Graduating with a degree in fashion design from the prestigious Parsons School of Design, Ingrid Rujichaladol was armed with the skills and passion to take on New York City’s fashion circuit. And so she did, starting her own fur and fashion accessory label, ING NYC. For a few years, she would craft jewel ties, bags, and harnesses together with a small team in Manhattan, eventually moving home to Bangkok and taking her brand along. Five collections later, we talk to Ingrid about how far she’s come, style icons, and her most useless talent.
Hi Ingrid. Can you describe your personal style?
I would say my style is maximalism. More is love. My style aesthetic is about patterns on patterns, layering, bold statement designs, and a lot of colours. Or sometimes, monochrome from head-to-toe. I’m always inspired to dress differently each day. Overdressing is always better than underdressing.
Do you have a style icon? Someone you’d rate as a perfect 10.
Erni Stollberg! She’s a 95-year-old Austrian model who’s just sensational. She represents all the ensemble she wears at its best. If she puts on something elegant, she makes it extravagant. Or if it’s something whimsical, she naturally conveys the outfit as cool and fun. I love every look of hers and am so inspired by them.
Tell us about the inspiration for your latest collection, ‘Urban Safari’.
I was inspired by the adventure in the city. The Resort’19 collection incorporates the warm essence of nature, with a metropolitan influence through natural tones, exotic animal prints and utilitarian details. The exaggerated silhouettes, voluminous sleeves, and hips hugging details are perfect excitement for ‘Urban Safari’.
Which is your favourite piece from that?
Definitely the orange zebra off-shoulder dress. It’s form-fitting with a high front slit that gives you a sexy yet laid-back chic with the linen fabric. I’m keeping one for myself.
When you first started ING in 2014, you were living in New York. What do you miss about the place?
New York is a fashion capital. I just love watching people on the street, the Fashion Week, and how everyone shows up in their thought-out looks. I miss the lifestyle – there is always something fun to do, and you can do so many things from day to night. I would go to Central Park for a nice walk in the morning, eat brunch with my multicultural and international friends, citi-bike my way to the riverside, kayak on the Hudson River, go to flea markets in Brooklyn, go to a cool bar on the Lower East Side, and end up having meals after midnight in Midtown.
And you used to work with Zac Posen. That must have been interesting.
Getting the opportunity to be in the design team for House of Z was such an honour. Zac Posen is a wonderful talent who is very delightful. He’s globally renowned and his work is the true definition of elegance. He’s so friendly too. He used to bake cookies and go around the house giving his team cookies.
You’re based in Bangkok now. What’s cool there lately?
Bangkok is amazing. It’s one of the best cities in the world: beautiful, friendly locals, and delicious food everywhere. In fact, Bangkok Fashion Week, as well as Restaurant Week, just happened. That was a great chance to experience Bangkok’s best style culture and restaurants.
There’s no shortage of clothing and accessory brands in the market, especially in a city like Bangkok. What does it take to stand out?
There are always new Thai designer brands popping up and they are all great. For me, I design what I want to wear. What differentiates my brand from the market is the quality and the bold statements for everyday wear, all the while being very affordable.
My customers are mostly loyal, meaning if they buy one item, they are very likely to come back, buy more pieces, and look forward to the next collection.
What are some things people don’t realise about being a small business owner?
It’s a constant cycle of working, eating, sleeping, panicking, breathing, talking, studying, comparing, and worrying. You’ll also probably be flat broke for some time.
A random question, but please indulge us. What’s your most useless talent?
My most useless talent? I can sleep all day long.
Support Ingrid by following ING NYC.