Ramy Brook just wants to make women feel beautiful – and that’s exactly how it feels to wear her clothes. “Sexy, sophisticated and timeless,” the New York-based mother of three started her eponymous label after a never-ending quest for the perfect going out top. Of course, she couldn’t find one that wasn’t either cheesy or completely unaffordable, so she started making them herself. A ton of tops – and seven years – later, Ramy Brook has become one of the city’s most exciting lifestyle brands. From a recent collaboration with supermodel Martha Hunt, to an expanding range of dresses, jackets and eventually, accessories, the label only continues to grow.
“It’s just the tip of the iceberg for us,” says Brook. “My end goal is to have Ramy Brook fulfill every need — full outfitting for women.”
Below, the designer sounds off on her creative process and outfitting mother/daughter duo, Cindy Crawford and Kaia Gerber.
Tell me about the brand. Why did you decide to start it?
In the beginning of 2010, I found myself shopping a lot and looking for a sexy, simple, solid top that I could wear with all of my jeans — really make it my own — but I could never find any. So, I decided I was going to learn how to do it myself and start my own business. I basically asked anyone I knew who was involved in fashion for advice and help, and within 6-10 months, I developed 6 sexy tops and one very short dress, then started having trunk shows — pretty much anywhere I had a friend, we had a show. Finally, a buyer from Bergdorf’s saw some of my designs and bought a bunch of them. So, I really jumped right into and had to learn everything quickly.
Did you have any sort of design background?
Not at all. But growing up, my mother used to make all of our clothes. She was a teacher, but she loved fashion, and a lot of our weekends were spent shopping for different patterns and fabrics. So, it’s something I’ve always been super passionate about. I just love getting dressed up and thinking about what I’m going to wear. So, I guess you could say I’ve had a lifetime of training — but definitely nothing formal.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
I always use three words to describe the brand: it’s sexy, sophisticated and timeless. Whenever I would look for sexy tops, so many of them would be so cheesy. So, I always want to make sure my tops are sexy, but still sophisticated. Being timeless is important to me, too, because when I would go through my closet, I’d constantly be getting rid of clothes that were trendy, but not well-made. So, I wanted to make sure that whatever I made would be able to stick around for a couple of seasons and fit really well, with great quality.
Walk me through your design process. How do you go from inspiration to a finished piece?
First, the design team puts all of our inspiration photos into a folder. Then I really start to think about, ‘Where am I going? What do I want to wear? What’s appropriate? If I’m going to a school function what do I want to wear that could also look good when I go out to dinner? If I’m going to work, what can I wear so that I can also meet my friends at happy hour?’ In my head, Ramy Brook is really a lifestyle brand — we make clothes for women to wear all of the time.
You recently did a collaboration with Martha Hunt. How does she represent the Ramy Brook girl?
The beauty of Martha is that she really is happy, sexy and strong, and she’s really comfortable with who she is. That’s the Ramy Brook girl.
What do you want women to take away from wearing your clothes?
The biggest thing for me is for women to feel good about themselves. No matter what you look like or what size you wear, it’s really important that when you wake up, you feel confident and good about yourself — that’s what I want women to feel when they wear my clothes. Whether it’s just walking around the street, or going to a party; whether it’s a date night or just simply going to your kids soccer game — happiness is the end goal for me and the clothes can help you get there.
If you could pick one woman to wear Ramy Brook, who would it be?
That’s a loaded question! But it’s funny because I walked into my store today with my daughter and Cindy Crawford was there. She’s great,and a big fan of the brand. So, what would be really fun for me would be to have her and her daughter wearing it together. I just love that mother daughter connection, and it shows how all women, no matter their age can feel beautiful in Ramy Brook.
What do you see for the brand going forward?
It’s really just the beginning for us. Right now, we’re truly an emerging company. What started as a few sexy shirts for myself because I couldn’t find any, has moved into a full brand. I just want to continue building that.
Photography by Sebastian Faena & Lloyd Stevie
#Rememberthe90s nostalgia-holics who rejoiced upon seeing Beavis and Butt-Head lampoon Jersey Shore and Skrillex last year and requested a few days of "working from home" to catch the "Retro-Mania" re-airing of Daria this summer will now have another retro reboot to look forward to. MTV announced today that they are bringing back the iconic House of Style, the decade-plus-running celebration of creativity, couture and the rising cult of personality of the "supermodel." In addition to designers and fashion-savvy musicians, the show painted candid portraits of high-profile and up-and-coming runway walkers and helped make the likes of Cindy Crawford, Molly Sims, Rebecca Romijn and Daisy Fuentes household names. Although the original incarnation of the show went off the air in 2000, a one-off episode aired in 2009 with Iman and Bar Refaeli as hosts.
As with the rebirth of Beavis, the 2.0 version of House of Style will be updated to the signs of the times with a multiplatform format, MTV News and Docs’ Dave Sirulnick told TheWrap. In addition to GIF-packed coverage (because of course) and back episodes and clips from the original run of the series on the MTV Style blog, the show will feature supplemental content on Tumblr, Instagram and other social media. Because the best way to get up close and personal with models is through your favorite iPhone app filter.
The new show will air this fall, with the new host being revealed during the Video Music Awards on September 6th. In the meantime, to further whet the appetites of a generation of fashion junkies, the network is airing a special documentary, House of Style: Music, Models, and MTV, on August 7th. Watch the trailer for the documentary, which features footage of Crawford, Campbell, members of the Wu-Tang Clan and many more, below.
To help jog your memory, here’s a particularly memorable scene from the show where Crawford visits the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air set with Will Smith.
