An interview with Ruby+Ed: your perfect source for luxurious loungewear and slippers
You have had a hard day at work, your feet ache, you just want to relax. What do you want, apart from that big glass of wine? How about a lovely piece of loungewear to relax in and a comfy pair of slippers? Ruby+Ed provide just that, from slippers for women to cosy moccasins for men. Ruby+Ed also stock pyjamas, jumpers, scarves, gloves, headbands, umbrellas and gifts for the entire family.
The brand started in 2001, to serve a niche market by creating beautifully made ladies slippers and it stemmed from a desire to create beyond the generic mass-produced styles available in shops today.
Gradually, Ruby+Ed has expanded into women’s clothing and accessories, menswear and kidswear to develop an overall lifestyle brand, embracing their passion for more bespoke and considered pieces. Today the brand is sold in over 400 independent boutiques, department stores and luxury retailers internationally, including Liberty, Fenwick’s, Harrods and Selfridges.
Ruby+Ed’s co-founder, Isabel Preston, comes from generations of British shoemakers in Leicestershire. Being surrounded by shoes at an early age led Isabel to pursue a career in the footwear industry. In 1992 she married her partner Neil Banks, a chemistry graduate and fellow shoe lover.
The name ‘Ruby’ represents Isabel’s stylish late aunt and ‘Ed’ reflects the brand’s parent company. The amalgamation of the two successfully combines effortless British style and the couple’s extensive knowledge in designing and manufacturing footwear.
Ruby+Ed focuses on creating products that reflect the designer’s pursuit of effortless beauty; this ensures they focus on ‘off duty’ because they believe life is for enjoying. This has resulted in them creating outerwear, accessories, nightwear and clothing as an extension of their slipper collection, in limited production runs that are made by hand or hand-finished, making each piece exclusive. Their slippers inspire and delight women in the comfort of their own homes, allowing them to wear something beautiful that is also comfortable.
Brand director, Nazia, explains: “The idea for a design can come from a flower, painting, a tear from a magazine, a plate – it begins anywhere and then is refined through sketches and debate. The shapes we use for clothing are all classic vintage pieces that are tested and true. Then we add alternative/ modern touches – pockets, colour, detailing.”
When asked what her favourite fabrics to work with are, Nazia said: “I love silk, it’s a romantic fabric; it has natural strength. I love habotai and georgette particularly for the way they absorb colour – also the way they feel against the skin – so soft and light. For slippers I love knits, for their warmth and richness. They make truly sumptuous slippers!”
Clothing is definitely still in its infancy for the brand; they are hoping to collaborate with some larger retailers to gain recognition in this area.
For SS13 they have reinvented raincoats, so that will be truly exciting; they launch the collection in Paris on 30th June 2012 – watch this space! Nazia hopes they can continue to work the way they are, creating pieces they love to enrich women everywhere.
To buy your own piece of luxury loungewear, click here.