07 Mar Know The Brand: Meet Reuben Reuel of Demestiks New York
Brooklyn based designer Reueben Reuel gives us some insight on how he became one of the most sought out designers in New York. His brand Demestiks New York, is an elegant, bold and perfectly constructed collection of skirts, dresses, jumpsuits, tops and much more. His distinct designs have caught the eyes of none other than Beyonce Knowles, Ledesi and Jill Scott.
Aspiring clothing designers or entrepreneurs in general should be inspired by Reueben’s story. The Virginia native moved to New York City in 2009 to pursue his dream of being a fashion designer. New York City livin’ ain’t cheap so it wasn’t unusual that Reuben would begin working for another company to generate a stable income. For some, getting fired from a job could be the ultimate blow, but for him, it was the perfect time to jump start his career and fully invest in himself. Reuben took his unemployment money, stepped out on faith and put it all into his brand Demestiks New York. Housed on the Etsy website, Demestiks caters to women of all sizes. The brand offers a refreshing spin on classic trends like peplum skirts and tops, pussy bow tops and Victorian sleeves.
You have explored designing from a very young age to the present. You’ve completely mastered creating designs that make women look and feel great! This is obvious when your clientele includes Jill Scott and Beyoncé Knowles. When did you have your first, “mama I made it!” moment? My first “mama I made it!” moment was was when I was able to live off of the sales I made. I was like “Wait… I am working in my passion and able to pay the rent from that passion? Woah!”. I didn’t think that would be possible without having to have some kind of side job, but thankfully it’s working.
How do you celebrate each time Queen Bey posts a picture of herself posed against a wall in a dope Demestiks piece?
With tears of happiness, joy, and gratitude and thanks to God.
You have a long list of amazing celebrity clients. Who are your top 3 favorites? Who do you think would do the Demestiks brand justice?
Beyonce, Jill Scott, and Mindy Kaling. Mindy is my #1 favorite so far because she personally ordered through Etsy and gave me a personal shout out on her social media networks. I didn’t ask her to do any of that. It just showed me her humility and also showed me how real she is.
Fashion has taken the African print and turned into such an over-saturated trend. I don’t get that “trend” feeling when I look at your designs. What is your formula for setting yourself apart from the other designers who follow the trend route?
My formula is simple: Design classic clothing with traditional fabrics and add a personal twist to each style. I think it all comes down to being authentic in one’s design aesthetic. I didn’t start out using the fabric because I thought it was trendy, instead I used the fabric because it has traditional roots in other cultures (a culture in which I feel close to in some ways) and I wanted to express that in my own culture. I saw the fabric as an opportunity to express my design and style sense in a bold and powerful way which seems to be the right path for me.
Where did the name Demestiks come from?
The name “Demestiks New York” derives from the idea that all of the products are made domestically in New York in efforts to support the New York City Garment District and support made in the USA craftsmen. “Demestiks” is the phonetical way of spelling “Domestics”. Simply paying homage to the values of the brand.
Will there be a Demestiks runway show of fashion presentation in the near future?
I haven’t really invested too much time thinking about a show or presentation. I am more interested in selling the clothes direct to customer and seeing real women wear the brand rather than having it on display. Seeing women wearing the clothes just has more meaning to me.
What’s next for you and your brand?
I am working on new designs and styles and new prints. I am also working on a home wares line of bedding too.
What is one lesson you’ve learned as a designer that you would like to pass on to young entrepreneurs and aspiring designers?
Trust God and be humble and nice to people; connect with people not your ego.
Photo courtesy of Heir PR
Hair: Tilly Stewart
Make-up: Trecia Reynolds