THE POWER OF NOW: “It’s what I want to wear in my everyday life, what I think doesn’t exist, and what exists but can be perfected,” said Rumi Neely during a walk-through of her Are You Am I collection — which is a play on R-U-M-I — launched in December 2014. The 32-year-old blogger and founder of Fashion Toast swung through New York to talk about the most recent iterations of her buy-now-wear-now label. “As soon as a new piece is ready, I announce it on Instagram,” Neely said of her retail strategy. “It’s really direct to consumer.” The collection is available via her e-commerce site and Revolve Clothing as well as in the Ron Herman and Satine boutiques in her native Los Angeles, where the collection is designed and manufactured. She is hoping to land the label in New York boutiques, too.
Neely seems to be the ideal customer for her line, which embodies a casual California lifestyle, full of sexy, spaghetti-strap minidresses, leather miniskirts, airy blouses, pajamalike camisoles with covered buttons and itsy bitsy shorts, mostly in silk with lace trim. Neely’s debut collection included six pieces — “just the ideal, easy wardrobe pieces for any time of day; you could roll out of bed in them” — which she continues to sell and also expand upon.
For fall, Neely designed her popular slipdress in crushed velvet and a pair of lace-up shorts in black suede. She also added a deep V-neck T-shirt set at $70, the lowest price point for the collection, which tops out at about $450. A triangle lace bra and knitwear items such as hoodies and cardigans are also in the works. “What I want to do is address each category and make the perfect thing,” the designer said.
Her customer base is admittedly largely from her cult Instagram following, but Neely said she’s been surprised by the level of consumer demand. “Revolve [Clothing] has been such a great partnership for us, they’ve reordered so many times,” she noted. “It’s cool seeing shoppers that don’t know who I am buy the label — that’s the ideal.”