Geometric elegance make sporty cuts from new London-based fashion label, Ruyi, the latest addition to the realm of sport chic.
Growing up my mother would often say, “pain is beauty and beauty is pain” as tight fitted, high waisted cuts flooded shop windows and heels were synonymous with looking sharp. Thankfully beauty and elegance have been redefined by a comfort seeking generation, addicted to comfy statement shoes, stretchy pants…and crop tops? It’s a bizarre mix but very true. As strong becomes the new skinny and conversations about food revolve more around what is good for your insides than what is good for your outsides, health becomes equivocal to everyday life, and designers reflect the needs of the healthy and active. With health leading our decision making, comfortable and versatile clothes become essential.
Abolabi (Abi) Imasekha, creative director and founder of Ruyi designed an effortlessly cool and collected collection with sea blues, pebble greys, marble pattern whites and a seashore beige. Ruyi’s debut collection of sophisticated loungewear represents the multifaceted and consistently on the go modern woman, who can buy her cake and eat it too.
Sheer inserts on some pieces add a day to evening flair. With crop top turtlenecks to keep the sore throats at bay and accentuate the figure, and draping wide strapped tank tops for bloated days, it’s safe to say the collection is truly complete with all your hearts desires.
The name Ruyi sat on the lips of Abi for about three years- it means as your heart desires- but only after taking a course at Central Saint Martins did she know exactly what she wanted to do with it. In 2015 she started creating and about a year later the brand was born. We talk to the creative entrepreneur about her inspirations and aspirations.
What was the inspiration for your most recent collection?
Collection I, is the beginning of our journey of expression. It is inspired by elements of modern design, architecture and nature, which to us symbolize and inspire a sense of peace and harmony. To give some specific references: Oslo Opera House, Okurayama Apartments by ACT Copenhagen, the movement of waves by the Bondi Baths in Australia and natural materials of design such as marble. Our desire is to create a luxe active ready-to-wear line that could suit everyday needs, including physical activity. We are also focusing on aesthetic beauty and quality – in this way each piece evokes a sense of peace and calm in form, fit and fabrication.
Where do you find inspiration?
Travelling, Nature, Beautiful Words, Beautiful People, Music, Good Conversations, Architecture, Design and established fashion brands – I try to stay in a state of constant inspiration.
When and why did you decide to launch your own line?
It is quite difficult to pinpoint. I have had the name RUYI since 2012; I did not know that it would result in having my own line. I also didn’t know the significance of the name. It was only in 2013 that the idea began to form, as I undertook a fashion styling course at Central Saint Martins. I was heavily inspired by my teacher who was previously a creative director at Balmain at such a young age, and also by the other students who had already developed their own person aesthetic, visual identity and personal style. This was an extremely authentic, engaging and expressive element of fashion and luxury. I was also looking into interior design and lifestyle consultancy, and after brief stints working at JOSEPH and MACTHESFASHION.COM, I felt like I was missing out in terms of expressing my self. So in March 2015 I started to sketch ideas, looking for manufacturers and supplier, and about a year later – I now have the first collection ready.
Has your culture or background played a role in your business decisions, if so how?
My background has been instrumental – coming from a family of individuals that are equally business minded as well as creative has really helped me. One the one hand, I am able to commit, plan and be organized which I get from my Dad and then on the other hand, being resourceful, flexible and quick thinking I get from my Mum. So I am consistently trying to maintain this balance by combining these elements.
What are some of your favourite fashion designers right now?
I love Ellery, 1205, Charlie May, Josep Pont for Delpozo, Giambastista Valli for his line and for Moncler Gamme Rouge.
Would you like to ever collaborate? If so, who with?
Yes, I would love to collaborate with Giambattista Valli and do a couture inspired active ready-to-wear collection.
What would you say has been the most exciting moment?
The most exciting part is definitely watching something come to life, connecting with inspirational people in the field and having a vision about a capacity for growth and the infinity of possibilities and potentials.
They have an event coming up, click here to find out more.
Living in or planning a trip to London? Click here to see Abi’s favourite places to eat, drink and play in her hometown, London.