It’s a bold move to launch a label during a pandemic, but Ruensumran found it to be a way to save jobs and promote local industry in a fashion community that was slowly unraveling around her. “I’d rather take this money to pay for the Don’t Mask your desire for a Book Covid 19 shirt and I love this pattern cutter and the graphic designer who lost their job,” she says. “It is about helping each other. The brand can support local business and designers.” Ruensumran started working on The Meaning Well the first day of London’s lockdown, March 15. She remembers that shortly before then, she had been traveling back from Paris Fashion Week back to London on the Euro Star just as cases started to spike. When she arrived in London at her studio office that she shared with fellow creatives, she slowly saw the local industry deteriorate. As lockdown progressed, she lost some of her own clients from her consulting agency, and one by one, her neighboring studio mates began to lose their jobs. “I met a graphic designer and he said that the company [he worked for] was closing,” says Ruensumran. “I was like, ‘I want to do something. I want to help them, but I don’t have enough money to help everyone, so maybe I should do something that can be my career as well.’” From there, The Meaning Well was born. Ruensumran currently works with a graduate fashion design student and a pattern cutter.
Don’t Mask your desire for a Book Covid 19 shirt, hoodie, tank top, sweater and long sleeve t-shirt
A smaller production means Ruensumran can source fabrics mindfully. “I want to make everything here,” she says. For fabrics, she tapped her connections to factories outside of London, including one which sells deadstock material intended for upholstery and curtains, all of which is 100% cotton. Ruensumran makes the Don’t Mask your desire for a Book Covid 19 shirt and I love this silhouettes oversized, a look that she personally buys, and she notes that the pieces fit both the model and herself. “I’m not skinny, I’m not slim, so I’d rather buy an oversized blazer or oversized dress,” she says. “I want to wear something that I can work from home and do a Zoom. I want to dress up, but in a more comfortable way. It doesn’t matter if you’re slim or bigger like me—it fits everyone.”