How designer Bessie Ye’s ‘creative vomit’ led to fashion label Rye’s beautiful, minimalist wardrobe staples


She is unstudied, clear and considered.

WHAT ARE YOUR HERO ITEMS?

At our core, we do very well in the wardrobe staples realm. Pieces that are fundamental to any good wardrobe. That includes a well cut, washed cotton shirt; a pair of effortless fluid flared pants; a relaxed fit dress with a sculptural silhouette; everyday crew neck sleeveless tee; and rib-knit tanks that pairs well with almost anything and everything.

AND WHAT IS YOUR OWN PERSONAL FAVORITE FROM YOUR COLLECTION?

That’s hard. I am biased because I spent so much time and effort developing every piece in the collection, and everything becomes some sort of object of affection. If I had to choose, currently, I would say our cropped oversized cotton shirt. I love the simplicity of it, but it’s also not so straightforward. I put a lot of consideration into perfecting the proportion and the unexpected curve hemline to make it slightly interesting. And I love washed cotton – always and forever.

WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS LIKE? HOW DO YOU GET INSPIRED AND THEN DESIGN A PIECE OR COLLECTION?

My creative process usually starts from the constant dialogue between the world of art, design and fashion.

I am inspired by art movements (mainly from the early 20s), fashion photography, films, interior design, architecture, mid-century modern furniture (Germany and Belgium vintage makes me very excited!), nature, food and wine.

It starts by forming an idealized world in my head with everything that excites me. Followed by breaking down these ideas into smaller bits, figuring out how to connect the dots and finally solving one problem at a time. I don’t think there is any hard and fast rule. Creative process moves freely in and out of my mind.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?

Possibly recruitment. The heart of every good business is the people behind who give their best every day. Workspace culture is something we take seriously, cultivating and ensuring we hire the right people who align with our values.

As a solo founder, I can’t do everything myself. But I obviously didn’t think that way when I first started out.

I wish hiring was straightforward, but it’s not. Hiring is very trial and error. To me, the working chemistry needs to be formed, and everything needs to happen effortlessly at the right time and at the right place.

The best thing that happened for me and the business was I got to design my own dream team. And through this process, I’ve learned so much about myself – my strengths and weaknesses, what are the things I am good at doing, things that I am average at doing, and things I am horrible at. It’s true when I say Rye is my guru. There are so many valuable teachings I’ve learned from running the business.

I am grateful for being able to work with a good tribe of like-minded people; we share common goals and values. When we are passionate about our work, we excel in it. And as a result, that makes work fun and almost doesn’t feel like work. That liberates and inspires me every day.

WHAT DO YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOUR BRAND AND YOUR PRODUCTS?



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