Inside The Studio With Magazine's Emily Ruane
For showroom owner Emily Ruane it's all about relationships.
As the founder of the highly sought-after sales and publicity showroom Magazine NY, Emily has built the tiny but mighty business from the ground up - and she contends that her success begins and ends with people. Furthermore, Emily's fun approach to her work has also cultivated something special within her business. "I think we’re different because I don’t come from a traditional wholesale or public relations background," Emily explained in our interview, "so I am making all of the mistakes that our ancestors made hundreds of years ago, when the showroom was invented."
Still, Emily has amassed an enviable roster of brands ranging from Nikki Chasin to Wray and with her infectious smile and sincere love of all things contemporary fashion, we can't say we're that surprised. When we met with Emily on a rainy September morning she welcomed us with open arms and an inimitable energy. During our visit she took us through her upcoming market plans and showed us a sneak peek of what some of her designers have in store. Read on for our chat with Emily to learn more about Magazine, how she works with us here at Brand Assembly and of course, what she's assembling daily. Also check out a follow up portion of our interview over on The Style Line.
Please introduce yourself!
My name is Emily Ann Ruane, and I honestly don’t know if I am 32 or 33. I think I am going to be 33 in December. I was born in ’83, someone help me with the math! I grew up in Philadelphia and Washington, DC and I have strong (probably overly sentimental) ties to both places. I enjoy reading, writing, history, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, recreational eating, organizing objects and being outside.
Walk us through Magazine and its growth. What is the agency’s point of differentiation and how do you hope to service the contemporary/emerging designer community?
I started Magazine because a designer/friend told me that I should start a showroom. And I was like, “Yeah! Great idea!” It’s been three years since I incorporated the business and I literally cannot tell you what I have done in the interim, other than constantly emailing lookbooks to buyers and market editors and trying to get them to visit the showroom to look at the collections. There were definitely a bunch of other tasks involved, but I can’t remember any of them. I have just tried to put one foot in front of the other and seize good opportunities when I see them. I think we’re different because I don’t come from a traditional wholesale or public relations background, so I am making all of the mistakes that our ancestors made hundreds of years ago, when the showroom was invented.
How has being a part of the Brand Assembly community furthered Magazine’s mission and how would you describe your relationship to fashion designers?
I think Brand Assembly shares our commitment to good vibes and has given us an amazing opportunity to explore the market in Los Angeles with their show at the Cooper Building. I think we both love working with emerging designers and are very cognizant of the challenges they face in getting their brands off the ground and to a point of solvency.
What advice can you offer to emerging designers who are looking to work with an agency like Magazine?
This is incredibly cheesy, but there’s a reason it’s one of the most well-known movie quotes ever: "If you build it, they will come!" Building it might be the most discouraging experience of your life though, so be prepared to suffer. And then experience incredible joy, like, once a year. And then remember, at the end of the day, that you are so incredibly lucky to be in a position where you can follow your passion, because there are many people in this world for whom that is out of reach. So when you’re up at 2AM sewing or staring cross-eyed at a spreadsheet (or interview questions that you severely and rudely procrastinated answering until the last possible second), remember another cheesy truism: that you are too blessed to be stressed! Also, remember to copy-edit your line-sheets and don’t waste money on printing paper lookbooks; people never take them.
What do you assemble daily?