Style & Grooming

Artist Sterling Ruby Debuts His Fashion Line in Florence

Last night in Florence, Sterling Ruby staged his new label S.R. STUDIO. LA. CA.’s Spring/Summer 2020 show – its debut – with Raf Simons and Virgil Abloh watching on. Here’s everything you need to know

  1. What was it? S.R. Studio LA. CA.’s Spring/Summer 2020 show, artist Sterling Ruby’s new label.
  2. Where was it? At La Pagliere, a 19th-century hay manger, at Pitti Uomo in Florence.
  3. Why should I care? It’s Ruby’s first foray into fashion design under his name. The California-based artist has been a long-time collaborator and friend of Raf Simons, working with Simons at his own label and during his tenure at Calvin Klein.
  4. Who was there? Fellow designers Raf Simons, Virgil Abloh and Michel Gaubert were among the guests, and Pieter Mulier walked in the show.
  5. What were the clothes like? Painterly and photographic prints, bleached denim and knitwear recall Ruby’s own artistic practice, translated into extremely wearable pieces.
  6. What did the designer say about it all? “I kinda find [making clothes] more rewarding. Not that I mind if somebody has a painting and hangs it on the wall, but it is fun to think of something going out into the world, and moving, and being something for people to see.”
  7. What pieces are we lusting over? Tie-dyed, paint-splattered and bleached denim jackets and jeans, and accessories in the form of roomy printed totes and metal box bags.

When Sterling Ruby announced in March of this year that he was launching a ready-to-wear label, entitled S.R. Studio LA. CA., it was not without precedence: the California-based artist staged an exhibition of bleached denim workwear and garment bags in 2016, and has long collaborated with Belgian designer Raf Simons, most notably on an Autumn/Winter 2014 Raf Simons collection that bore both their names (Ruby also created installations for the sets of Calvin Klein shows when Simons was the brand’s chief creative officer). Shown at Pitti Uomo in Florence last night, four mini collections were shown under the umbrella of S.R. Studio LA. CA. S/S20 (some pieces were see-now-buy-now, which you can shop online now): alongside the main line was ED. 50, encompassing pieces made in editions of 50, SOTO, the fabric of which pieces is handmade in the artist’s studio, and UNIQUE, one-of-a-kind garments designed and made by Ruby. The clothes are a clear extension of Ruby’s artworks, with prints – from quilted paint splotches and tie-dye denim to photographs by the designer’s wife Melanie Schiff transposed onto dresses and tops – and saturated colours taking centre stage, and the designer drew on his own vision of America via prairie dresses that recall his childhood in the Pennsylvania Dutch community, prints of punk album covers, and a laid-back Los Angeles approach to form, silhouette and colour.