By HAZEL REID.
What is the inspiration behind Rotten Ruby?
Rotten Ruby is a lifestyle brand, inspired by pin-up girls and old school Kustom Kulture. Yes, we are a streetwear label, but we are more than that. The heart and soul of Rotten Ruby are the followers, fans and friends. The inspiration is ’50s diner culture, old-school rides, pin-up babes, vintage horror films, rockabilly music and good times. If we were a food, we’d be an American hotdog and a cherry coke float!
How would you describe your personal style?
I live on the line between rockabilly sweetheart and low-brow edge, with a touch of ghetto-fabulous! My daily is usually a ripped skinny jean with Chuck Taylors or a leopard print flat, a Rotten Ruby tee and plenty of eyeliner. I admire the modern pin-up dolls who dress in full vintage or pin-up every day, but for me, it’s just not practical. Rotten Ruby is about taking the spirit of that world and putting it into streetwear that looks great on everyone!
What are your best fashion tips?
1. 100% of the time I will always tell you to ‘do you’! The heart of Kustom Kulture is taking something and making it your own. A blue jean is just a blue jean until you add a cute singlet, jacket, the right shoe, belt and headscarf. It comes down to styling in the end, and once you begin to develop your personal style, you will be able to create looks that are uniquely you.
2. If in doubt, go basic and accessorise! When a wardrobe crisis strikes, take it back to what you know works. For some people it’s jeans, for others it’s tights or a favourite skirt. Throw on a shirt that you feel good in and then add shoes and a bag to complete the look. Basic colours that always work are black, grey, navy, white and red, so have plenty of those on hand and you’ll rock it!
3. Be brave! Confidence is everything.
What did you study to become a designer and what made you want to make this a career?
Straight out of school I studied film and television production. I then went traveling for six years, and now I’m working on a degree in psychological science, so my journey here has been a little unexpected. I started Rotten Ruby to create a collaborative space. I seek out artists that have the right style and collaborate with them to create designs for the label. I select the garments and manage the production, so that in the end we have something that is connected to art and design, and made for the people. It’s a great feeling.
What advice can you give to someone who wants to get into the industry?
Be your own champion! Set a goal and go for it. If you believe in yourself, others will too. A great idea is to approach a mentor in the industry. Track down an artist, designer or business legend that you admire and ask if you can be a part of what they do. Volunteering your time in exchange for new skills is the best way to learn. Experience is everything.
What other designers and blogs do you follow?
My inspiration comes from the pin-up world, so rather than following designers, I follow pin-up and burlesque girls, great bands and strong women who aren’t afraid to take risks. I have three fantastic brand ambassador ‘Dolls’ at Rotten Ruby: Miss Rose D’Luxe, Ella Fontaine and Miss Chloe. They are all very different, each with their own style, and they represent the Rotten Ruby spirit. You can read about them on www.rottenruby.com. I’ve always got my eye open for new Doll inspiration too, so get involved with the socials and join the fam!
What wardrobe items could you not live without?
Eyeliner, Chuck Taylors, Rotten Ruby tees, flannel shirts, perfume and hoop earrings.
Follow Rotten Ruby on Instagram and Facebook, and check back soon for our style guide on how to wear Rotten Ruby’s launch pieces.
Click here for a chance to win a Rotten Ruby prize pack!