Born in Berkshire, England, Ratcliffe studied painting and printmaking at Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, London. There she developed a facility for incorporating illustration into graphics through poster design. Her early editorial work for Dazed & Confused in the early 2000s was marked for its hand-drawn aesthetic, which stood in contrast to that of many of her peers, and their over-reliance on the new Photoshop and Illustrator tools of the period. Commissions for fashion publications such as Visionaire, V and Vogue Nippon followed, and particularly for UK Vogue, to which she remains a regular contributor. These helped Ratcliffe build up strong relationships with
photographers such as Inez & Vinoodh and Richard Kern, and also led to projects for a range of commercial clients in the industry, including Levi’s, Edun, Uniqlo, Stussy, Topshop, Möet Chandon and H&M. This work can be extremely diverse in form. In 2010, Ratcliffe designed various identities for Morgans Hotel Group, as well as icons for its iPad App in 2011, while in same year she was commissioned to make an illustrated tear-up-and-keep tablecloth for a private dinner staged by Louis Vuitton. Her work for the music industry meanwhile includes Sony’s advertising campaign of 20XX, the poster for the South by Southwest festival annually, and in 2010, the cover design and tour imagery for Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream album.
Over the past three years, the shift towards digital and motion imagery in fashion has positioned Ratcliffe at the centre of the most exciting innovations in global media. Currently based in London, she has been working on a burgeoning portfolio of animations and digital projects for fashion’s most prestigious houses. Following a film collaboration with Inez & Vinoodh and Kate Moss for Balmain in 2011, Ratcliffe was chosen to direct the ident announcing the re-launch of the LVMH house of Kenzo; part of a print and animation package reflecting the company's younger positioning. “Kenzonique's” colourful montage, featuring Ratcliffe’s signature “walking woman” motif, captured the imagination of the advertising community and earned the short’s inclusion in the Business of Fashion’s Top Ten Fashion Films of the Season.
The trailer's success has led to further work for LVMH – most recently, “New Now”, a Noirish animé centred on the belts from Louis Vuitton’s S/S ’12 menswear collection.