studioRUIG

studioRUIG 2014

Today I visited the actual studio of studioRUIG, over in Eindhoven. There I met the founders of this beautiful brand: Sophie Soons (27), Klaartje Glashorster (31) and Inge Hendriks (28). Three pretty, but very down to earth girls with a good sense of humour, who found out that their ideas were very similar and that they had the same vision. This resulted in a strong and unique brand, which Is already going strong for five years now.

 

The start

Sophie, Klaartje and Inge studied Fashion Design and were classmates at the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU). “So there you noticed that your styles went well together?” I ask them. Inge replies: “No not at all! We had three completely different collections. But when we graduated it appeared that we all wanted to start our own businesses and didn’t want to do it by ourselves. So we got together and right from the start, we were very much on the same wavelength. Designing together went very naturally, something we never knew we could.”

 

The brand

studioRUIG is mostly sophisticated chic with a little twist. It’s refined but also rough (“Ruig” is the Dutch word voor rough). Perfect silk dresses and jackets of rough, non-manipulated leather, mostly in colours you don’t expect. The three ladies have tried to figure out what story and what kind of person studioRUIG represents, but they could not decide. Maybe that is why their mood books come across quite mysterious to me. All the shoots kind of look like fairy tales, sometimes a little bit creepy. Which I think fits the clothes very well, because they have a kind of mysterious beauty too. Sophie tells me that they did not intentionally try to make it mysterious or creepy, but it just happens. The latest collection is already a lot brighter and "sweeter". Klaartje: "studioRUIG is what we love, we actually almost solely wear our own clothes. That is probably the story behind the brand: it's us."

Poelepetaat

 

Names of collections and pieces

Maybe you have noticed that the pieces and collections of studioRUIG all have funny and original names. I wondered how they came up with those names so I asked them. They all laughed: “the names just come up while we design and chatter all day. We even have a top “Taam” and sweater “Said”, named after the owners of Puha!” Me: “Aha. And where did “Poelepetaat”, the name of your previous collection come from?” Inge: “A Poelepetaat is a kind of turkey, a very weird looking one.”

 

Office hours

So when do the ladies work? Klaartje explains: “In the beginning we could work all night to finish something, but at some moment we decided to just work five days a week, mostly from nine to seven. This way we can make sure that we still have our lives besides studioRUIG. We also work with interns and we want to provide them normal workdays.” Me: “What kind of work do your interns do?” Sophie: “It depends on what they study and on the personality of the intern. Right now we have an intern who can sew very precise, so we let her make all the prototypes and sew the things that still have to go by hand, like the leather shawls.”

studioRUIG 2014

 

Future plans

Sophie: “We are trying to go outside the borders more and for example get into the Scandinavian countries. This is something that will take a while so the coming years we will be busy with that. And after that, we’ll see what’s next.” So what about the men's collection? Because studioRUIG has one since spring/summer 2013. Sophie: “The men’s collection is still pretty small, but is growing a bit this season. It’s hard to make it as popular as the women’s collection, because most of the stores that sell studioRUIG, only sell women’s clothing. Another problem is that our clothes often look a bit too daring to men, but we noticed that once they put it on, they actually like it and come back. The men’s line in our coming collection already has some safer colours so we’ll see what happens this season!” At Puha you can find the collection for men and women!

 

Interview: Carmen Kloosterhuis