There will always be trends that come and go with the ebb and flow of the fashion industry. In recent years Millennials have brought minimalism back in vogue.
The concept of a minimalist lifestyle, of simplicity over complexity, of freedom over frenzy certainly has its appeal, especially as I gaze around my living room and consider what I could pare down or declutter. I am filled with predicaments. Do I still need this? When was the last time I used it? What would happen if I got rid of it? Could someone use this more than me?
I am reminded of the piles of books that have amassed by my window patiently waiting to be sorted. Also my mind turns to the untamed “everything drawer” requiring immediate attention. These thoughts bubble up in a virtuous attempt to strip away life’s excesses and usher in a little inner calm.
I have a few key pieces in my home however such as my coffee table that was crafted from a 500 year old Indian wooden door and my dining table constructed from the floorboards of an ancient ship that do not strictly adhere to the limitations of a minimalist aesthetic.
For me, these are timeless pieces that sit outside of modern day trends. I also have a few tailored wardrobe staples that fall into this category. For the most part, my wardrobe is an edited collection of simple silhouettes that adhere to a limited colour palette. The pieces that I love the most though are those that are timeless in nature, that work everyday, no matter what is fashionable at the time. I find that we can interact with these pieces on more than one level. They offer an aesthetic and tactile appeal but, more often than not, it is the narrative they are wrapped up in that brings a unique vibrancy to them. I may well be flouting all kinds of minimalist norms here but without this vibrancy, without these stories, these timeless pieces begin to lack significant feeling and character.
It is for this reason that I particularly love our Quentin Tote for it’s easy elegance and timeless look and feel. Each Quentin awaits the narrative of its new owner. The weary traveler that catches the last train escaping the city din, the father who presents it to his daughter embarking on the first steps of her career, or perhaps in the next generation the Quentin will be inherited alongside other personal items synonymous with loved ones past.
When I started RUSKIN my intention was to follow a slower more sustainable approach to design and to create timeless lifestyle pieces made for people who share in our values. My inspiration has derived predominantly from nature, particularly from the earthy colours and tones of my home in the Lake District. I named our company after John Ruskin, a great Victorian critic of art, culture and society and a prolific artist in his own right. In many ways, Ruskin was a man ahead of his time. He believed strongly in sustainability and traditional craftsmanship from natural materials.
We have placed these same sentiments front and centre in our brand to create timeless products that have the greatest regard for the environment and are designed to outlast the vagaries of fashion trends.