of ridiculously stylish children too. More traveled, more experienced and more in love with life than ever.
All photography by Bridget Burnett.