Accessories designer Oliver Ruuger hails from the small island of Hiiumaa, (a name, which translates as ‘land of the mischievous spirit’), off the coast of Estonia. Growing up in a fishing village and working with his hands daily – building toys and trinkets from materials available locally – laid an early foundation for appreciation of craftsmanship and a deep affinity for material.
In 2008 Oliver was introduced to Dai Rees, who runs the innovative MA Fashion Artefact course at Cordwainers College, London College of Fashion. Receiving the Harold Tillman Scholarship for Young Designers allowed him to join the course in 2009. Oliver graduated in 2011 with a distinction and an ‘MA Award in Design’ for best static collection. His debut collection consisted of pairs of objects such as umbrellas, saddles and briefcases, made from leather, metal and horsehair. Described by onlookers as mysterious artefacts, the pieces had a certain alchemistic quality about them. Shortly after graduation Oliver went on to receive the ‘Accessories Collection of the Year’ award in July 2011 at International Talent Support #10 in Trieste, Italy.
In August 2011 Oliver teamed up with Volker Koch, who he had met during postgraduate studies, to launch the eponymous studio brand. Since its foundation, the studio is has gone from strength to strength, exhibiting its diverse output during London and Paris Fashion Weeks as well as in renowned art galleries worldwide. The London based designer is recognized for his highly labour intensive luxury fashion accessories which border between sculpture and product. Taking inspiration from experimentation with technique and form, the designer’s signature is defined by an equal relationship between visual appeal and function integrity. The use of exquisite materials coupled with a high level of multidisciplinary craftsmanship results in desirable and visually striking luxury products which can be presented as objects of contemplation.