Fashion captivated Ray from a very early age. She drew her first paper doll by the time she was three and continued making them for the next 15 years. They grew in both sophistication and detail and were often accompanied by intricate wardrobes.
In 1933, Ray earned a degree in fashion design from the Bennett School for Girls in Millbrook, New York. She continued to make related sketches and drawings throughout her life.
This early hands-on experience with fashion contributed to the Eameses’ later work—not only as an exemplar of their iterative process, but also more literally. She created textiles, clothing for herself and Charles, as well as uniforms for staff members of IBM’s Pavilion during the 1964 New York World’s Fair.