A couple days ago, BlackBook Fashioneer Natalie Alcala called out the timeless beauty of nearly-perfect, 45-year-old Cindy Crawford. If Cindy is an example of graceful aging, take a look at 46 year-old Kristen McMenamy in Hotel Chelsea‘ spread, photographed by Steven Meisel.
You don’t think “What’s her secret?” or “She looks good for her age” when you first lay eyes on this gender-bending, unconventional woman. Can you imagine pumping a woman like McMenamy for wrinkle-prevention tips? I’d imagine her general bad-ass aura keeps other moms from trying to count her wrinkles when the supermother is hanging at the playground. Unlike so many of the Supers from her time, she doesn’t flash her taught skin in wrinkle-cream ad campaigns. The only aging tip she’s been pedaling since letting her hair go gray six years ago seems to be: Get over it.
“You’ve got to keep moving forward,” she Hotel Chelsea, and rest easy that aging isn’t all Botox brunches and beauty cream infomercials. For some like McMenamy, it’s about albino-chic weirdness and awesome white-witch hair styles.
Ladies and gents, this is what a 45-year-old supermodel looks like. Cindy Crawford not only graces the cover of May’s Vogue Mexico, but images of her full editorial work within the mag, wherein she flaunts flawless high-fashion looks from the likes of Burberry, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci, have just surfaced. Since her advice about maintaining youthful looks is suspiciously simplistic, we all must simply accept that Crawford is just naturally perfect and marvel at her perfection. See more from the spread after the jump.
View the complete set here.
Southern California finally has its very own Café Habana, and although related, it’s nothing like Nolita’s go-to Cuban spot. During the day, this Malibu social hub is winning over the rich and famous with stellar Cuban-inspired fare. At night, kids pack the spot to check out what the DJs are saying and playing. Every Tuesday, the restaurant turns into a club of sorts, when Sicky Dicky productions teams up with Cisco Adler and Shwayze to play hip-hop and more for very attractive white people.
It’s an incredible scene, one that owner Rande Gerber says people are driving up from Los Angeles to attend. “We get a lot of people coming from West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Westlake, and other areas that prefer weekdays so they don’t have to deal with the weekend traffic in Malibu,” he said via email last week. To be sure, Gerber himself isn’t hanging late-night on Tuesdays, but the longtime hotel bar owner is frequently there during the day with his wife, Cindy Crawford.
“We are the only place in Malibu that serves all night. Most other places are quiet at 9pm and close soon after,” Gerber added. Accordingly, Malibu’s version of Habana attracts a twenty-something crowd looking for something to do after dark that doesn’t involve a long drive to L.A. Malibu suffers from a serious lack of late night options, and the restaurant that sometimes morphs into a scene is filling a gap in one of America’s best-known, wealthiest communities.
Tuesdays at Habana can become riddled with bottle-happy college students from Pepperdine hell-bent on getting wasted, but the crowd remains eclectic by Malibu standards. According to Gerber, “We get Malibu housewives, rock stars, people who might one day be rock stars, and those who after a few drinks think they can sing.”
Photos courtesy of JohnHildebrand.com
● She may not have a job and was placed on an involuntary psych hold earlier this year, but Mischa Barton can take solace knowing she’s never been dumped. [NewMag] ● Some women hide from the title of a MILF … not supermodel Cindy Crawford. She embraces her MILF status; just don’t call her a cougar, that’s all on Demi Moore. [Showbizspy] ● Jeremy Piven has been fish-free for a year, and he’s finally back to his old self. Senor Piven was seen getting an impromptu lap dance at Teddy’s to Kings of Leon’s “Sex on Fire.” [P6]
● It concerns Donald Faison that people think he should play Tiger Woods in a TV movie, although he could see himself taking on the role. [PopEater] ● It worked for Velvet Revolver and Audioslave; now Lenny Kravitz may take over for Steven Tyler as lead singer for Aerosmith to form yet another superband. [Starpulse] ● Burger King has been on high alert, keeping an eye out for tweens frequenting their establishment just to steal the life-size cut-outs of Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson. [TMZ]
Martin Margiela isn’t the only fashion alumnae channeling Martha Stewart and adding home décor designer to his resume. Supermodel Cindy Crawford has signed a deal with JCPenney to create a home accoutrement collection that includes furniture, bedding, window treatments, and more. New York magazine recently got a look at the reasonably priced goods, and they’re definitely worth checking out (think Anthropologie at a more affordable price point). The collection, dubbed Cindy Crawford Style, debuts in JCPenney’s new NYC store, which opens in July.
Meanwhile, in Italy, Diesel has been hard at work on further branching out into home objects as well. While the clothing company introduced home textiles brand Successful Living by Diesel a year ago, the company has since partnered with Moroso and Foscarini on a not-yet-launched line of furniture and lighting. Love has a first look at two of Diesel’s designs, which are currently on view alongside Maison Martin Margiela’s new home line at the Salone del Mobile.
What makes a supermodel? According to Naomi Campbell, “Models need to earn their stripes — I just think the term [supermodels] is used a little too loosely.” Campbell, who’s lucky enough to have arguably earned the title, goes on to say that “Kate Moss is obviously a supermodel but after Gisele, I don’t think there’s been one.” The original crop of supermodels includes Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Claudia Schiffer, and of course, Campbell, who dismisses the new crop of popular models like Agyness Deyn and Hilary Rhoda as unworthy of the supermodel tiara. Easy for her to say, all perched high on her glass stilettos and hurling objects at servants.