This week for Spotlight On we are going to shed some light on Benjamin Ringuet, the man behind the increasingly successful and ever gorgeous Brisbane based label, My Ringuet. I’m sure by now everyone has caught a glimpse of his vibrantly coloured and intricately patterned designs, whether you’ve seen them on the likes of high profile beauties such as Carrie Bickmore and Rebecca Judd or just a girl you follow on Instagram, one things for sure – they’ll definitely leave a lasting impression.
Recently, I caught up with the uber talented Ben to find out a little more about the origins of this incredible local brand and get the inside scoop of what’s to come. Here’s what he had to say…BT: As a local label it’s always interesting to know your origins. Where did you grow up?
BR: I grew up on the South Side of Brisbane, we lived in Hawthorne at some stage, but just here, there and everywhere.
BT: Did you always dream of a career in fashion?
BR: No not at all! In the beginning it was all about my music. I was in a band and we were doing quite well but there came a time when I had to make a choice and I made the decision to pursue a career in fashion. I started out an at all boys school so as you can imagine it was pretty tough but I actually started making t-shirts and jeans and dressing all my friends and suddenly their girlfriends caught on and they were like ‘If you can make a shirt can you make a dress?’ and it all went from there! It’s been a journey since day one but I saw more potential to inspire and influence in fashion.
For me design is like writing a song. I felt as though I would have the opportunity to share my vision and create something that everybody in the community could wear and make memories in. I’m a fashion designer that was never meant to be!
BT: Where did you study design?
BR: I studied fashion at MSIT and then I went on to be involved in the mentoring program at QUT.
BT: How would you describe My Ringuet in 3 words?
BR: Good question! You know, 3 words is hard. I’ve never been fashion focused and coming from a lack of experience I just find that I am always talking to people and getting ideas. It’s constantly evolving.
BT: Where do you draw inspiration for your designs?
BR: Just by looking at one of our racks you can see that each garment reflects a certain stage of my life, whether that be a relationship I was in at the time or a particular energy I was feeling. I use all these experiences in order to create. I feel as though music is often a big inspiration for me. I can look at a piece and I know that at the time (of design) I was listening to The Beatles or Led Zeppelin or maybe to me this dress just screams Tame Impala. It’s all about self-discovery. I’m still searching for the next step.
BT: Do you feel as though your pieces are versatile enough to be suitable for a day at the office as well as a night on the town?
BR: A lot of the feedback I have received is that our pieces are considered much more as event wear than something you’d wear around every day. I’ve had clients tell me that they treat one of our dresses like a painting or a piece of art. They see them as collectables. For me, I like to think of them as one of my CD’s, but whatever you collect it’s something that you keep close to your heart. It’s about the memories.
BT: Do you think that the vivid colours and patterns of the My Ringuet collection are a point of difference in women’s fashion today and do you hope to use your distinctive designs to create an instantly recognisable brand?
BR: I think the Ringuet brand has already developed its’ own signature feel. I feel like people sit at home and watch ‘The Project’ and the second they see (Carrie Bickmore) in one of our dresses they instantly know exactly where it’s from. As a designer I’ve never been about conforming to trends. I design what feels right at the time.
BT: Who would you most like to see in one of your designs?
BR: We’ve already been blessed with a lot of interest from Australian personalities but while it’s wonderful to be able to dress the elite, I believe that the real growth and potential for inspiration is with the every-day girl.
BT: How can our readers get their hands on My Ringuet?
BR: You can of course go online to our site www.myringuet.com but we also now have profile accounts all over the world. We also hold local VIP events such as our upcoming event on the 20th of May on James St. We’re lucky enough to have an amazing team of affiliates here in Brisbane made up of a small group of individuals (such as you Sophie) who are helping us to create a platform and hopefully we will go from there!
BT: What’s next for Ringuet?
BR: We’ve recently been in discussions about an expansion to the US and we’ve even gotten interest from celebrities such as contestants from the US Voice. We’re planning an event in Beverley Hills in June which is just fantastic. I mean we started off as a bunch of guys just hanging out making jeans so we have no idea what to expect, I never thought this would all be happening so soon!You can check out the incredible My Ringuet collection for yourself here or and follow Benjamin and his brand on Instagram here. I dare you not to fall in love!