An Interview with the RUFFIAN Boys; Claude and Brian

Sep 05

An Interview with the RUFFIAN Boys; Claude and Brian

We recently announced our very exciting partnership with NY-based fashion label, Ruffian and as we count down to the main event this weekend, we sat down with the men behind the label to hear how they are inspired and how Prismacolor helps them take their designs from sketches in a sketchbook to runway ready.

Get the scoop here!

What is inspiration to you? What is Art/Design?

Inspiration can come from anywhere.  A stroll down Bedford Avenue in our native Williamsburg Brooklyn, a serendipitous muse on the E train, or a great performance in an silver screen Hollywood movie. For us art and design is being able to take inspiration from the exterior, and adapt and present it in a way that is meaningful to you and your audience.

A look inside the Ruffian Studio in NYC


You have partnered with Prismacolor for this year’s NYFW? Why Prismacolor and what are you most excited about?

Prismacolor Markers are a building block to every collection we design. So it makes sense that the foundation of our work is celebrated amongst the hundreds of fans that will attend our Fashion Show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center. We are most excited about seeing how all of our fans interpret our collection through the “Color Me Ruffian” coloring book!

Claude shares a sketch from a previous collection



What’s your favorite Prismacolor product?

Prismacolor Markers had always been our favorite. They always make our work look fresh and relevant.

Any tips for getting the hang of the markers that you would like to share?

We always layer our colors starting from lightest to darkest to add depth and richness when rendering textiles.


How did you start working as an artist/designer? How do you get the creative juices flowing and where do you look for inspiration for a new collection?

We both have very different beginnings in terms of design, Claude was a model in Paris, and than a Stylist for magazines, while I studied Fashion and Costume and apprenticed for designers in NY & Paris. We take long walks to get our juices flowing, whether in NYC, Paris or anywhere in between. The best way we get inspired is by experiencing a culture, architecture, and it peoples hands on.  Fashion is a living art form and must be experienced in person.


One of the many walls that swerve as inspiration boards for the designers.

Can you tell us about your “process” for creating a new collection or piece?

Our process begins with a moment of inspiration, a feeling, an awareness of the air du temps,  from there we begin obsessively researching and creating mood boards. There is generally two counter –inspirations, Marie Antoinette and Blondie, Punk and Princess etc. This gives life and excitement to the collection. After establishing the inspiration we begin sketching, than muslins (where we test out shapes in plain canvas), finally we cut fabric and make clothes.

Claude hard at work in the RUFFIAN studio.

What’s your favorite part of this job/ creative process?

Collaboration is our favorite part. We often say collaboration is the highest art form. We are lucky enough to be able to work with the best mills, most talented tailors, brilliant stylists, hair and make-up artists.

Advisory Council member, Steven Broadway takes it all in as Brian walks him through a previous collection

If you could have one super power what would it be and why?

To be able to make minutes into hours, and days into weeks..


Best advice you ever received?

Listen to everyone, do what you want!


Jewelry and fabric rest alongside one another

Do you ever show your work to others before its finished? Are you ever self-conscious about your work?

Yes we do have some mentors and colleagues whom we share with, as well as the entirety of our team, but secrecy and surprise are the most important parts of fashion! All artists are self conscious about their work, but the brave ones put themselves out there for criticism and praise.


Finish this sentence: “ I am/ We are…”

We are Ruffian!


Ruffian, ladies and gentlemen!




For more on the duo, keep following along here and on Facebook AND be sure to check out the recent story about #RuffianXPrismacolor partnership in Refinery29! Want to see the show live? Stay tuned to hear how!


  1. Mélanie /

    Bonjour, je suis une enseignante de deuxième année et je souhaite vous informer que je suis déçue de la qualité de vos crayons de bois couleurs. Depuis le début de l’année , mes élèves ne cessent d’aiguiser les crayons car la mine casse toujours. Je me demande ce qui se passe. J’exige des crayons de bonnes qualités à mes parents dans la liste de fourniture et là je suis totalement découragée de voir que nous ne ferons pas toute l’année scolaire avec ces crayons neufs! Je suis moi même maman et je m’empêcherai d’acheter vos crayons que j’aimais tant car je trouve que la mine est trop grasse et qu’elle casse toujours. Merci de votre écouté et j’espère que vous tiendrai compte de mon message.

    • Caitlin /

      Thanks for reaching out and letting us know you have had an issue with the pencils! I do want to assure you that feedback like this is taken VERY seriously and I would love to put you in touch with someone from our consumer affairs team so they can report back to our Quality teams. Would you mind providing an email address that I can pass on to our customer affairs team so they can reach out to you directly about your experience?

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