Rauner moved into footwear design shortly after completing her studies in illustration at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. She started working at Converse as an intern over a decade ago, and worked her way up. “I leveraged my graphics and illustration background to work on print and pattern design for Chuck Taylors,” she explained.
She has since designed limited-edition collections of Converse with global fashion brands and designers including Virgil Abloh and British fashion label JW Anderson.
But her career highlight so far has been working with American rapper Tyler the Creator. “He’s a multidisciplinary artistic force who’s extended his music, message and visual output into his personal style and product offering,” she said.
Rauner lists curiosity, passion and flexibility as some of the most useful skills and qualities to have working on the design team at Converse. “I love to see portfolios where a design solve can feel novel and a bit wacky, but also shows that the candidate can follow the pulse of youth movements.”
Her number one tip is to show a brand you have a passion for them and what they do.
“I made a special body of work just for Converse in addition to my internship portfolio,” she recalled. “It was a series of drawings about how my year had gone, it wasn’t about shoes.”
“Show the team that you want to be at their brand, not just in the industry.”