J.M. Tell us how your story began? What kind of children were you?
I was born in the south of France, the first boy in three generations, so as you can imagine in a “wine country” family they had some serious expectations about my future. Well it didn’t really happen as they planned and I started going to art school when I was 6 years old, then fashion school. Since I grew up in a small town, I played in the wild with the others kids until the age of 11 and then I went to a bigger city to a private school. So all together you can say that I was a spoiled brat! LOL
I was born in Vancouver, Washington in the Northwest. I was born with an identical twin brother and had an incredible childhood. I studied dance and theatre and always knew I would end up doing something creative with my life. I had a chance to model in Europe as a late teen and never looked back. I was a decent student, more into socializing than anything, and worked really hard at various jobs. One of the most memorable was working at Disneyland in the show department.
J.M. Where did you meet each other?
We met in Paris. I was running a modeling agency in between my fashion designer contracts, and simultaneously Doug was “scouted” by my partner at the time in Milan.
During the men shows all the model apartments were full and Doug ended up staying in my house…….well twenty two years later we are still together.
J.M. What direction is your company taking for 2012? and what do you feel has made you successful thus far?
2012 is RUFSKIN’s 10th anniversary, so the spirit is still going strong.
What set us apart from the rest of the brands is our strong male sensuality.
We still remain faithful to the image of a very confident masculine guy who cares about fashion without being a victim!
J.M. You guys basically did for the male bum what Victoria Secret did for women’s breasts. Anymore booty surprises for us in the future?
That’s a nice way to put it!
We started out with a “BANG” and yes we did focus on the butt! As you know we are both infatuated by strong legs and buns! The era of “shocking” clothing pieces is a little over but, even our basic items have that special “cut” that will always showcase the male body, especially the” back side”!
J.M. This is a question for Doug, I understand you used to represent male models, how did you transition into the clothing industry?
To steal from a corporate term I learned recently, I “seamlessly” transitioned into the clothing industry because I often was around when Hubert was taking part in his California design jobs. I also got to know a lot of great models from my agency days and still remain friends with them today. I began understanding what type of model we were looking for as Rufskin types when I had a great deal of them at my fingertips.
J.M. Hubert I know you have photographed a lot of your own images, how did you get into photography and who inspires you and why?
When I was in Paris I started working with the modeling agencies as a test photographer, after being a client I became an agent and later opened my own men’s division in a famous agency.
I just grabbed a camera and started shooting the boys for their books.
Being a designer I was able to manage a strong style with a very little knowledge of the technique, 30 years later I am still shooting all the products for our website.
J.M. What Kind of models do you look for when you are shooting an ad campaign?
We love to find “raw” talents.
I think that is one thing that we have shared together since the beginning. The fact that we “trip” on somebody totally new is very exiting and when we shoot we like to let them (models) do their “thing”
There is a big part of “voyeurism” in what we do. Today we have a bigger range of body types, but we still photograph all ethnicities, we have done so since the beginning and we are very attached to this concept.
J.M What designers inspire you?
I always loved designers like Thierry Mugler, Alaia and Courreges who found the way to mix creativity with structure. It’s like mixing traditional know how with “futuristic” inspiration.
I mirror Hubert’s inspirations and have learned so much history and knowledge from him over the years. I still love costumes from epic movies and of course the wardrobe from films from the late 60’s through the early 80’s.
J.M. What would you like the readers to know about your company that they might not already know?
I think that today, after 10 years of hard work and focusing on our vision we would like to show our customers that we still carry the same love and passion that we had when we started.
Our company is like a very close family, we appreciate the guys working with us and we are lucky to work in such a good “spirit”. RUFSKIN is like a clan and we love this feeling, from the guys in the warehouse, to the contractors to the models and the photographers that cross our paths, we remain a very close “family”.
J.M What is your idea of the perfect vacation?
Well this is quite an easy question. For us it is Brasil, Brasil and Brasil!
Every year we spend a few weeks by the beach, sometimes during Carnival or even “off season”. Brasil is like our other home!
Ditto on Brasil but staying home on our couch watching tv with our French Bulldog, Francois, comes in a close second.
J.M. If you had a dinner party with any three people dead or alive who would you invite and why? and what would you ask them?
There are so many interesting people, with crazy lives but I think that I would like to sit around a table with Marilyn Monroe, Alexander Mc Queen and Jim Morrison and ask them WHY? Was the actions that lead to your tragic end worth it? Life is full of surprises and each day is an adventure. Lets live it at its FULL!
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