To create clothes that make you feel good about yourself. The Rufskin man is confident, inventive, and unafraid to experiment with his personal style.
Rufskin began with a desire to fill a void in men’s fashion, starting with the ethos of our brand: a well-cut, sexy men’s jean. The business grew from its original artisan denim line, created from a garage in San Diego, to a global menswear company encompassing swimwear, underwear and athletic wear. It is built on the foundation of being at once vintage, sexy, masculine, athletic, futuristic and above all, well crafted.
More than just made in the USA, our entire operation from design and art direction through to manufacturing and shipping is done right here in San Diego, California, where our flagship store is located in the hip locale of North Park. The photography, pattern making, marketing, even IT, is all done in house, achieving a truly organic and integrated structure.
The international reach of the brand is anchored by our boutiques in New York, Amsterdam and, most recently, in South Beach, Miami.
THE FOUNDERS: Hubert Pouches and Douglas Coats
The duo met during the early '90s in Paris, France when Pouches, who had cut his fashion teeth working for Parisian labels Bernard Perris and Courreges, owned a men's modeling agency and Coats was one of his fashion models. They pooled their talents and passions and started Rufskin in 2002. More than a decade in, they continue to blaze a trail independent from the conventional fashion industry, crafting “Euro post modern attire that pays homage to American forward thinking”.
Q & A from the head designer and Rufskin co-owner, Hubert Pouches.
What was the inspiration behind the brand?: My partner Douglas Coats and I have been together for 25 years now. He is from Portland, Oregon and I am French. We met in Paris when he was modeling and I also previously lived in Brazil for a few years. Our travels and experiences are the foremost influences for the brand.
Why did you start the brand?: When we started the company over 12 years ago there was a void in the men’s market. Guys were going to women stores to get sexy jeans so we started right away with low-rise jeans with unique styling and made it our signature. Men needed a jean that was cut just right for them and this has always been the dominant focus of our design process. We continue to do all the patterns for the line by hand in house even today. We based the brand on a masculine, well crafted, and sexy concept to express a culture and a lifestyle.
The Rufskin man: The RUFGUY is someone confident with a strong attitude. Someone who does like to show off and who has no problem to do so when he wants! The concept behind the line is to provide him with a product that allows him to express himself without falling into any stereotypes. He looks for something that it is the right balance of quality, style and sexiness (without being vulgar).
The fit and facts: The cut is very important, as is the caliber of the fabrics that we use. We also strive to tell a story through imaging when we introduce a new group of items. More than just fashion products, we create a lifestyle that our customers desire to be a part of. We often hear from our customers that RUFSKIN is a masculine, sexy and modern line. My goal is to provide the RUFSKIN man a product that is well cut, fits him at his best, a basic with a twist and that little extra touch that makes him feel confident and sexy without crossing the line. People have often asked us if we have the 70’s and 80’era as a constant influence and I believe that more than an influence there is the “freedom” of that period that attracts us. There is a great challenge about mixing your influences and the real need of our time.
How is Rufskin different from others in the industry?: We don’t really do “collections”. We are a more organic brand as we manufacture everything in close proximity to our headquarters in California and we only sell what I call “in stock”. Inspiration strikes, samples are cut, production is done and we launch product simultaneously on our website, in the Rufskin boutiques and to wholesalers. Because of our structure we do not have to stick to one direction or one type of product. You never know what will come next but when it is out it is there and it is available immediately. We create a product based on a lifestyle. I like to describe myself as a craftsman, not a manufacturer and there is a strong French concept in the way we work. This involves everything in the process; creating the clothes, photographing them, building the image, boutique concepts, it is really a lot of teamwork. RUSFKIN is like a family business, from our team in the San Diego headquarters to our partners in the retail side, to the manufacturers that produce our items for over a decade, even the models that work with us. We have a very loyal base and we endeavor to be as loyal back to them.
How did you move from denim into underwear, swimwear, etc?: I worked and designed for a group that was manufacturing in Brazil and one of their main customers was Victoria's Secret (Yes! I designed for women all my life until Rufskin.) and the opportunity presented itself to add a few items of swimwear and underwear to our brand. It was a great complement to the denim line. When after a few years I quit my job and concentrated solely on RUFSKIN we began to expand the line to anything that we felt was missing in the market. This lead us to permanently carrying a sport and athletic line as well as adding leather and accessories to the fold.