4 Questions with Rue 114

My fellow FIT alum just continue to amaze me- meet Serwah Asante, the designer behind Rue 114! Focused on the feminine silhouette and celebrating beauty in every size, the Ghanian native released her Intro 2012 Capsule Collection “Et Dieu Créa La Femme” (And God Created Woman). See what Serwah had to say about African fashion and a few of my favorite pieces from her collection:

- With so many plus-size designers emerging, what sets Rue114 apart from the rest?
I think the key factors that set the Rue 114 design aesthetic apart from other plus designers are threefold 1) our attention design detail and point of view 2) our belief that “straight” and “plus” sized garments can be presented under the same designer brand in a way that flatters women of all shapes and sizes 3) our presentation of African inspired fashion in a manner that speaks to today’s woman

- What was the inspiration that went into your Intro 2012 capsule collection?
My inspiration was to create a line that gave a taste of my vision for the wider Rue 114 brand. I wanted the introductory collection to present a confident, sexy, and chic modern woman. Sometimes I think there can be a disconnect between expressions of current African inspired fashion and the needs of today’s woman. I seek to bridge this gap by presenting pieces that reference varying aspects of the African continent while keeping in mind the needs of today’s fashion forward woman whether in Lagos, Laos, or Los Angeles.
- How important was it to you, that your brand celebrates beauty and style for women of all sizes?
The Rue 114 mission statement is that “Great style should come in all sizes because fabulous, fierce, kick-ass women come in all sizes!” It is what we live and design by. Therefore our size range is of critical importance to our brand’s identity. There is a clear market for interesting and fashionable garments that stretch beyond a size 10. There is also a clear need for more celebration of beauty at differing sizes in the world of fashion. There is room enough for the size 6 and the 18. We seek to be a platform for that expression.- Now that your intro collection has debuted, what more do you have in-store for Rue 114?
Our next collection will be for Fall 2012. We decided to take a departure from African prints to show another side of African fashion that goes beyond prints. The goal is to allow for African inspired fashion to be expressed in a different way from the intro collection. Additionally, we are working on widening our distribution outlets with confirmed interest from boutiques in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and France. Beyond this upcoming season, we seek to continue to grow our global brand identity with a 5 year operational goal of producing our collection out of Ghana, West Africa.

Afripop Pencil Dress $240

Femme Fatale Blouse $100

Shimmy On Over Pencil Skirt $140

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