Interview: Emily Ravelo of Rave by Em

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Developing a passion for art and dance as a child in the Dominican Republic, Emily Ravelo was a stand-out in her country. Upon moving to the United States (New York City), her style quickly became her expression and she navigated seamlessly in and out of vintage stores, boutiques, social circles and nightclubs; her look always being emulated.

Citing Kate Moss as one of her inspirations, Emily Ravelo marks her entrance into the world of fashion not with what one might expect.  Now refined and experienced, her style is preserved as cutting-edge, yet essential.  Comfort replaces maintenance while beauty and flow have become the hallmark of her design house.

Her long awaited planning and designing is finally taking the shape of something women will love.  WWL was able to sit down with the designer to learn more.

White cotton and linen tee shirt by ravebyem. Metallic camo jeans by Asos. Isabel Marant heels.


Tell us a little about yourself and your background:

Born in The Dominican Republic, I was raised alongside five brothers and sisters in a middle-class household.  As my mother would tell it, when I was born, the nurse took one look at my long thin fingers and indicated I’d be an artist. Drawing, painting and ceramics occupied my childhood and I grew up with a passion for art, dance and poetry. At the age of 13, my parents moved the family to the United States and settled in New York, language and culture were barriers so I began to express myself through the way I dressed.  I further expressed my love for fashion while going to trendy clubs in NYC and after college, my sister and I co-owned and managed a clothing boutique in Westport, CT.  While working there, women would come and seek fashion advice from me and I soon discovered that clothes do more than just cover up our bodies.  I decided to work part time as a Fashion Stylist using fashion to assist people and make a difference in their lives. I truly enjoy empowering women (and some men) with the self-confidence a new look and individual style bring.  A style, that’s all their own, adding key pieces to the wardrobe to create a cohesive look.

Describe the Rave by Em t-shirt line.  Who is your target customer?

I like the idea that you can play with clothes. We’ve been sucked into the idea that tees are only for the gym or running errands.  I like the idea that tees can become the focal point of an outfit so rave by Em is a line of tailored, unexpected and feminine tees.  These tees are unconventional tees with an edge so the rave by Em customer is just that — a woman who is not afraid to break convention.

What makes these t-shirt fashions different from other lines?

These tees are stand-alone, soft yet sculpted, with subtle details.  I believe you can’t have enough great white tees and these will give women new options and work all year round.

Have you always been interested in fashion?

Absolutely. I used to purchase cargo pants at vintage stores and rework them so they were one of a kind.


Tee shirt by Ravebyem. Vintage boy jeans by Levi's. Boots by Maison Martin Margiela 2015 collection.

Who/what are some of your main fashion and style influences?

Fashion and style influences include Kate Moss for being eclectic and Rihanna and Emma Stone for fearlessness.  The streets of NYC are awesome influences as well.

Where do you get your creative inspiration?

I get inspired from friends, collaborators pictures of things I like from my travels. I’m always moving forward and trying new things. I try to do as much as possible to keep me inspired and learn about new things. Vintage is another source of inspiration for me. I love to mix vintage and modern.

How would you describe your own style? What are you go-to picks when you want to look good but don’t have a lot of time for complicated ensembles? 

I live in NYC so I like to keep it casual and comfortable. Naturally, I’m a jeans and a t-shirt kind of girl but I always add a leather jacket.

Please follow @rave_by_em on Instagram.