The self-taught designers behind Rave Babe Attire are selling out their furry tops and neon separates for the likes of Nocturnal Wonderland, the Electronic Daisy Festival and Coachella.
“That’s one thing I try to remind myself — we’re not professionals in this,” says Jennifer Salazar, the 23-year-old founder behind Rave Babe Attire. “We’re learning as we’re going.”
Salazar and her boyfriend Joshua Onorato are the self-taught designers behind Rave Babe, a self-proclaimed “tiny business” that specializes in clothing for raves and festivals like Southern California’s upcoming electronic music bonanza Nocturnal Wonderland, the psych-rock oriented Desert Daze, the Halloween-themed Escape Psycho Circus and, naturally, Coachella. The duo hand-stitch fluffy bras, crop tops with matching bottoms, fuzzy jackets, bandanas and more.
It all started back in January when Salazar turned to the internet to find a fluffy bra to wear while at Excision’s 2019 Apex Tour, an EDM festival in Las Vegas. But she couldn’t find one that appealed to her online. So she headed downtown, bought the necessary fabrics and made her own. She didn’t have much sewing experience, but she had watched her grandma sew and make clothing growing up and discovered it was almost instinctual for her. She shared the photo of the final product on social media and messages started rolling in asking her to sell them.
“Free” is a word that Rave Babe Attire designer Jennifer Salazar often uses when talking about what festivals mean to her.
Soon after, Salazar and Onorato began selling her fluffy bras under the Rave Babe banner. In the nine months since the two have sold hundreds of outfits and their business accounts on Instagram and Twitter have amassed roughly 10,000 followers each. Their clothes are flashy, often featuring bright colors and patterns. Some shimmer, others glow in the dark. And in line with rave attire, the outfits allow women to show off however much skin they’d like, with fluffy jackets allowing them to cover up as well.
“The very first outfit was horrible,” Salazar says. “Making the templates was the hardest part because every body is different. But after some research, we got it down perfectly.”
Salazar and Onorato recently restocked a mushroom-patterned fabric, purchasing enough to make 60 outfits, or 120 pieces, all made-to-order. Within a few hours, everything had sold out.
“During EDC I saw a couple girls wearing my stuff,” Salazar says, “and it’s just so crazy. I’m like, damn I made that. And especially for EDC, which is such a huge event and people take their outfits so serious. Like they’ll do a lot for their outfits. It’s like damn, they actually chose me. Because I had some girls wear my stuff all three days and it’s just … it’s insane.”
Salazar has been attending music festivals for three years. She was quickly hooked, she says, by watching people ‘live their lives to the fullest.’ “Free” is a word Salazar uses often when talking about what festivals mean to her.
“It’s just, you just feel like nobody’s watching, in a way,” she says. “You’re just able to be okay with yourself. With my festival clothes, before I felt like I was starting to go more covered up. That’s why I started making the jackets because I didn’t want to show off too much. And from there my confidence did grow. Now I just put on whatever and we’ll just leave.”
To make the Rave Babe outfits, Salazar and Onorato visit the Fashion District in downtown every day. They wake up around 8 a.m., get the materials they need and get to work. Sometimes one of them will leave for work in the afternoon or evening, and the other will continue working into the night. Or they’ll both come home from work and get back to cutting fabric.
“Normally, I would be at a brewery somewhere but now I’m at home having a beer, cutting,” Onorato says. “It’s not just work. We actually feel passionate about what we do. It brings happiness, it’s a little good stress reliever and the fact that we can contribute to these girls’ experiences — girls and guys — it makes it worthwhile.”