Artist Sterling Ruby Is Launching His Own Fashion Collection to Explore the ‘Behavioral Power of Clothing’

The artist has previously collaborated with Calvin Klein designer Raf Simons.

Artist Sterling Ruby makes his own clothes for working in the studio. Now, he's launching his own fashion line. Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images.
Artist Sterling Ruby makes his own clothes for working in the studio. Now, he's launching his own fashion collection. Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images.

After several years of collaborations within the fashion world, artist Sterling Ruby is now launching his very own collection, S.R. STUDIO. LA. CA. Debuting in June, the collection will feature ready-to-wear womenswear and menswear, as well as accessories.

The collection represents the culmination of 10 years of work. Over the past decade, Ruby’s artwork has grown in scope as the artist has experimented with soft sculpture as well as quilts and garments.

“I’ve always been interested in the behavioral power that comes with clothing. For years I have been privately exploring garments as a medium, as something that impacts the way one can think, feel, and move,” Ruby said in a statement. “I couldn’t be more excited to finally put my clothing out into the world.”

It isn’t the artist’s first foray into fashion. In 2014, Ruby teamed up with designer Raf Simons to create a fall/winter menswear collection for the his namesake house. After the runway show, “everybody was standing up, cheering,” Ruby told W magazine. “At that moment I thought, ‘Fuck being an artist—this is wonderful.’”

When Simons was later named chief creative officer at Calvin Klein, rumors arose that Ruby would be tapped to help revitalize the American brand. Sure enough, the artist headed up a bold redesign of the Calvin Klein 205W38NYC flagship boutique in New York in 2017.

Models present creations by Raf Simons/Sterling Ruby during the Fall/Winter 2014–2015 men's fashion show in Paris on January, 15, 2014. Photo by Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images.

Models present creations by Raf Simons/Sterling Ruby during the Fall/Winter 2014-15 men’s fashion show in Paris on January, 15, 2014. Photo by Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images.

Simons and Ruby began working together after “we started to see people doing things that cross-pollinate between art and fashion… but not doing it very well,” Ruby said during a 2018 Rouse Visiting Artist discussion at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

His exposure to the fashion world encouraged Ruby to take a closer look at his own practice—not only at his sculptures but also at the “uniform” he wore in the studio. The latter became the basis for a 2016 Sprüth Magers show, “Work Wear: Garment and Textile Archive 2008-2016.”

Installation view of Sterling Ruby's 2016 Sprüth Magers show, "Work Wear: Garment and Textile Archive 2008–2016." Photo courtesy of Sprüth Magers.

Installation view of Sterling Ruby’s 2016 Sprüth Magers show, “Work Wear: Garment and Textile Archive 2008-2016.” Photo courtesy of Sprüth Magers.

“I’m climbing ladders and I’m moving things around, and it has to be a garment that will handle the studio routine,” Ruby told the German magazine and fashion brand 032c in 2016. “I was treating fabric collage elements and sculptural materials, and I started to amass an archive of remnants that I wanted to turn into garments that I could wear. And that became a kind of ritual, an autobiographical recycling.”

Bleached denim designs from Raf Simmons and Sterling Ruby. Photo courtesy of Raf Simmons.

Bleached denim designs from Raf Simmons and Sterling Ruby. Photo courtesy of Raf Simmons.

Each of Ruby’s work uniforms is unique. The textiles have been bleached, dyed, and exposed to chemicals and enzymes; some feature scorch marks from accidental welding burns. (For their joint collection, Ruby supplied Simons with bleached denim.)

Distribution and pricing details for Ruby’s debut collection will be announced at a later date.


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