Friday, November 14, 2014

FASHION FEATURE: Creative Convo with Demestiks New York's, Ruben Reuel

Impeccable styling. Inspirational designs.

Reuben Reuel of Demestiks NewYork is the center of this month's #CertifiedCOOL Creative Convo. The setting was Cecconi's Miami Beach, one day after presenting his collection at the Guinness World Record Breaking 24 Hour Cotton Fashion Show. COOL Creative Curator and Creative Director, Johanne Wilson, had a creative conversation with Reuben Reuel over Sunday brunch. She learned more about the designer's background, design philosophy and business operation.  

The humble Bedstuy, Brooklyn based designer cuts his pieces made to order from his  gorgeous New York basement studio and ships them all over the world. Although a small operation, with only 3 seamstresses and a production assistant, Reuel's pieces are coveted by some of the most influential celebrities, bloggers and fashion editors across the globe. Beyonce recently posted pics of herself wearing Reuel’s clothing line, Demestiks New York, on her Instagram feed. “I’m still Reuben” responds Reuel when asked about the exposure from Beyonce.

Beyonce posted herself in Demestiks on instagram
The Virginia beach native began his fashion studies at Virginia Beach Tech Center where he learned the majority of his fashion and design skills. Reuel continued studying at Norfolk State University and then transferred to New York Institute of Fashion and Technology to further his education. Reuel moved on to work for a bedding company prior to starting his own line, Demestiks New York. After being fired, business took off. Bloggers and fashionistas have widely sought out his Ankara wax African print clothing through his e-commerce shop on etsy.

Ruben is very hands on with his business, traveling to Holland to understand the prints and fabric used in his line of classic silhouettes. His design philosophy is not to reinvent the wheel in his designs. Using stock styles and simply changing the fabric works well for him. “I know the basics so I build my designs from that”, he says.

Reuel’s early influences come from church. “God is a major influence”, says Reuel, “the bible is simple, design and fashion is simple to me, I’m simple”. Ruben grew up in the church. Both of his parents were children of pastors.  He would later pull from that influence when he began to freelance and make church clothes for women.  

"My collection is like a puzzle.”

He figured out that his pattern book from his training days had all the puzzle pieces for his designs.  He just had to mix, match and reconfigure the basic parts to make his own creation. He believes that clothes are for going to and from work, church and going out. Clothes should be interchangeable. 

The consistent message of “live to create and create to live” can be seen throughout his work ethic and production methods. He works hard because he knows what it is to not work. Freelancing became his salvation. Reuel’s sentimental connection with his work makes his pieces all the more desirable. He has no interest in producing wholesale garments.

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“I like that people get something directly from me, I don’t want to water it down, I like oneness with the designer, it’s a gift from me to you”

Although known widely for his African prints which he describes as African style elevated, we can look forward to more unisex designs using color schemes from NYC with black, white, neutral and army green palettes. He describes the future as the way it looks today, and how the future is now. Designing and sewing American made garments are important for Reuel.  He strongly supports Domestic commerce and the NYC garment district. 

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Reuben concluded the conversation with a cool thought.
"If people are mad at you for doing what you do that's their problem.”

Reuben’s pieces can be found on his online store. 
Tag us on Instagram at @CoolCreativeinc with you in your Demestiks New York pieces.
We look forward to his new work set to release some time next year.

By: Steven Francois

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