Making your name in the fashion industry is an achievement lots of people aim to reach. 27-year old Filipino immigrant, Rhuigi Villasenor, had once dreamt of the same thing. Years later, he has successfully showcased his passions and cultures in the fashion pieces we see from him today.
A Background on Rhuigi Villasenor
At the early age of 9 years, Rhuigi and his family had moved from his hometown in the Philippines, Manila, to the sunny green sights of California to open their doors to bigger opportunities. In an interview, Rhuigi mentions that his father, who was an architect, would often travel around the world and bring his family along every journey.
Before finding his identity through fashion, he was treated rather differently by the kids around him because of his tastes both in music and fashion. This prompted him to educate himself more on pop culture, from what had trended and what had died down. Since then, he has worked on how he presents himself. He went from a simple kid to a model they looked up to at his school.
This was the start for Rhuigi. He had slowly started to grow into fashion as something more than just an image. While it was dressing up and looking nice to others, it was different in his perspective.
At a young age, he had an eye for the art of fashion and was able to look at it uniquely. This feeling in him had only continued to grow as the years passed by and eventually led to him gaining an interest in fashion design, which he aimed to pursue.
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The moment he was done with high school, he set out for his journey in the world of fashion by starting with a few classes on technical dressmaking and interning for menswear designer, Shaun Samson. He worked under him all the while designing and making his own pieces once in a while.
Rhuigi experimented various styles with different materials. He was able to get a grasp on the basics of clothing and sewing with the help of his mother, who watched him grow throughout the process. Later on, he had slowly started to make it into the bigger scene.
Rhude: Welcoming an L.A. Streetwear Brand to the World of High Fashion
In 2015, Rhude was officially founded. But before this, Rhuigi had been making pieces already. One of the most significant moments in Rhuigi’s career is when Kendrick Lamar wore his bandana print shirt to the 2012 BET Awards. This served as the stepping stone for him to open up his own brand and company.
It took a few more years for him to put together his business. He had used the income he earned from past projects to kick off his brand and release more unique pieces. Slowly, his brand had spread and gained a reputation in the streets of LA. Since the brand’s launch, it has only continued growing.
Rhude acted more like another part of Rhuigi’s life. Other than a means for him to express his passion, it was also a way for him to portray his story through fashion pieces. The identity of the brand itself, along with each collection and piece, are based on moments in his life.
His collections are inspired from significant events and symbols of his past. This includes things that signify his childhood memories living with two completely different cultures. He incorporates small details representing these in his pieces.
Rhuigi continues to make little references to his first home, Manila, through his designs. An example of this are the cigarette icons found on Rhude tees, which is a tribute to Filipino children who sell cigarettes on the streets for their families.
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Rhuigi states that it was a challenge to keep his identity and his brand’s spirit on the same level since his personal growth and the development of his brand were both moving at different paces. Despite this, he continues to work in order to reach his goal both as a fashion designer and with his brand.
The fashion designer had pieces worn by various big names and figures such as Jay-Z who wore Rhude x Lakers when he visited the Staples Center with Rhuigi, LeBron James who would often wear Rhude during his pregame appearances, along with other artists such as The Weekend, A$AP Rocky, Justine Bieber, Adam Levine, Britney Spears and much more.
Rhude’s Paris Fashion Show
The development of Rhuigi’s brand had led up to the moment of showcasing his clothing line at the Paris Fashion Show, which is definitely a big moment for him to celebrate.
With the brand starting to spread on the global market, it was growing stronger each day. The Paris Fashion Show makes it an even better opportunity for the designer to showcase Rhude uniquely to a wider audience.
The collection Rhuigi had put together consisted of his classic pieces; those that symbolize the brand more than ever as well as its gradual growth. This included tees and pants put together to present eye-catching silhouettes that really help in introducing the brand to anyone who’s new.
For the spring collection, “The Audacity to Dream”, which is set to release by the spring / summer of the year 2021, Rhuigi portrays the journey of an escape. Along with the current thoughts he’s had since the coronavirus outbreak, he connects this to the feelings he had during the time he traveled to the US from the Philippines.
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Rhuigi says, “This is the first collection that marks me as an American citizen,” in reference to his naturalization in June. The designer also believes that his abilities have been improving. “I’m designing, I guess, in a better way,” he states.
His spring collection takes a basic approach that has retro features and can be fit for casually lounging at home. He includes summer themed tops in simple cuts and over sized sweatshirts along with baggy shorts and faded jeans.