New Zealand fashion label Ruby has opened its eighth store, and it’s the first for the seaside suburb of Mount Maunganui. Positioned on Maunganui Road’s main strip, it’s in good company near design store Paper Plane and fashion boutique Sisters & Co – plus a host of the area’s best bars and restaurants.
“We found a great location, it was a good time, and we thought, ‘let’s do it – let’s just get in there’,” Auckland-based creative director Deanna Didovich tells Broadsheet. “But it is something we have always wanted to do because we know we have so many Rubettes [the brand’s name for its community of customers] down there.”
Local builder Homewerk is behind the fit-out (it also built plant-based ice-cream shop Sea People across the road) and Sydney-based interior designer Sam Boanas (Florets, Paris Georgia HQ) was in charge of the look and feel. “The vision is vibrant and fun, a space that doesn’t take itself too seriously but still has a lot of thought put into its ease of use and the way the colours make you feel,” Boanas says.
Aside from being led by practical considerations, such as displays and fitting rooms, Boanas says the store’s linear layout has allowed for elongated elements. The main clothing rack runs almost the full length of the Ruby pink room – the custom Pantone shade seen across its branding – with its bright red skirting boards. A long, high-gloss brown console sits on the opposite side.
There’s a distinctly casual and social vibe to this shop, with an iconic Gerrit Rietveld oak-top Military table at its centre, alongside striking ultramarine blue stools. “This store was a blank canvas to have a bit of fun with,” Didovich says. “It is definitely going to have a different flavour to our other stores but still embrace that Ruby feeling.”
Ruby has long been part of New Zealand’s fashion fabric, founded in 1999 by Lizzie Shand and run by the Sharma family since 2008. With its playful flair and ever-evolving silhouettes, the label has made a name for its inclusivity and broad appeal. Its size range runs from 4 to 24. “I have been working at Ruby for 15 years and started at 23 years old, and I’m still wearing Ruby products every single day,” Didovich says.
In a world where online shopping is a norm, she says bricks and mortar is still a necessity for Rubettes – and this store will showcase its full collection, including sister label Liam. “For me, you cannot compare shopping online to shopping in person. I like to have that really tactile experience of feeling and trying on.”
The opening comes just before the launch of its resort 2023 collection in a few weeks, which is apt in Didovich’s eyes. The Mount (as it’s affectionately known) embodies all the very best parts of a Kiwi summer with its long white sandy beach and summer vibe – and now residents can dress the part even more easily. “It’s a quintessential Ruby collection,” she says.