4 months ago

INTERVIEW: Ariike Ruban Studio

We spoke to owner and designer of local fashion company, Ari, ahead of her first first fashion show in Brixton later this month.

Credit: @ariikerubanstudio

Tell us a bit about you and how you got to where you are now

I am Nigerian British. I was born in Nigeria. I came to study International Relations and Law in the UK, after which I settled here. Before founding Ariike Ruban Studio I was a barrister in London practising mainly in Employment and Regulatory Law. With 20 years legal practice under my belt, switching to a career in fashion was the last thing on my mind! But after surviving 2 cancers, my mind turned to my passion and decided to pursue a career in fashion. Besides a one year course in pattern cutting and fashion design, I am mostly self taught. I draw my creative inspirations from my mother, a dressmaker, and my grandmother, a trader of aso-oke, a hand woven fabric cloth traditionally designed by Yoruba people in Nigeria. I started the studio in 2019 when I started out with upcycled denim bags, aprons etc. I first realised there was a market for her upcycled denim aprons after I designed a select few, which I marketed online and were bought instantly.

We’d love to hear more about the upcycling part of your business…

Sustainability is central to my ethical production values. I design luxury pieces of clothing and accessories from organic materials that are already here: used materials, off cuts and remnants. Use of pre-worn organic materials and left over fabrics ensures that the environmental burden of producing new materials is reduced. This process also adds value through authenticity and personalisation. Each and every item created by Ariike Ruban Studio is unique, telling a story of its past, and its journey to the new finished item.

My clothes and accessories are innately sustainable, from the use of organic fabrics to the production process where everything is made in our studio in London using local artisans. And to avoid waste, everything is handmade and made to order.

What’s a piece you are particularly proud of?

My reworked Levi 501 jeans series are very popular. I am passionate about this design. Each is individually designed, disassembled; reassembled using various sourced organic materials and hand finished. These are limited edition because of the time and the resources required to finish each item.

Tell us about the event this February?

On 17th February we are having our first fashion show at Haus Store in Brixton from 5.30pm till 10.30pm. We will be showcasing our new collection of clothing and accessories for men and women. Sustainability is at the centre of this collection which comprise of reworked Levi pieces and hand dyed cotton fabrics and bags made from used denim and remnant leather pieces.

Those who buy from our new collection on 17th February will get a 20% discount on the new collection.

Details of all the Ariike Ruban Studio popup events and locations are updated on their Instagram page.

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