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Ruby room | features

Summer Fling with Emma Jing 14.06.24

We sit down with RUBY Creative Director Deanna Didovich & designer Emma Jing to share more on how the Summer Fling with Emma Jing collaboration came to life, navigating two hemispheres & seasons...

"We felt we could create something special by combining our two aesthetics, as there is a softness and romantic feeling about both that we believed would work beautifully together." - Deanna

How did Summer Fling with Emma Jing come to life?

    DEANNA:

    The idea for the collaboration came about quite organically. We were in the process of designing a Holiday collection for our Rubettes heading away on a European summer and we thought that an accessories collaboration would be the perfect addition to the capsule.


    We wanted to add an extra layer of fun to the collection, allowing for playful styling options that are also ideal for travel. The discussions began with this vision in mind, and we quickly realized that Emma's aesthetic would be a perfect match to bring this concept to life. We reached out to Emma immediately and got the ball rolling.

How familiar were you with each other’s work & why the alignment between both brands?

    DEANNA:

    I have admired Emma’s work for a number of years now. When we were thinking about a potential collaboration and Emma's name came up, we were all instantly sure she was the right person. We felt we could create something special by combining our two aesthetics, as there is a softness and romantic feeling about both that we believed would work beautifully together.


    EMMA:

    I’ve been super familiar with RUBY for a while now, I used to save up my part time job money in high school and queue up for the sample sales - haha. So, it feels pretty full circle and exciting for me.

Why a holiday collection & collaboration now?

    DEANNA:

    We first launched a Holiday collection about 5 years ago, but we haven't released another since. With so many people heading overseas for mid-winter getaways, we wanted to have pieces in store that were perfect for summer adventures. Also, our Rubettes’ favourite collection is always Resort, so we thought why not give you something early!

RUBY X EMMA JING SLEEVES, TRULLI MAXI DRESS and RUBY X EMMA JING MAXI RUFFLE BAG

RUBY X EMMA JING SLEEVES, TRULLI MAXI DRESS and RUBY X EMMA JING MINI RUFFLE BAG

What was it like working together? Navigating a geographic distance during the development process?

    EMMA:

    We initially started with a zoom convo and spitballed some ideas back and forth. The team gave me a lot of freedom over the designs which was super flattering. I think during the second meeting I proposed some ideas, and we started deciding which fabrics we wanted to go with. I sent some samples back to NZ and not long after we had some samples made up in RUBY’s fabrics.

    Designing for a bigger team was really fun for me! I got to design and not have to produce myself which was a big treat. I love sewing but it's fun to get the chance to not have to make it all myself and have higher units as it’s not just me sewing.

How has the idea of summer alongside the inspiration of London vs. New Zealand informed this collaboration?

    EMMA:

    When I was first approached for designing accessories for this project, I really wanted to utilise the idea of the summer holiday and not being able to pack a lot. I wanted the accessories to be versatile and be worn multiple ways. For example, the sleeves can be paired with singlets to shield your shoulders from the sun or to be worn to dress up a casual day top to take it to a nighttime dinner look. Also, the bags having longer straps can be worn multiple ways e.g. cross body, tied as a belt or over the shoulder with a cute big bow.

    I feel like there’s a lot more colour and loudness in London. People are wanting to stand out as there’s so many people in this city! Often when you're in the trendy parts of town you feel like you're in a fashion show. I feel like this did inspire me in a way - I feel like accessories can be used in this way to stand out to make an outfit pop! So, I tried to channel this when designing.

Having recently relocated to London, what has it been like collaborating with RUBY back home in Aotearoa?

    EMMA:

    It's been so lovely working with a brand in Aotearoa as I feel like I've had to take a natural pause in my work finding my feet in a new city. I have felt pretty disconnected from my Aotearoa customers and feel like it’s an exciting way for people to have something I've been working on from London but still be able to purchase easily in New Zealand.

RUBY X EMMA JING MAXI RUFFLE BAG

RUBY X EMMA JING MAXI RUFFLE BAG

RUBY X EMMA JING PLEATED SLEEVES, TRULLI MAXI DRESS, and RUBY X EMMA JING SCRUNCHIE

"We are always looking to minimize our fabric waste, so the scrunchies, for example, were a great way of doing this." - Deanna

How does the collaboration contribute to RUBY’s Toolbox circularity goals?

    DEANNA:

    We were able to cut the scrunchies within existing fabric cuts to reduce textile waste in our production.

    We too strive to use low-impact fabrics where possible. For example, the cobalt gingham is 100% organic cotton, and our butter satin is 80% Naia acetate which is produced in a circular textile manufacturing process.

    Also, as we were able to produce these accessories in New Zealand, we were able to control our production wastage, be creative with our pattern engineering, and support the local industry.

Finally, where’s your #1 summer fling destination?

    DEANNA:

    I’d love to explore the south of Puglia. I was in the top half of Puglia last year and adored it. The food, the history and beaches were incredible, and not as overpriced as other spots.


    EMMA:

    I love summer so much, I'm so excited to have my first summer birthday as I was born in June!

    I'm going on holiday to Croatia with one of my oldest besties this summer so I feel like that counts as a summer fling! Shoutout Holly Rose. Otherwise anywhere hot where you can swim is ideal for me!

Words originally published online for The New Zealand Herald’s Viva.

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