Olivia Rubens – The dark humor behind knitwear

Olivia Rubens’s says, “Be yourself to the Nth degree”. In addition, “The best thing you can do for yourself is to get to know yourself intimately, and express yourself as such”. This way of life tells the enormous introspection the designer shows with her projects.

Olivia Rubens, of Canadian origin (as if Canada were small), more precisely, grew up in Ottawa, in the region of Ontario. Rubens studied Fashion Design at Ryerson University, graduating in 2015. She, then, decided to move to London (2018) where she faced a Masters and started working on her own brand.

Olivia specializes in womenswear knitwear design along the road to sustainability: another small fish that follows the current that has been bothering us for a long time, but in a world full of emerging designers who believe in the reincarnation of Monsieur Dior.

It is fortunate that Rubens is humbly committed to using her knowledge to create a positive social and environmental impact thanks to design and innovative materials. Password “Green”: bio, recycled, ethical and traceable.

We at ONEG Magazine have pushed the issue of environmental sustainability by asking her: which materials does she prefer to use? Olivia’s response was quick: Filmar Egyptian cotton, a high quality yarn, promotes economic growth and has remarkable durability, and Solvron, a non-toxic and plant-based fibre. 

These are just some of the materials that the designer uses to evoke meaning through her creations; meanings that are exhibited thanks to provocative collections, arousing a sensation, stirring the minds by means of the dark humor inherent in her design, mixed with social themes.

Olivia Rubens’s mixing and experimenting with the “frivolous”, the “funny”, the “cute” and the “feminine” with the dark side expressed through her jerseys proves to be an active warrior in social enterprise. The designer works to help women, children and communities in England and Canada. Digging a little deeper, Olivia says that she herself has had to fight against bullying in her youth and those who erected walls. So, she woke up the tiger resting inside her, climbing over them, along the road that led her to where she is today.

Often, her outfits show-faces half-covered or completely obscured (masks, cloaks or headgear), which is a way to shout to society that it is perhaps time to recognize true feminine emancipation. Let’s follow her and watch.  

Photography Brian Rankin
Styling Paola Nerilli
Make up Martha Inoue
Hair Arisa Yamasaki and Hiroki Kojima
Models Nene and Ausrine


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