A California Dream RUFSKIN Studio
RUFSKIN proudly designs and manufactures everything in San Diego, California. Click on the play button above to get a behind the scenes look and hear more about our philosophy from the designer.
RUFSKINMONTHLY July 2013
RUFSKIN New York owner John Thompson wearing his THIAGO jeans and pictured with two dancers from Broadway Bares at the RUFSKIN NY in-store fundraiser.
Proprietor, RUFSKIN NY Questions by Paul Abrantes
When were you introduced to RUFSKIN and what was it about the brand that attracted you as a customer?
In 2003, I was living in Toronto, Canada and visited New York. At the time I was dating a guy who purchased a pair of RUFSKIN jeans and I was amazed at the fit and how the pair of pants struck a balance of masculine and sexy at the same time. From that point on, I would occasionally see RUFSKIN sold in stores throughout my travels, and I often would buy a piece here or there which I always treasured and upon which was frequently complimented. What made you want to make RUFSKIN a business venture? In 2009, I was in San Diego for work and met the manager of the RUFSKIN San Diego store out in a bar. Some combination of RUFSKIN and the manager’s smile convinced me to visit the store the next day. After seeing the entire collection in one place, I was impressed with the wide range of products and looks that RUFSKIN was doing at the time – and when coming back to NY, I told my friend who at the time was with Bergdorf Goodman Corporate. She simply asked “would others in New York also have the same reaction?” When I answered affirmatively, she convinced me to contact RUFSKIN and coerce them to come to New York. What started out being an interested customer turned into an investor and owner of the RUFSKIN New York store. Since starting RUFSKIN NY, what are you most proud of? We started in March 2012 in Chelsea. Since our start, I think I am most proud of the customer base that we were able to establish. I am consistently overwhelmed by the positive comments I receive about our store, our service, and of course our products. We have raving fans, and our customer base is just so positive and supportive of our presence in New York. I anticipated that it would take a much longer period to build awareness in the city and develop a network of supportive customers; I never dreamed we would be as popular and connected with customers as we have been able to achieve so quickly. Thank you New York!
What is your favorite RUFSKIN piece and why? I still love my THIAGO white denim pants. I’ve had them for over 2 years, and they still look great. The fit is amazing, and they accentuate all the right “parts” with just a little stretch. No other denim maker to my knowledge has produced this fit….and I know we have sold many of them, and continue to sell them today. You travel a lot for business in the U.S. & abroad, how does RUFSKIN structure and style compare to some of the other trends you see around the globe in your travels? As Managing director of a global consulting firm, I travel often. What I find is that established and emerging brands continue to focus on the cut/fit – it is no longer good enough to have a quality fabric, the fit must be differentiated in making someone look and feel their best. To walk the streets of Milan or Beirut, you will see men wearing tailored clothes that aren’t too tight but are cut to fit their body. Not all brands/cuts are for everyone, but people are finding what is working for them. No longer does one cut / style fit everyone, and I think people are taking notice. I think RUFSKIN is one of those brands who can “amaze” our customers with the fit and how it too can bring a modern look to many customers.
I think it is important and rewarding to give back to the community, and to be a part of the society in which we live. As such, I thought significantly and did a good bit of research to identify a few groups whom we have strategically decided to support. One group is amfAR – The Foundation for AIDS Research. I was impressed with their mission and structure, and the way in which they are organized; extremely professional organization with a mandate to eradicate AIDS. We have done a few events with amfAR Generation Cure and I am pleased / honored to have had the opportunity for RUFSKIN NY to support them. The other organization of note is Broadway Cares / Broadway Bares; similar mandate to amFAR, we have supported for two years their annual Broadway Bares event with a fundraiser. Any plans for investing in RUFSKIN stores in other parts of the country or even the world?
On a monthly basis, we are contacted by investors in different parts of the world to consider investing by opening a store. London, Mykonos, Istanbul….even Dubai. Obviously, we are being careful in the growth of RUFSKIN and right now are looking at expansion in the US before further growth beyond our current operations with the internet, California, New York and Amsterdam, and approximately 55 other retail partners. We truly are a global brand with global RUFSKIN NY has made a commitment to distribution – so we have many outlets to support different causes. What are those connect with our customer base; but new causes and why is that important for you as retail stores are definitely on the horizon. an owner and for the entire brand?
