An Inspired Conversation with Peridot & Ruby

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

…The next thing most brides ALWAYS think of once they've decided on what dress they are wearing is what their bridesmaids will wear. Most thoughtful brides want their maids in pretty frocks that flatter their shape and reflect their personalities. Best intentions aside though,sometimes bridesmaids are disappointed because the dress is at worst very unflattering and at best, just well…..a little bit dull to be honest.

While researching gorgeous styles most bridesmaids will be thrilled to wear, I came across selections from the undeniably stylish designer, Peridot & Ruby (bridesmaid line - Something Peridot). I'd heard of them and seen some of their work but venturing on their website, so impressed was I with their array of beautiful dresses, I didn’t actually venture anywhere else! Seeing as this blog is also a lot about going behind the scenes of the Wedding Industry in Nigeria, we wanted to give you access to what makes this brand tick.

Visit the site to treat yourself to some of the loveliest bridesmaids options we’ve seen in a while and hopefully give you plenty of inspiration for your own favourite girls at your wedding.

Our thanks to Lola (Abiodun-Ashafa) for having this inspired conversation with us on the JustWeddings Inspired Blog today!

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The Inspired Q & A

I know this is probably the first question you are asked in interviews but real quick, give me your 60 second elevator introduction of Peridot & Ruby!

Peridot and Ruby is a clothing line which was created in 2006. The company crafts every design with the customer in mind, from conception to after sales services. It is a brand for the woman who craves timeless pieces with a little bit of "now" details. Something Peridot is the sister company that deals with dresses for a bridal party.

There are certain noticeable thing about your designs -the bold use of colour, the rich accessorizing, use of African fabric and the very 50’s era feminine feel - What inspires your designs? What is the Peridot & Ruby signature style? Do you have a team of designers or work alone? 
My inspiration comes from any woman with an underlining factor...individuality. The ability to let one’s style reflect on personality. A signature Peridot and Ruby style? I think its safe to say the brand's most known for cocktail dresses in a simple silhouette and an embellished band on the waist, the use of color allows the owner to have fun with the dress. In terms of designing, I work alone but over the summer holidays, I had a fashion intern work in the company. We were able to work on the brand's next collection. It was fun seeing this young lady (Temitayo Dare) illustrate and bring vision to the next project.

What trends do you see being big for 2010-11? Do you think we’ll see more non-traditional bridal gowns or unusual coloured gowns? We notice you tend to do bridesmaids’ dresses that are customized to each bridesmaid? At the moment, I don't think strapless dresses are going anywhere but I think more brides will embraces gowns with sleeves that flatter their body types. In regards to details, the use of soft fabrics to achieve detail will be popular. we will see a lot of rosettes, layers, flowers, feathers. Colored gowns? hmmm I don't think we will have many brides taking that plunge, especially in Nigeria. When I consult with a bride, I try and get a feel of her vision for her big day, what her bridesmaids look like, if there's a particular theme for the wedding. Based on a series of questions, I'm able to advice on creativity of the dresses. I'm sure every bride wants her girls to look nice on her big day so allowing them have a sense of individuality won't hurt especially when body types vary.

Does Peridot & Ruby carry an off the rack line? The attention to detail is very evident in your dresses and makes me wonder if Nigeria is about ready for lines similar to Alfredo Angelo, Dessy and JCrew for bridal parties. What is your niche market and what are your thoughts about brides being able to walk into a store anywhere in Nigeria and buy off the rack versus bespoke designs for bridesmaids? We are currently working on a ready to wear line for Peridot and Ruby. We have clients who constantly call to buy something off the rack so that is definitely in the works. For Something Peridot, that will be a project for the future because at the moment, brides would rather have dresses made specifically for their wedding. This year, we released our ad campaign/LookBook to show potential clients dresses they can pick from if they don't want to bother with the hassle of made- to-order dresses.

Confess!! Are there times you wince if a client has a VERY clearly non- hour glass shape (ahem! - perhaps because you worry they may not showcase your design as well as you would like) or do you enjoy the challenge of making the client’s own shape look amazing? You are putting me on the spot right? lol. Yes I get clients like that but its also my responsibility to convince them to change their ideas as I know it won't work for the body type. The satisfaction comes from the client allowing and trusting my judgment and in the end being very satisfied with the final garment.

What is the most difficult aspect of running your own label i.e. design, production, sales, finance, advertising? What goes on in the background that clients don’t see? Everyday Nigeria problems. Electricity which we need for the business to function. Supply of goods- one minute fabrics are available, the next minute they are not. I have an excellent work force who I know take pride in running the business like its theirs and thats very rare to find. We get the "crazy" months where everyone has to work overtime and its never pretty lol! but we always make sure we get the job done and the end user is satisfied.

What did you do before becoming a fashion designer and do you feel your vision for Peridot and Ruby is being actualized? I have two degrees in marketing and i always wanted to get into the advertising industry but it never happened. Lets just say Peridot and Ruby came at the right time. We launched Something Peridot this year and so far so good. The ability to satisfy is key for the brand and we've been able to do that. It's been an amazing and fruitful experience and I'm definitely excited about the future of both companies.

You got married a while back (Congratulations!), was it hard deciding on the one style for your bridesmaids and did you design the fabulous bridesmaids’ dresses? Thank you! Believe it or not, picking styles was one of the easiest decisions I made. I knew I wanted them to look fabulous so picking color and style came easy. I paired them in groups and worked out what style would fit people in each group but keeping uniformity in color, length and silhouette and I just had fun with it!

For our readers who will no doubt be interested, what is your price range? How does the process work if a bride is interested in dressing her wedding party in Peridot & Ruby? Price range generally depends on style and fabric. On an average I would say N20,000. The process involves consultation with the bride, concluding on design, seeing her bridesmaids for measurements , producing the garments and a series of follow ups for fittings. Pretty straightforward!

Finally, is there any new event coming up- partnerships, store openings or maybe trunk shows you are featuring in you’ll like to tell people about? We just opened a store in Dolphin Estate (Lagos) and that has worked out well in terms of accessibility. Partnerships? We have a couple in the works!

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Contact Details:
t: 0703 242 3769 or 0702 834 1783
13B Awori rd, Dolphin Estate, Lagos.


Olori,  9 September 2010 at 05:38  

I really love seeing young women establishing themselves in business. It is inspiring and the first dress is a classic.the fact that it can be tailor made to fit more is even better.
Lovely interview, she comes across as very humble and intelligent!

Chic Therapy 11 September 2010 at 07:22  

Loved the interview!WIsh the P & R team the best!

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