Demestiks New York is Sticking to Manhattan’s Garment District

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How did you become interesting in creating clothes for women?

I just love the diverse range of styles and beauty in womenswear, so I decided to design for women.

Plus, I just love to see a woman’s confidence when she knows she looks great.

I’ve studied fashion design since my years in high school in 2002 and continued to in college. Aside from class work, I constantly sewed and studied clothing construction by looking at clothes in stores.

“I just love to see a woman’s confidence when she knows she looks great.”

Where does your inspiration come from, particularly when it comes to choosing your fabrics?

I draw my inspiration from past experiences of black church style, classic designs, and color.

I’m inspired by eras of fashion that still have a strong play in modern fashion, mainly the ’60s and ’70s. I just love the structure and quality of the clothing during that era.

I feel that the fit of clothing and overall look of clothing was very strong during that time. People wanted to stand out.

I like using structured fabrics and mostly natural fibers, such as cotton and wools, in my collections, and look for cotton prints that are bold yet subtle.

Demestiks New York, Reuben Reuel, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, New York City, made in NYC, Garment District, interviews, Africa, bespoke fashion, bespoke clothing, Beyoncé

Where did the name “Demestiks” comes from?

“Demestiks New York” is derived from the idea that all of my products are made domestically in New York in an effort to support the New York City Garment District.

“Demestiks” is the phonetic way of spelling “Domestics” and pays homage to the values of the brand being made in the United States.

Although the nature of the NYC Garment District is dying, it’s not dead yet!

Why is it important for you to make your clothes locally?

I want to support the city and area that taught me a lot of what I know about garment manufacturing.

Although the nature of the NYC Garment District is dying, it’s not dead yet!

There are several resourceful companies that I continue working with, and I want to do my part to help keep NYC a strong source for fashion manufacturing.

Demestiks New York, Reuben Reuel, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, New York City, made in NYC, Garment District, interviews, Africa, bespoke fashion, bespoke clothing, Beyoncé

What advice can you offer to designers who want to source and manufacture locally?

Always be nice to people and build strong relationships. These companies don’t like working with divas and big egos. Remain humble!

What are the benefits of offering small-run, made-to-order fashions?

One of the best benefits is being able to connect to customers directly and feeling the love from them through instant feedback.

“Customers have a sense of worth when they have a say in customizing their [clothes].”

I’ve made many great connections with my customers who have opened the doors to many opportunities

Also, it’s just great to be able to make something for someone that fits their needs and unique body shape.

Customers have a sense of worth when they have a say in customizing their Demestiks New York order.

Demestiks New York, Reuben Reuel, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, New York City, made in NYC, Garment District, interviews, Africa, bespoke fashion, bespoke clothing, Beyoncé

Do you feel pressured to keep up with the traditional fashion calendar?

Well, I don’t have to keep up with the fashion calendar because I sell online and direct to customer.

I have the advantage of not having to sell clothes based on the season and based on buyers’ calendars.

It’s a very liberating and freeing thing for sure. As a designer in today’s market, we have the liberty to create our own rules.

How does your brand stand out from others in the industry today?

My formula is simple: Design classic clothing with traditional fabrics and add a personal twist to each style.

“I don’t have to keep up with the fashion calendar because I sell online and direct to customer.”

I think it all comes down to being authentic in one’s design aesthetic. I didn’t start out using ankara fabric because I thought it was trendy. Instead, I use the fabric because it has traditional roots in other cultures—a culture in which I feel close to in some ways—and I wanted to express that in my own culture.

I saw the fabric as an opportunity to express my design and style sense in a bold and powerful way which seems to be the right path for me.

Do you have plans to take Demestiks in different directions?

I am working on a home-goods line with the ankara fabric which is really exciting!

+ Demestiks New York

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