Interviewed by Marcy DePina
Triathlete Jayson loves training in RUFSKIN Sport gear, pictured below are his favorites, the BARCELONA, CATCH, SCOTT, and LINER.
How does it feel to participate in your first competition, the New York City Triathlon, in your hometown? It’s cool and exciting that it’s in New York, my hometown, I love it. It’s a beautiful place to have it. To swim in the Hudson, run on West Side Highway & bike through Central Park up to the Bronx is just so picturesque. I’m excited and nervous, I’m not going to lie, but it’s going to be fun. How does the quality of RUFSKIN sportswear compare with other well known sports brands?
RUFSKINMONTHLY July 2013
Jayson Durango: The Fashionable Athlete
I love it, I’m actually wearing two pieces right now, the BARCELONA top which is airy, even though it’s fitted, and the colors are great and the CATCH which have to be one of my favorite pants to actually be in, they are comfortable, fit well, and the materials are great. The SCOTT shorts and LINER compression running tights in lime are also favorites. RUFSKIN Sport gives you the extra specialness that you are looking for in sportswear. The fit makes you look better. You’ve had an eclectic career, tell us about it and how you came to RUFSKIN.
Where are you from? I am originally from Colombia. I was born in Medellin and moved to Queens, NY with my family when I was 10. When did fitness become a part of your life? I was a sophomore at Bayside High School when I got invited to try out for the swim team. I’ve always wanted to swim, ever since I was a little boy, but I had a lot of problems with my ears. I remember being a little boy and my grandmother got me these things made specially for my ears, they looked hideous - all the kids made fun of me, so that was the end of me trying to get into swimming in Colombia. So here I thought, let’s try this, it’s a different time and place. So I tried out, got picked, and started training. In my senior year I was picked as team captain and came in second place in Queens Champs, which was really cool, but then I had shoulder injuries and that put an end to my swimming career. After recovering I got into weight lifting and running and then started to swim again. What inspired you to become a triathlete? I got tired of the whole gym thing. I wanted to do something, wanted to change my body, wanted a challenge, so I started running. So then it was swimming and running when I bought a bike. I began biking from Washington Heights to 14th Street and back again. I would then swim every morning from 6:30-8, and then after work would run up the West Side Highway and pick up my bike and go. When I moved to Florida I met a great tri-team in Orlando and became acquainted with the sport (which consists of swimming, biking, and running). After a year of training, this weekend I will be in my first Olympic size triathlon.
I went to school for architecture and practiced in New York. Then I decided to switch to shoe designing and worked with Collective Brands doing their Sperry, Topsiders and Payless brands. I then moved to Kenneth Cole and became their Reaction designer for the children’s line and now I’m representing RUFSKIN as a Brand Ambassador and Global Wholesale Representative in San Diego. San Diego is the triathlete capital of the world so it all comes together. It’s a great time to be working at RUFSKIN as we are expanding our market to include more heterosexual men who love looking and feeling good in their clothes - bringing that BOY BOY / PLUS 1 concept that Paul from New York office conceptualized - bringing in the straight guy, my brother, for example. This is a men’s clothing line, our goal is to make you feel good and look good in our clothes. How has being an athlete influenced your professional career? To be an athlete you have to have organization and concentration, you have to plan things out, that has helped me in my career to become better at whatever path I choose professionally. It has helped me to mature mentally and has made me physically stronger so I don’t tire as easy. I feel more alive, open, and focused and it provides me with a nice balance between my personal and professional lives. What’s your favorite part about being in the world of triathletes? People that do sports are just happy. You go to these conventions and people are smiling and they want to give you tips and encourage you. It’s great to be a part of the community of triathletes in which people are positive, supportive and inspiring. What are your future athletic goals? This is the begin stages of my career as an athlete. The goal is to get to the Iron Man level, and that includes a full-blown marathon at the end. **Jayson completed the NYC Triathlon on July 14, 2013 in 3 hours flat and is now preparing for the next challenge. We are happy to report that no mutations were caused by swimming in the Hudson River.
