Designer socks it to ’em
SOCKS ARE AN INTEGRAL PART of Roodelynde Baptiste’s wardrobe and she is on a mission to bring other women around to her fashion sense, so to speak.
The founder of R Socks, a company she launched about three years ago, Rudy, as her friends familiarly call her, enjoys wearing “colourful and arty” socks, a feature that has long been the exclamation mark in her fashion statement.
“So I thought if I were to introduce them to women in particular, and not so much men, it would be a good avenue and have a good outcome, and that is what I am actually focusing on now.”
Holidaying in Barbados recently, the 32-year-old Haitian-born who migrated to the United States at age 13, talked about her unusual fashion business and shared her plans for its development with EASY magazine.
She has put a group of designers together to create a sock collection under her creative direction and is currently marketing the line on Instagram as Our Socks.
She says the company has just advanced beyond the infancy stage and she has plans to “relaunch” a new store, while also looking to make it on the wholesale market.
The full-time marketeer in the fashion industry has worked as a freelance stylist for many years, and while behind the scenes she was doing research on the business that she had envisaged, spending three years studying how best she could make an impression on the fashion market.
“I have always wanted to start my own line as far as apparel but I thought it was a bit too mainstream. So I decided to do socks just because I personally enjoy wearing colourful and arty socks,” Rudy told EASY.
Rudy lives in New York where the company is based and is operating as an on-line business. But she is about to take her baby out of the cradle.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Berkeley College, but before that she attended fashion merchandising at Fashion Institute of Technology “because I wanted to have a feel for the fashion industry and to have a business background.”
Working mainly through women bloggers, she is trying to convey the message that women can come up with their own style of wearing socks.
For now, her biggest market is men because they wear socks all the time, “but my idea was to have the socks made for women so that they can have fun with them” she said.
“You can be in any field and still be able to wear socks and make it as part of your accessories.”
For her it is “colourful fun” which she is now attempting to introduce in a way in which the professional woman would be persuaded she can actually wear fun socks to work.
She hopes women will follow her lead as she admits: “I am big on socks. I have always been a fan of colourful socks and I wear them all the time with pretty much anything and I can incorporate them with anything.”
In fact she uses them most times she is styling a client.
The R Socks line is presently being manufactured in Brazil by a production company there and a team of five professional students from a design school, two of them working more as interns, are engaged by the company.
She is looking at Africa as a possible for a home for production because she recognises that continent as a more captive market for her particular line of merchandise. Nigeria, in particular, is for her a place where there is “a lot of interest.”
“It is a small company but my goal in the New Year is to branch out internationally,” Rudy said.