Reuben Selby

“making the industry ‘less worse’ is not enough”

Creative and modelling agency co-founder, fashion designer, sustainability advocate and researcher, set designer and collaborator… These are just a ‘few’ of the many shoes that took Reuben Selby’s work under the spotlight… Sounds a lot? Forget it. The designer seems to be only at the very first steps of a very promising career.

With Maisie Williams being his number one collaborator and girlfriend, the creative duo is actively challenging fashion normativity, making a change one step at a time.

When I first met Reuben and Maisie on a photoshoot set last fall, I remember them talking us through the message and intentions leading the freshly born brand. Today, Selby took a second to explain us the importance of collaboration, change and sustainability within his vision.

“Introspection is at the heart of the brand” suggests the designer, outlining the hopes and passions intertwined within his creations. What we are witnessing, it’s an inspiring act of love for creation, an invitation for reconsideration of our true identity.

Following a successful opening of FASHION FOR GOOD’s “GROW” exhibition, and an upcoming show planned to take place at the next LFW, we couldn’t be more excited to see what the future of the brand holds.

Where does your passion for fashion come from? What pushed you to start up your own brand?

My passion for fashion comes from my desire to create and bring art into the world. I wasn’t surrounded by fashion growing up, but I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of storytelling and building new worlds.

“I see fashion as one of many art forms that I use to express myself, which is also the true driving force behind my brand.”

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to run my own brand and curate shows.

What have been the greatest challenges throughout this past year?

Navigating the impact of Covid and Brexit on the fashion industry. I want the brand to be focused on fashion shows and collaborative projects more than bringing garments into production; however, the small runs we’ve planned to bring out have been massively disrupted.

What inspires you? What kept you pushing?

Striving for something bigger than myself is what truly inspires me. Creating an artwork that transcends, and connects deeply with an audience.

“I’m inspired to create new perspectives, to encourage people to look internally, in the hope to make the world a better place.”

We loved your latest homage to Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s legendary work. How has the collaboration come together?

Jeanne Claude and Christo’s work has always been a massive inspiration to me as an artist. However, only recently have I been able to come to terms with a deeper meaning to their work. Their pursuit of creating self-funded art on a grand scale is as equally, as admirable, of the work itself. The vision, the determination and drive resonate deeply within me: they reinforce the importance of being patient, reminding me how powerful an everlasting image can be.

You recently took part in FASHION FOR GOOD’s “GROW” exhibition in Amsterdam. Tell us more about your collaboration with Infinited Fiber.

Another core pillar of the brand is sustainability. Beginning with the brand’s conception, we felt responsible for building it the most ethical way possible. For our debut collection, we put a lot of work into the research and sourcing for partners to collaborate with. We were so inspired when we found Infinited Fibre: we thought of it as a fantastic opportunity to tell their story, and highlight their amazing work. Infinited fibre has a technology that turns cellulose-rich waste – a discard that would otherwise be landfilled or burnt into something precious – a 100% circular premium textile fibre. It reduces the world’s reliance on materials. We used the fibre for the cargoes and shirting in the collection.

The rumor has it we shall see a new collection coming up soon. Do you want to talk us through the inspiration behind it?

This June, we will be presenting our first show in London during LFW. I’m so excited for this project as I will be going deep into my cultural roots and my connection to the city. We’ve been working on this show solidly for seven months, compared to the two months that we spent on a daily show in Paris. We are taking things to a whole new level, and this will be the first time people get to see what our creative team is capable of. There will be a lot of raw energy and excitement, and I can’t wait for people to absorb it.

What statement lays at the core of your brand?

Introspection is at the heart of the brand. We often say we created the brand for introverts. To feel comfortable, without having to stand out or identify. The brand is the catalyst for self-expression: it aims to create an image that builds confidence, to push individuals to stay true to themselves.

Do you believe in change? What are your hopes for the future of fashion?

I 100% believe in change, but I also think that change is not easy, and perhaps, it is sometimes not welcomed. For change to happen, it has to be approached systematically, we have to realise how things are intertwined first. We need more people coming together, collaborating, and solving challenging problems, rather than performing individually. Also, the focus should project onto the roots of the problem: making the industry “less worse” is not enough.

Production and consumption must be reduced, which means businesses and people need to reconsider their motivations, in order to ensure an ecological and abundant world in the future.

“It is my deep hope to center fashion around creativity and storytelling, rather than profit and consumption.”

How has Maisie supported you in becoming one of fashion spokesmen?

Maisie is my number one collaborator. She brings so much of the energy and drive that pushes me to create. Maisie has a beautifully contrasting mind to my own, and she constantly questions how things should be done. She broadens my peripheral view when it comes to conceptualising what we’re going to create. I often have such a clear vision and focus, meaning that I’m not looking at the things I’m unaware of.

“To have someone on your side always giving creative energy means you will never create something that isn’t exciting.”

What is next to come for your brand?

My focus for the brand is to do good, and this can take any form. We want to collaborate and create projects that inspire people, and that’s all.



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