Strijp S, former industrial location of Philips, is paradigmatic for today’s Eindhoven. Once merely known as the city of that famous lightbulb manufacterer, in the past decade it has seen an upsurge in all things design and innovation. The old factories of Strijp S now house a mixture of hip restaurants, start-ups, as well as offices, residences, and, not to forget, studioRUIG. Indeed, the Brabantian brand had their own store annex atelier here since 2014. They were one of the first labels in our online store. We still recall how we we’re absolutely struck by their large Shalom shawl (a comfy wool and leather col). Since then, we have gotten more than familiar with the label and their collections. High time for a proper conversation over a cup of brew. So, on to Eindhoven.
Inge Hendriks, Klaartje Glashorster, and Sophie Soons graduated together from the School for the Arts in Utrecht. All three had the desire to start their own label, and would rather not do so alone. Thus, studioRUIG was born. Upon our arrival at their workshop, we are greeted by a warm welcome by the three ladies, who are all wholly dressed in their own label. Once they’re sitting across from us, however, we immediately notice their differences. Brings us right to our first question: three captains on one ship, does that not lead to mutiny? “No, it works very well for us,” replies Sophie, “we complement each other, and it makes taking important decisions easier. After all, it often comes down to a two versus one situation,” she adds with a laugh. Inge and Klaartje agree.
Notwithstanding their possible differences of character, all three share an artistic view on fashion and are equally driven by their fascination for the subject in itself. And that’s not all. Their hard work, their aversion to redundant fuss, as well as their down-to-earth attitude have turned out to be a golden combination. “As well as one of the reasons we decided for Eindhoven. People here appreciate that sort of thing.”
StudioRUIG (founded in 2009) represent determined, original, and wearable clothing made from quality materials. All designs are clean and understated, and bear out the ladies’ noted dislike of superfluous detail. The same holds for their choices of colour, which are primarily powerful tones such as black, deep blue, gray, and white. Leather is a favourite. Their collections do not change completely with every season, but evolve over time. This means you can continue to combine your items in new ways and, how eco-friendly, wear them for longer. But how would you yourself explain your success, we ask. The cheerful trio look at each other and cannot think of an answer right away. Inge breaks the silence: “Well, we mostly design using our gut and our intuition.”Though we always keep the diversity of the female body in the back of our mind,” adds Klaartje, “especially since we ourselves have different body-types.”
Today, studioRUIG is sold around Europe and the number of points of sale is steadily increasing. Next year will be their ten year anniversary. What’s in the pipeline for the near future? “All sorts of things, in any case more than we have time for.” And if you’d have to choose one? Again, the ladies are on the same wave length: “A shoe collection would be nice, that really sounds like something for us.” We agree.