The Dress An Interview With Fashion Designer Reuben Reuel

Fashion designer Reuben Reuel, from DEMESTIK (Copyright: DEMESTIK)

Fashion designer Reuben Reuel, from DEMESTIK (Copyright: DEMESTIK)

Launching a new magazine is a labor of love. There are so many details that go into creating the perfect inaugural issue. The first issue conveys what readers can expect from your publication going forward. For us, it was crucial to get our first cover exactly right. Featuring New York interior designer Dani Arps, we had the perfect cover girl, but we also needed the right look. That’s where fashion designer Reuben Reuel came into the picture. The designer for a celebrity clientele, including Beyonce, Jill Scott, and Andra Day, Reuel designed the perfect piece for our cover girl that had people asking, where can I get that dress?


DEMESTIK dress (Copyright: DEMESTIK)

Reuel’s womenswear brand, DEMESTIK by Reuben Reuel (https://demestik.us/), is making waves in the fashion world. The company’s use of African textiles and modern silhouettes is making him one of of today’s most exciting young designers. We sat down with Reuel to discuss the piece on the inaugural cover of MOYI, and how he felt about having his work featured in an international publication that celebrates the African Diaspora. In our interview we learned a few things. First, the dress catching everyone’s eye is not a dress at all, but two pieces from the designer’s collection – the Diana top and Maggie skirt. And second, this designer is dedicated to creating culturally-inspired pieces that truly make women shine.


DEMESTIK ensemble (Copyright: DEMESTIK)

MOYI: Everyone loves the first cover of the magazine and we’re all asking the same thing, “What about that dress?” Tell us about the design and the inspiration that went into making this beautiful piece.

Reuben Reuel: The inspiration for the look on the cover derives from my love of color and print. The design speaks to my love for classic American style and African heritage.


Covergirl Dani Arps wearing THE DRESS (photography: Patrick Cline)

MOYI: You’ve designed for some of the biggest pop stars in the world, but you’ve always maintained that your biggest motivation is making everyday women feel like stars in your clothes. Where does that focus come from and how does it continue to influence the way you design your pieces?

RR: I just feel like every woman should beautiful in clothes, not just celebrities. I love the balance of being able to touch the lives of all women.

MOYI: As an African American designer who uses Dutch African wax print fabric to create very modern dresses, Diaspora must have a very specific meaning for you. How do you see Diaspora at work in each of your pieces at the intersection of where the pattern comes from, the aesthetic of the design and the lifestyle that you’re designing for?

RR: I am an African American designer and I want to bring my story and culture into my designs. It’s important as a designer to be authentic and inspire through your own ideas and story.

MOYI: You’ve been branching out in a lot of interesting new ways lately, appearing in a nationwide Toyota campaign in the United States as well as a new line of bedding that’s launching next year. What’s next for Reuben Reuel?

RR: I am currently planning to move from New York City to St. Louis, Missouri, and am relocating my business for growth. It is an exciting time for DEMESTIK for sure!

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