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About her decision to become a designer, inspiration and projects abroad.

Fast confession - Natali Ruden: Every woman should have a simple black dress in her wardrobe!

Tereza Janatová
12.Sep 2018
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3 minutes

Some love her, others hate her. Natali Ruden certainly has a quite specific style and taste. Some people like her clothes and other people prefer a different option. Be that as it may, we nearly didn’t have the opportunity to encounter her in the field of fashion at all. It originally seemed that she would become famous as a successful tennis player, but in the end she swapped her tennis racket for a sewing machine, which still seems to be working very well.

Natali Ruden
Natali became fashion designer
Andrea Verešová is her favourute model

Your authorial show will take place soon, what can we look forward to this time?

The show, which will take place at Forum Karlín at the end of September, will be inspired by Asia. This is a very broad concept, but I hope that it will capture the spirit of Asia, whether this concerns the colours, fabrics or designs – I like to be inspired, but I also want to remain myself.

Did you manage to remain yourself even when you left Ukraine and came to the Czech Republic?

I think, so. Even though every person continues to change over time.

Prodej luxusního bytu, Praha 1 - Nové Město
Prodej luxusního bytu, Praha 1 - Nové Město, Praha 1

Do you have a “chosen” model, which you have a long-standing partnership with?

Andrea Verešová has been presenting my models for over twenty years now. Unfortunately she will not be at my “Asia” show. She will miss my show for the first time. I like her very much. She is my inspiration, my muse.

Did you want to be a fashion designer as a young girl?

It wasn’t that easy. As a small girl I played tennis competitively, until I was about 15. I trained regularly and really wanted to achieve something in the sport. Unfortunately, or maybe luckily, something changed one evening and I realised that I didn’t want to be a tennis player. My mother was a designer for the Kiev House of Fashion, so I was familiar with what went on behind the scenes and working as a designer interested me so much that I went to my mum and told her that I no longer wanted to play tennis and that I wanted to be a fashion designer. She was very surprised. The first thing she told me was that I couldn’t draw. And I told her that it didn’t matter. I was determined to learn everything. And I truly devoted four hours every day to drawing, painting and composition for the next year. It initially seemed impossible. Some people train for many years for the entrance exams. But in the end I managed perfectly.

What traits should every true designer have in your opinion?

Talent is most important, a strong character, strong nerves and a head for business.

Was it difficult to succeed against the heavy competition in the beginning?

Of course it was, but I never conceded. I don't follow the competition. I don’t look around me. I follow my path and either I like things or not.

Where do you get your inspiration from when you create a new collection? Do have days when you have no ideas, but a deadline there is looming?

I have no problem with inspiration. That is how I am set up subconsciously. I know I have to work with a specific topic and it’s all there. I am very glad that this is the way it is. I always know what I should be doing.

Have you ever thought about lecturing at university?

Certainly not. I am exactly the sort of person who is unable to describe what I have in my head to someone else. I would be unable to precisely specify a step-by-step procedure.

Do you prefer any colours in your work? Or what is your favourite colour or material?

I have to say that I generally swear by white. I consider white the foundation. But I think that it also depends a lot on what sort of collection I am preparing at the time. I love more distinctive shades. The “Asia” collection will be in black, white and red.

Would you like to be more active abroad?

I have had several shows abroad, but these were usually one-off events. To be able to function over the border you have to have a truly large and capable team of people and particularly time. And right now there is no time because I organise and collaborate on major projects. But I do have invitations to work abroad, and I look forward to some collaboration in 2019.

What should every woman have in her wardrobe? What can we women never do without?

I think that no woman can be without a simple black dress. Every woman should have one of these. But that is roughly one per cent of what we should have. We should generally all have a few high-quality items in our wardrobes. For various occasions.

Do you think that leggings have a place in our wardrobes?

I don’t think so. I have never seen a pair of leggings that were that well made and fitted a person so well. This item belongs in the eighties.

But the fact is, fashion repeats itself in cycles...…

Styles repeatedly come into fashion and I think that this will be true in the future. However, there was a turning point in the nineties, when fashion designers started to work on blending individual styles. So we may see a typical item from the eighties, but it is enhanced by today’s style.

Fast confession:

What is your greatest luxury?

Probably leisure time.

Are you tempted by fashion trends?

Not very often.

Which fashion designer would you like to work with?

It isn’t possible any more unfortunately, but Yves Saint Lauren was my role model.

How much time do you spend in the bathroom in the morning?

Quite a lot, over an hour.

Have you ever bought anything in a second-hand clothes shop?

I’ve never been in one.

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

I think I have over 50.

What do you like about Czech women?

A lot of things, but I think I like their emancipation the best.

What is a man’s worst trait?

Not enough generosity.

What should every woman have in her wardrobe?

Models custom-made for her.

Do you have any tattoos?


Have you ever wanted to return to Kiev, the city of your birth?

Yes, for a visit.

Your favourite Czech film?

Smrt krásných srnců (Death of Beautiful Roebucks).

What comes to mind when someone mentions the Czech Republic?

My native country.

Do you have any bad habits?

I don’t think I do.
The interviewee asks the interviewer:

Do you like our models?

I do.
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