Season: Pre-Fall 2016 // Brand Launch: February 2016 // Inspiration: Iceland
I walked into the RUYI Group showroom knowing almost nothing about their newly developed Heurueh brand. The brand hasn’t formally launched yet, so there was no background to introduce me to its design elements, courtesy of Google. This newness elicited excitement and anxiety. Excitement for the discovery of a faux fur brand within an accessible price point and anxiety because I wasn’t sure what to expect of the aesthetic.
Luckily, the brand masterminds Afaf Seyam and Jefferson Ellison have their pulse tied to a relaxed downtown beat with roots in uptown inspiration. Their vision flows organically with the season’s inspiration, and the results are a tightly edited collection that can fit into anyone’s wardrobe. Pre-Fall 2016 influence happens to be the beauty of Icelandic landscapes. A foray into the Icelandic environment is a beyond-fitting inception point for an outerwear brand focused on warmth, layers, and practicality with a dose of old-world glam.
Heurueh proves that faux-fur doesn’t need to be the same quality as a plush toy hanging on the racks of Petco. As Jefferson walked me through the collection, I ran my hands down each piece, feeling the “fur” pile and testing the fit. The pieces consist of high-quality bias-cut fabrics that provide the fibers with movement, emulating real hides and pelts.
The quality of the materials got a thorough test-drive in the brand’s development phase. I gasped as Jefferson described the testing phase where he threw a coat on the road and had a NYC taxi drive over it to see how the piece would hold up. There’s pride in the production and the quality, and it reminds me of old-world heritage brand practices and generational businesses models. The process is by no means quick and easy for the producer, but this “slow-fashion” approach is exactly what today’s consumer needs, considering so many non-luxury brands are skimping on quality.
How did the coat hold up in the test cycle? Very well. Throw it in the cold wash cycle, hang it up and it’s good as new. You would never be able to do this with real fur!
Heurueh will officially launch in February 2016. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek of favorite looks.