24th Apr 2019
The weather forecast may be somewhat glum for the coming days but a new clothing brand full of happiness, fun and all the colours of the rainbow has landed on our shores.
Olivia Rubin is a clothing brand to make you smile. Feminine shapes are complemented by sequins, bold colours and graphic prints, with rainbow stripes the print du jour. The pieces are surprisingly easy to wear. Sequin skirts and dresses work just as well with trainers for a casual Sunday as they do for a summer wedding. These pieces promise to brighten up the darkest of days.
I dare anyone not to smile when they see this collection because I could not keep the grin off my face as I viewed it in Brown Thomas last week. A few dodgy looks from fellow shoppers and staff meant I had to (eventually) make a move from the spot where I stood silently ogling the clothes.
That move transported me to a café table right next to Olivia Rubin herself. Adorned in her classic rainbow sequinned skirt and matching rainbow scrunchie, she positively sparkled – and her personality did too.
So why rainbows, I asked? “I’ve always loved colour and I studied textiles and fashion at Central Saint Martins so I’ve always used colour in my collections. Rainbows make me happy and I love what they stand for. People call it happy fashion because when you put it on you feel happy.
“And that is the ethos of the brand really, to make women feel good about themselves.”
Olivia Rubin Rainbow stripe skirt, €370
Olivia Rubin clothes are for every woman and that is a message she wants to push, saying: “I don’t really have one woman. I chat to women of all ages from women in their 20s through to their 60s. All ages, all sizes – just women who want to try and embrace colour and are looking for something a little different and who want to stand out.”
What’s her favourite piece from the collection? “I love the rainbow sequin, that’s one of my classics. I also love the Sienna pastel lace ombre dress. I wore it to my brother’s wedding but equally, I could wear it with trainers in the summer. There’s versatility within all of the pieces”.
Olivia isn’t a newbie on the block, after graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2010 she worked for various brands including Alexander McQueen and John Galliano and believes this experience has been invaluable to how she works now.
“I think working for John Galliano was life-changing in a positive way. I worked at his own brand and saw how the mechanics of the business worked; I saw how he designed and where he got his creativity from, but equally saw what it was like to run your own business”.
Olivia is quick to point out just how difficult it is to run your own business with many friends thinking it’s a glamour-filled profession. “In reality, it’s a business. It is very difficult. But I love it and you have to be committed to it.”
Olivia Rubin Peony dress, €570
She calls the business her ‘third child’, as she is already a mother to two young daughters and successfully balancing both is something she strives for. Her biggest advice: organisation. “I try to be as organised as possible. I divide my time. I wouldn’t say my job is the traditional 9–5. I always try to bring my kids to school and pick them up, then I pick them up and drop them home, and I go back to the studio and I work late.”
Olivia took a career break for three years after the birth of her children and believes this time made a significant difference to her design process, saying: “It changed it in a hugely positive way. I think after having kids, I felt more rooted as a person and that my style had evolved. I was more confident, I knew my style more, what I wanted to do and I was more focused.”
Social media has played an enormous role in the success of the brand and became a monster marketing tool for the designer. “Without Instagram, I would not be anywhere. It is crazy. Some of the really big influencers have messaged me there and it has completely cut out my PR. We do PR now ourselves and Instagram has caused this domino effect.”
So what’s next for Olivia Rubin? Well, world domination by the sounds of it. “So we’re doing four collections a year. We’re launching worldwide and with Saks in the US in 15 stores. And just selling all over the world basically, with a few more exciting projects outside of fashion in the pipeline too.”
I’m sure she will sparkle all the way to the top; one rainbow sequin at a time.
The Olivia Rubin collection is now available at Brown Thomas
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