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Behind The Scenes With Venus’ Design Director

Barbara Clark Ruiz

Posted on December 18 2014

(Above - preview of Spring/Summer 2015 "Ola" Collection, coming in January)

Barbara Clarke Ruiz is Design Director for Eleven by Venus, working closely with Venus to bring the latest trends in fashion to the activewear line.  It's a well-thought process and Barbara shares with us how she uses trends, creativity and Venus' personal favorites to keep the styles cutting edge and fresh!

EleVen is "fashion-inspired" activewear - how does that play into the colors chosen for each collection?
Venus LOVES fashion so, we follow fashion trends and what’s shown on the runways. That includes print and color direction. The fun part is analyzing all the relevant trends and translating them for sport.

Tell us about the beautiful colors we can expect for the next collection, Spring/Summer 2015, coming in January.
Like every collection, we must LOVVVVE the colors. Venus has said on many occasions, if she wouldn’t wear it, how can she expect anyone else to wear it!!

Each season before the colors are finalized, we look at each one individually. A tremendous amount of thought goes into how the colors will look on every skin color and how it will merchandise and flow at retail. This is very important!

Aqua, Corals and Navy are the key colors of the season. The charcoal is a beautiful shade that will be a nice option to everyone’s go-to black. Since it’s a Spring/Summer season, we thought the grey would look fresh and work well with the pop colors as a main body color. White across each delivery is essential especially for us because we sell to the tennis market and many still have all white apparel tennis clubs.

Prints are signature to the EleVen by Venus line - how did you come up with these?
Again, the print direction is inspired by the runway trends and Venus’ vision of what she would like to wear on court at the tournaments. Our customers love tie-dyes, geos and florals so this is always the starting point so we can consistently provide them with what they love to wear.

These colors always look beautiful on Venus - any she had to be talked into?
Typically it’s a process and where we start at the early stages of design is not always were we end up in finalization as so many factors have to be considered. Just like any women, Venus has her favorite colors but she’s open-minded especially if that color is forecasted to be the hottest color. If she really doesn’t like it and I think its right for the brand, Ill start sending her visuals so can understand its importance. That happened once in Fall 14 with the Cerise Red color. Once she saw the color and the relevance to the trends, she gave it the green light. After she saw samples, it was one of her favorite colors!

The collections are designed to be mixed and matched - if I were new to EleVen fashion, where would I start?
It depends on the end use of the garment as some of our garments are specifically tennis OR fitness related however, most can be worn for a multitude of sports including athleisure. I would start first with picking your favorite top and based on your sport, add a capri, skirt or short. 

I like to make a splash when I work out - what piece says "Here I am!"?
If that’s the case, try a print in the Service Game Tee with the side tie and the sexy cutout in the back. Our patterned Power Capris are also a very popular item and great way to get away from the classic (and safe!) black or grey.



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