Herdwick sheep herd and lambs

RUSKIN is a story that of course begins with nature. It is a story of honest creativity and beautiful natural materials with a signature perspective that is quiet and considered.

The collection was created by Alli Abdelal in the winter of 2016 who wanted to harness the natural properties inherent in the wool of a rare, protected breed of sheep that lives in the mountains of the English Lake District. "My intention was to propose something more natural, designed for a creative life that would delight and inspire the senses. At the time, I had no idea how people would respond to the tweed but I just wanted to see what happened.  I wanted to see if the beautiful texture and tactility of the fabric and a quietly considered approach would resonate. 

On the advice of her husband not to overthink things too much and to 'just start', Alli launched RUSKIN in the December of 2016 with the Herdwick tweed range. Since then, the collection has grown to encompass a full leather range that is defined by a luxuriously muted colour palette and softly structured silhouettes. 

Alli who now lives with her husband and two children in Oxford traces much of her approach to design to her upbringing in the Lake District as the daughter of a mountaineer.  "I spent a great deal of my time growing up, in the mountains and the quiet simplicity of life there, along with the beautiful earthy colours, that change with the ebb and flow of the seasons, inspired an approach to design that works with nature, rather than against it. 

Despite the breakneck pace of growth that has brought a whirlwind of change to every aspect of our lives, Alli still believes that the possibilities to innovate are not, by any means, exhausted. "There's really so much more we can do to search for better ways of doing things, to explore the potential in rare materials and to extend the lifecycle of products. Of course, all of this takes time. It took us a year and a half just to get our tweed through production and a similar amount of time to find the right partners to work with it. Like all passionate artisans, our craftsmen and women in Italy are driven by the beauty and satisfaction in their work and they are quite remarkable in their ability to skillfully execute the tweed. For us to create a product with a clear statement of intent, that advocates for itself by way of its quality and integrity, the design and the craftsmanship must work hand in hand.

We are thrilled that you are here and have discovered the RUSKIN collection; our creative endeavour to produce a collection for those who truly relish in traditional hand crafted excellence and the beauty and value of natural materials.