Say hello to Reuben. Reuben Reuel is a seemingly overnight sensation since Beyoncé was seen rocking his duds earlier this summer — however, that isn’t necessarily true. In fact, he admits Michelle (from Destiny’s Child) was actually the first celebrity to rock his work.
Reuel, 28, has spent the last four years building his clothing brand, Demestiks New York. Primarily sold on Etsy, the womenswear line is based on Dutch wax prints and other classic African patterns. According to New York Magazine, Reuel was using traditional fabrics to make garments for the women he met at church in his hometown of Virginia Beach. He would take their orders after Sunday service and create one-off garments based on what each client needed.
As word of mouth spread, he developed a loyal following of locals — and eventually moved to New York to launch his own brand in 2009. With his bold use of color and indie fashion-girl aesthetic, his work has a vintage, girly quality to it. It draws on the bolder elements that came out of the ’70s and ’80s — peplums, dolman sleeves, and oversized bows.
The secret to his touch could be that he sews together bold prints and bright colors into fabulous pieces that accentuate the curves of a woman’s body. His portfolio includes skirts, shirts, rompers, jackets and dresses galore, all of which turn any sidewalk into a runway and any woman into a supermodel. Reuel notes he designs for women with a bold sense of style who want to stand out. He made the choice to use African prints in particular because of the texture, print, color and durability of the fabric.
“The fabric has history and soul and I wanted to design clothes that are more modern and less traditional in the Ankara fabric,” he said.
Be sure to check out his work on Instagram (@Reuel_Reuel) or at www.demestiksnewyork.etsy.com.