Enter into Ruxandra Shop: interview with the designer 

I stumbled over one beautiful coat of Ruxandra Gheorghe in one of my Instagram scrolling session 🙂 and I was just amazed by the colours and the cuts. Then, I heard my friend Noemi Meilman talking about a designer that makes her own natural colours from plants and leafs and dyeing herself her own fabrics. Of course she made me very curious. Finally I entered the page of Ruxandra Shop and I lost myself into the numerous beautiful fashion items and I have discovered the sustainable philosophy of the brand. Of course I had to meet the designer!

And, over a coffee and some nice shots in her atelier (thank you so much, Ion – @jononespo!) I have discovered a warm and delicate Ruxandra and I tried on some of her designs, while we talked about life in Paris and fashion today. I just loooved the enormous books in which Ruxandra is keeping the samples of dyeing trials, pieces of fabrics that are carrying a specific nuance of a leaf, plus (I have never seen a mood book so organised before, I was jealous, I can tell you!) the perfect recipe to obtain that specific colour. Meet Ruxandra Gheorghe and her beautiful brand. 

P.S.: Noemi, the pet accessories are online and they are just supercute! 

About natural dyeing method for Ruxandra fabrics – read more here – https://www.ruxandra-shop.com/pages/natural-dyeing.
For up-cycling old pieces into new ones – https://www.ruxandra-shop.com/products/the-art-of-upcycling
Ruxandra and her designs on – https://www.ruxandra-shop.com and @ruxandraofficiel.

Your first fashion crush story was related to…

My mother. You might be tempted to say it is a cliché, but there is nothing cliché about my mother. Her personality matches her fashion sense in a unique way, creating a charismatic presence and an unforgettable one.

When and how the brand has started? Do you remember the first item sold? (which one was and to whom?) 

The Ruxandra brand started almost 6 years ago. It started with a business plan and three pillar principles: nature-sustainable at heart, craftsmanship-the wonders human hands can do (let’s protect and evolve that!) and tech -which is about context, anchoring it into the present and keeping an eye on the future. The first item sold was a custom dress I did for a friend’s friend that was going to a lawyers party. It was a dress made out of strips of silk georgette linked together with golden beads, a forget-me-nots kind of dress. I was still a student. 

The biggest challenge for a designer nowadays is… 

I don’t know if this challenge ever changed. Balancing the creative side with the marketing side of a fashion business can be tough, but extremely rewarding. It shapes you into a complete individual, quite self sufficient. That’s sustainable for a human being.

You make your own colours for the fabrics (natural dyeing) because… 

What nature is giving in terms of colours can not be replicated by chemical recipes, the contrast, the tones, the subtle details. Also, they are healthy for our body, because they don’t shed harmful chemicals on our skin. Not to mention the scent they carry, they take you to a forest, the seaside or a flower garden in a matter of seconds, exiting your sense. We have a section dedicated to the unique characteristics of natural dyeing on our website : https://www.ruxandra-shop.com/pages/natural-dyeing . We are constantly filling it with new experiences, sharing our journey, so stay tuned !

How hard is it to be faithful to this method? And what does it implies, in terms of fabrics and colours? 

Hard isn’t the word I like to use. It involves discipline and perseverance, but it’s a delightful process. You work in nature, you see the sunset, it has blissful moments for my team. Of course, it’s a tedious process, it takes patience, skill and soul to see results, but no good things come easy. Plus, it fits like a glove with the brand’s philosophy and using 100 % natural textiles, free of harmful chemical treatments.

Your brand is deeply involved in sustainability. Why? And how do plan to go further with your planting trees programme and to expand it? 

Sustainability was one of the reasons I started the brand, we live in a time where sustainability is no longer a choice anymore, but how the conversation starts. Alongside natural dyeing, we recycle and up-cycle inside the atelier and outside of it. For this I had to create my own sustainability, building my independence, shaping my personality, defining myself as a woman that is self sufficient. 

Then I could be sustainable through fair trade and creating a pleasant workplace where growth is encouraged. This also applies to our suppliers, who share the brands principles of quality, positive impact on the environment, fair trade and very importantly animal cruelty free processes. Third, but tightly bound inside a braided cord with the first two is fair trade and equality. This is of extreme importance to me. Having joy and laughter inside the atelier/factory despite the fact that what we do is an intense problem solving job. I want people happy and proud of what they accomplish at the end of the day, and fairly rewarded. I think it is not only a sustainable, but the only way to build a healthy business.

I saw on your website a special chapter dedicated to up-cycling and recycling stuff. How does it works this process, actually? Do you think that is a successful project for the Romanian market? 

The service started once there was a demand. I have a special client that offered to send us a few of the silk shirts she was not using anymore. She knew we reuse all scraps of textiles that remain after cutting the seasonal production into our designs. I couldn’t let that amazing silk alone so the idea came to to design a new shirt from them and send it as a gift. She loved the result so much that she asked if we can do the same for other vintage quality pieces, up-cycling them into new designs. That made me smile! I enjoyed the process, wild and free. This was the birth of this service you see detailed here: https://www.ruxandra-shop.com/products/the-art-of-upcycling. We have 4 categories for 4 different types of needs and the clients won’t stop surprising us with their needs, from a wedding dress, to a motorcycle jacket right into a couture gown. This is a service that shapes around the client more than any other.

About the Romanian market, why not ? We all have that 100% wool sweater that is so hard to find nowadays in stores that someone dear knitted for us and we long to see it brought into the present with a little bit of mending and  new aesthetics that will fit the new era. Ultimately, this is a service for the heart!

The piece that we always find in every collection will be… 

The Crinoline dress/coat/skirt. The modern interpretation of the old crinoline. This is my favourite version of it: https://www.ruxandra-shop.com/collections/womens-coats-outerwear/products/natural-print-dark-crinoline-coat, naturally printed for keeping you always en grade !

Your spring/summer 2023 collection is about… 

Misbehaving with a twist. Having fun, being young no matter the age. Quality textiles crafted into easy going silhouettes wild colours contrasting with natural hues. This collection also continues and expands the men’s collection and it comes with 2 surprise additions: Pet Accessories, spoiling the dogs and horses and a Home&Garden section. For that perfect IG photo. 🙂

We could find your products on…

On our  website: https://www.ruxandra-shop.com that is not only a buying experience but also a storytelling one,  Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/ruxandra_shop/ with a totally different content, spicing up the things for our community.

We have a couple of products inside the art gallery Galateca, in Bucharest. I invite you to visit it, ask about the Ruxandra products, take a selfie with one of our items and tag us on IG and share the journey. Outside the country, we sell in multi brand stores in France, Italy and Switzerland. Two times per year, following the fashion week schedule we open our showroom to our clients in Paris, in the famous Le Marais area!

About Ruxandra we should know that…. 

She loves life and enjoys the process.

Something more about Ruxandra Gheorghe…

Ruxandra was passionate about opera, ballet and music. Travelling made her aware of the diversity of cultures. Learning about them made her respect their values and way of life. Vogue Russia was one of the places that saw her talent. There she quickly became Art Director. During her time at Yves Saint Laurent, the fashion house used Ruxandra’s sharp mind and keen eye to develop their textures and colors. Her studies of draping at École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne in Paris combined with bespoke tailoring at Thomas von Nor heim in London, led her to shape the world in her fashion.

Thank you, @yonamogan for the nicest make-up ever! 

Photography: @jononespo

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