Interview: Photographer Joseph Sinclair On his beginnings, choosing a model and why he loves Rufskin Tell us a little about yourself? Where do you live and where are you from? I’m based in London, lived here for about 20 years, originally from Southampton. When did you decide that photography would be your calling? Did you always want to be a photographer or did you stumble into it one day by accident? I was always into photography as a kid, my Nan always used to have a Super 8 cine camera at family holidays and events and I was always fascinated by capturing people on film, whether it was stills or moving images. My grandparents bought me my first camera for Christmas when I was about 9 or 10 and I still have one of my Granddad’s old cameras at my studio. When I left college I started working as an usher in a theatre during the evening, so I could have my days free to shoot, and began photographing the actors in the shows. My professional career began around that time in the early 2000’s. You have chosen the brand Rufskin many times for editorials and fashion layouts, what is it about the brand Rufskin that like when picking out wardrobe for shoots? We’ve always loved shooting Rufskin clothes for editorial shoots, It’s a bold, sexy brand that always enhances a model’s masculinity and LOOKS GREAT!!
An incredible face is the most important quality for me. It carries the whole picture. It’s also really important that a model has a great personality. No one wants a moody model on set and personality always translates on film. Do you have an interesting story that you could tell our readers that went on during a photo-shoot. My favourite types of photo-shoots are the more candid laid back celebrity shoots, which in my case usually take place in hotels. I did a shoot with Kimberly Wyatt at the W Hotel in London last year. The best shots were the two of us running up and down the corridors while I was shooting stills and we had Kimberly’s boyfriend shooting movie footage on a 5D. Capturing moments like that always make shoots more interesting and memorable. Another memorable shoot for very different reasons was quite a few years back. We had the most difficult model I’ve ever had to deal with. He showed up about 90 minutes late, full face of make up on, not a word of an apology for holding us all up. Started telling me how I should be lighting the set and then told the groomer how to apply his make up. To begin with it was funny as I couldn’t believe the ridiculousness of his behavior but eventually I had to send him off set because he was so unpleasant to be around. We didn’t even shoot one frame and that’s the only time I’ve ever had to call off a shoot. So to reiterate what I said before, No one like’s a princess on set! ;)
If you could photograph anyone in the world living or dead who would it be? I would LOVED to have photographed Bette Davis & Joan Crawford during the ‘Baby Jane’ era! What country or destination would you like to visit next? I’ve never been to San Francisco so that’s definitely on the list! What song(s) are you currently listening to over and over again on your IPod?
RUFSKINMONTHLY July 2013
Questions by Douglas Coats
At the moment Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 album and Disclosure’s ‘Settle’ are on constant repeat! What is one interesting thing about yourself that people would be surprised to know? I wish I could sing like Mariah Carey! :)
What qualities do you seek when choosing male models as subjects?
RUFSKINMONTHLY July 2013
Amsterdam Pride at Doorstep of RUFSKIN Boutique RUFSKIN AMSTERDAM The legendary Gay Pride celebration outside of RUFSKIN AMSTERDAM store brings together the customers and friends of the brand and LGBT community.
By Eward & JP
Traditionally the first weekend of August Amsterdam celebrates Gay Pride with street parties, lots of cultural activities, and the world famous Canalparade. More than over 1,000,000 people visit the city center of the Dutch capital to party and show they are proud to be members of the LGBT community. In the Reguliersdwarsstraat, where RUFSKIN AMSTERDAM is located, two huge street parties on Friday night and Saturday night are held with more than 5,000 party people attending
Photos: Left - Amsterdam’s annual Gay Pride Canalparade celebration. Right - RUFSKIN owners Douglas Coats & Hubert Pouches at Gay Pride Amsterdam 2012.
each one being held. The crew of RUFSKIN AMSTERDAM celebrates together with customers and friends right at the doorstep of their boutique. Last year RUFSKIN's founders and brand owners Douglas Coats and Hubert Pouches were present and said it was the wildest Pride celebration they’ve attended. This year unfortunately they couldn’t make it, but who knows in the future RUFSKIN might be doing it's own boat at the Canalparade. The first weekend of August, Amsterdam is definitely the place to be, and RUFSKIN AMSTERDAM is the boutique to visit!!
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