INTERVIEW: RUTHIE DAVIS
When we got the ‘Yes, she’ll do the interview’ we almost fell over! There’s nothing more heart warming then having a designer go out of their way to help you with your dreams.
Interviewing the fabulous Ruthie Davis is definitely a milestone in our ‘blogging’ career so far. Starting her brand in 2006 after working for the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, she has come a long way since then and now Beyonce is wearing her designs.
Ruthie is an inspiration to all, and doing this interview brought us back to what we really love about fashion, the way it can make you feel, it’s power to change your mood and lift you when nothing else can, retail therapy is no myth and how it gives you something to cling to, to live for. Ruthie has reinforced that dream of ours and I hope you feel it too.
Without further delay here is the awaited interview.
Q) How would you describe the ‘girl/woman’ who wears your shoes?
The “Ruthie Davis Girl” is modern, youthful, and chic. She is confident and proud and when she walks into a room, she isn’t afraid to own it.
Q) What inspired you to delve in to the fashion scene and create your own designer shoe label?
I always tell a story about how when I was a little girl, my mother took me to buy my first pair of new shoes. I’ll never forget that they were little patent leather mary-janes and I refused to take them off all day long and even wore them to bed that night. That’s where my love affair with shoes began. And it never ended. My first job designing shoes was at Reebok and that’s where they used to call me the “Cool Hunter” because I was obsessed with finding out and creating what’s new, pushing the limits and innovating. Now, with my own collection, I get to do this everyday and I am living my dream.
Q) New York is home to fashion, have you always lived in New York and how does that influence your business?
I lived in Boston while working at Reebok and then in Santa Barbara California while I was Vice President of Design and Marketing for Ugg Australia, which I loved. There’s a very strong LA vibe in my design aesthetic. I love living in New York City now because you are at the center of all things fashion. Just looking at the girls on the street inspires me.
Q) Where do you get your inspiration from for your collections?
I live and work in the West Chelsea gallery district of New York City and I’m constantly inspired by my surroundings. I love the architecture, the nature of the High Line, the art in the galleries I pass everyday… and of course all those stylish New Yorker City girls. I’m also always inspired by my muse: a James Bond type heroine who is proud sexy and fierce.
Q) You have had some major accomplishments what motivates and pushes you to keep going?
I truly enjoy what I do… honestly. So, keeping myself going is never truly a problem. But, I must say, I love seeing my shoes on Ruthie-Girls… Whether it’s Lady Gaga, Beyonce, or a cool girl on the street… It’s an absolute honor and a total thrill. In addition, I love working with my team to bring the Ruthie Davis shoes to life. They motivate me everyday with their positive energy and passion.
Q) You have dressed some big names such as Beyoncé, Kendall Jenner, Lady Gaga and the list goes on, is there ever moments where you have to take a step in amazement, how does it feel seeing your work publicized in that manner?
Oh yeah. I’m in total awe and amazement every time I see my shoes in the media or on a celebrity. It’s always a pinch-myself sort of moment.
Q) Speaking of accomplishments, what has been the biggest highlight of your career so far? This year, I was named “Footwear Designer of the Year 2014” by the American Apparel and Footwear Association, one of Goldman Sachs’ “100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs”, and one of Footwear News’ “20 Design Stars”… It’s been one heck of a year…
Q) You have also made various TV Appearances, is that an area you wish to go in to more, could we ever expect a show dedicated to Ruthie Davis and her shoes?
Absolutely, I love doing television appearances. They’re so much fun… and, yes, you never know when you might see a Ruthie Davis show… wink-wink.
Q) You act as a mentor and guest lecture at MIT as well as promote hard work and perseverance to make your dreams come true, what advice would you give to others that are trying to break in to the fashion world?
I would tell anyone looking to break into the fashion industry that, for me, working first at a larger company was the best way to cut my teeth and learn every area of this business. Take your time and learn as much as you can on someone else’s dime. Go out on your own when you feel totally ready. In addition, I always tell people that I spend 10% of my time designing and 90% running a business. It’s important to acquire and develop skills and understanding in the “Business” of fashion.
Q) A big congratulations is in order on being awarded this year as ‘Footwear Designer of the Year’ by American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) which will be held this year at the American Image Awards Gala, benefiting the Special Olympics, what a prestigious award, how does that feel?
It feels absolutely amazing to be recognized by AAFA and to benefit an organization as wonderful as the Special Olympics. I am beyond honored. But like I said in my acceptance speech, “the truly deserving recipient of this award is an exceptional team who’s labor of love brings the Ruthie Davis brand to life.”
Q) What will be next for Ruthie Davis, will there be a store coming to Australia anytime soon?
The sky is the limit… I wouldn’t rule anything out at this point. But, the one thing I can always promise is to keep the surprises coming. Buckle up, 2014 is going to be the best year yet! That, I’m sure of.
Ruthie is known for her cutting edge designs, with architectural shapes and lavish mixes of materials, the brand is sold in the top retail establishments such as Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Amazon and many more including her online store.
A huge thank you goes out to Ruthie for accepting to do this interview and for being an absolute star, as well as for creating designs we can dream over and over.
We also want to take this moment to thank our dear friend Betty Samis, for making this interview happen.