Hey, I Like Your Style! Model and ceramicist Raenee Sydney on how working in retail influenced her approach to fashion


“I think that 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! diving into the fashion psyche of our favourite creatives. We’re talking the good, the bad and the 2007.

While the internet has made our fashion icons feel closer than ever before, even the most effortless of outfits came from a closet with some (well-dressed) skeletons. Clickable product tags, photo archives and lives chronicled in 30-second clips just don’t tell the full story.

For more fashion news, shoots, articles and features, head to our Fashion section.

These are the stories behind the wardrobes, exploring how we develop our own personal style. There’s a brilliance behind the way we choose to express ourselves and at FJ, we know 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 ceramicist whose style we’ve long admired. Equal parts laidback and eclectic, she blends bold patterns and prints with excellently chosen footwear and accessories. Read on for her style journey.

Who are you and what do you like to wear? 

Hello! My name is Raenee and I’m a ceramicist and model, and I love to wear pants.

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

I’d like to think that my style has never really changed over the years. The only difference would be that now that I do ceramics and ride a bike, I wear less skirts and dresses and definitely own more pants. I’ve always worked in retail/fashion (up until March this year), which has been a major influence in how I dress and interact with clothes.

I was interning at Russh when I was at uni, so that definitely gave me an early insight into fashion and ‘trends.’ When I was working at Ellery, I would be a bit more dressy with my outfits, but that was mainly due to the environment.

Whereas my time at Supply saw me dressing slightly more ‘boyish’ with sneakers and T-shirts. However, I’ve thankfully always been confident in what I wore as I never really cared about what people thought. In the end, it’s just clothes and style is subjective!

Personal style is a journey. Have you ever felt like you needed to fit into a particular fashion box?

Fortunately, not really. I think my time at both stores (which feel like complete opposites), helped broaden my wardrobe and allowed me to become more versatile with the way I dressed.

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

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

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

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

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

Most expensive [is] a Louis Vuitton bag with its matching strap (which hardly sees the light of day now), and least expensive [is] a white cotton dress that I bought from an op shop in Paris for one euro.

What is the most meaningful fashion piece you own? 

I have this mid-calf, square-neck, maroon velvet dress which my mom has had since she was 20, and is mine now. It’s so beautiful and fits like a glove, but I have never worn it as I can’t seem to find the right occasion for it. It’s very sexy Cameron Diaz in The Mask vibe!

What’s in your cart at the moment?

New underwear! My underwear drawer is looking pretty grim and definitely needs a makeover.

What fashion piece are you saving for right now? 

Can’t think of any particular piece in general. But I do really love the Allie Bag by The Row. It’s big enough to fit all the essentials (water bottle, keys, bike lock, headphones), whilst still looking good. But I’ll never commit because that price is just a little silly (however, one can dream!).

What are the wardrobe items you wear on repeat?

I have these Fucking Awesome camo pants that I wear constantly. They have different country military men in their respective camo as the print on there, so it’s kind of like camo on camo. I also have these Skepta x Nike shoes that are white but have different coloured ticks, so they look like two separate shoes.

They’re so comfy which makes them hard not to wear. Other than that, I never take my jewellery off (even in the shower). So every time you see me, I’ll always be in the same earrings, necklaces and rings.

Who are your favourite local designers?

I feel pretty grateful to be surrounded by a lot of friends who are doing wonderful things. Brands like Emsah, Worldwind Worldwide, P.A.M., Emily WatsonMass.tv (who is Australian but now lives in London) are a few of my favourites.

See more of Raenee’s killer looks here.

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