Ruth Nathan’s Chief Designer, Nicole R. Brown, is a young black woman in the midst of a passionate love affair with all things stately, swanky and dandy. Her fascination with the transformative quality of a well-dressed person propelled her to create the brand—making her the odd duck in an industry largely dominated by male designers. It is her desire that Ruth Nathan’s not only make customers look spectacular but feel spectacular as well, positively influencing them to feel better about themselves. It is a known fact that when one dresses well, one feels better—and from an outfit that is well put together, that makes one walk with pride, the Urban Peacock emerges. Nicole’s artistry is inspired by her travels. For her, the childhood game of “I Spy” never ended, and her globe-trekking has only accelerated the rate of play. As a child, she would hear someone say, “I see a blue house,” but would herself would see much more: deep greens and indigo and smoke purples and slate greys. Today, she enjoys taking everyday objects and places—some industrial and others more delicate—and turning that inspiration into luxurious textiles. One such environment is a shipping port; the lines and colors of the shipping containers transported her immediately and completely, emblazoning themselves in her mind. Through this lens, the Ports Collection was born. When inspiration strikes, Nicole translates her vision into a textile pattern by sketching it on her computer and creating the fabrics from there. Ruth and Nathan are Nicole’s maternal grandparents. Originally from Greenville, Mississippi, Grandpa Nathan was a tailor and a gentleman whose dapper wardrobe was outshone only by his character. This brand pays homage to those roots. Oh, and he was occasionally known to wear the hell out of a bow tie.
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