Devoted acolytes of yarn, rejoice: Los Angeles artist (and longtime Raf Simons collaborator) Sterling Ruby announced Wednesday that he is launching a clothing line, titled S.R. STUDIO. LA. CA. The line will debut in June, and will include both menswear and womenswear.
Though Ruby is best known as a fine artist, this is far from his first foray into clothing. He and Simons, who have been friends for almost two decades, have one of the more prolific collaborative histories in fashion, from their official collaboration on Simons’s Fall 2014 collection, to more recent and fluid joint efforts during Simons’s tenure at Calvin Klein. Ruby helped redesign Calvin Klein’s store, for example, filling it with motifs from his artwork, like caution-tape yellow paint and scaffolding, as well as several of his actual artworks, like his giant soft sculptures and yarn pompoms that hang from the ceiling like demented chandeliers.
Ruby and Simons’s Fall 2014 collection demonstrated the former’s full-fledged interest in fashion, mixing Simons’s bulbous footwear and oversized outerwear with Ruby’s quilted fabrics and paint-spattered prints. “This is our child,” Simons told Tim Blanks at the time. With such a developed profile in the fashion world, and a reputation so connected to that of another designer, the question is how Ruby will carve out his own design language. An answer might lie in his art practice: he in fact sewed before he made art, and created an all-denim uniform for his studio employees. After his 2014 show with Simons, he told W, “Everybody was standing up, cheering. At that moment I thought, Fuck being an artist—this is wonderful.”
In a statement, Ruby explained that his new collection will be inspired by his artworks—soft sculpture, quilts, and even his garments—rather than his previous, more public history with fashion. “I’ve always been been interested in the behavioral power that comes with clothing,” Ruby said in a statement. “For years I have been privately exploring garments as a medium, as something that impacts the way one can think, feel, and move. I couldn’t be more excited to finally put my clothing out into the world.” If Ruby’s work with Calvin Klein was a bright but vaguely threatening tumble with Americana, his new stuff, like his artwork, might take a more directly apocalyptic tack.