RI Studio II: Meet the designer

RI Studio II is here and we can’t wait for you to get your hands on it. Effortless key pieces made to love and last, this is a timeless collection that you’ll want to wear again and again. We spoke to RI Studio designer, Naomi, to find out a bit more about the premium collection. She tells us where she gets her inspiration from, her hero piece and much more...

Hey Naomi! Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Naomi and I’ve been part of the Womenswear Design Team at River Island since I graduated 11 years ago. I work across and manage many product areas including outerwear, tailoring, knitwear, jersey, active and lounge. And more recently the RI Studio collection.

Describe your personal style. 

My style reflects how I feel that day and is constantly changing and evolving. I like to keep it simple and reflect what I’m feeling for that season. At the minute masculine dressing is my daily go-to and it has to be oversized. I love easy tailoring, mensy shirts and trainers.

What was the concept behind RI Studio II? 

It’s been incredible to be part of the journey of RI Studio. We started concepting a year ago so it’s really exciting to see the second collection hit down in stores. The pieces are trend-lead but timeless and so easy to style together. They make a statement yet are effortless to wear. RI Studio II is all about taking our key wardrobe must-haves into the summer months. Summer tailoring, crisp cotton dresses, oversized shirts, super soft sweats and the season must-have, ecru denim. Colour is so important this season and we wanted to reflect this within the collection, so you’ll find some muted pastels and candy brights amongst the neutrals. 

What makes the collection special?

It’s been a pleasure to work with premium fabrics to create this collection and to really focus on the fit. 

Can you tell us a bit about the design process?

I like to keep the design process fluid. I’m constantly inspired by everything I see around me so the collection is constantly evolving. As a team we are really intune with one another and always have our RI Studio customer at the forefront of every decision we make. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

For me inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere; shopping, films, exhibitions and travel. It’s important to be always open to inspiration - an idea can strike up at any time. When it does, I love opening it out with my team and exploring where it can take us.  

How do you get your creative juices flowing or what do you do if you’re in a creative rut?

If I’m in a creative rut, it never lasts long! I’m surrounded by a team of incredibly talented and creative people and we inspire each other every day.

What’s your hero piece from the collection?

It’s so difficult to choose just one hero - I have so many favourites! I love the cotton dress, it’s so effortless to wear and looks great on everyone I’ve seen it on. But I think my hero piece has to be the printed shirt. It’s just such a fun edition to the collection and the key shirt shape of this summer.

How would you style it?
You can wear this shirt in so many ways, that’s the beauty of it. It looks great with the matching shorts but you can also style it back with the other pieces within the collection, especially the ecru denim jeans. That’s how I’ll be wearing it.

What can we look forward to from future drops?

I’m so excited to grow the RI Studio collections and we have so many exciting styles coming in the future. My favourite product area is always outerwear and we have some amazing statement coats for autumn. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the collections evolve and how our customers react to them. The best part of being a designer is seeing people living their lives in something you have created.

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