Rudsak - fall/winter 2001

Having success and influence in any specialized sphere of activity entails being as diversified as possible within those parameters. In the fashion industry, focussed diversification always produces great results. Montreal leather leader Rudsak has shown how its structural attributes, such as a solid roots-up business plan and “total look” approach, can corner an urban market within a short period of time. Rudsak is one of the fastest growing leather garment labels in North America, producing lines for both men and women.

Evik Asatoorian, the founder and fibre of this Montreal ready-to-wear label, launched Rudsak in 1994 to instant Canadian acclaim. With boutiques and showrooms in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, “Coast to Coast” is a fitting motto. The scope that Astoorian infuses into Rudsak is much broader, consisting of analysis of international dressing patterns. This global view, Asatoorian claims, is what equips him and his talented team to narrow the field through a meaningful interface with customer preferences. “The goal at Rudsak is to offer our customers modern, streamlined clothes with a tasteful seasoning of trends,” says Evik. The recent introduction of a fabric line is a rounding addition to their expanding repertoire, which includes shoes, accessories and small leather goods.

Rudsak’s Fall/Winter 2001 fashion show, held at their new headquarters in Montreal on April 3, showcased a subtle departure from their previous collections. Women’s jackets appeared in several incarnations, ranging from rich chocolate Mondrian patchwork to a basque thigh-length belted trench. Fur is a trend, and in this collection featured prominently on collars and protruded from seams as a provocative, wispy lining. A beautifully cropped eggplant leather suit is a highlight of the women’s line, as are the large, chest-high bags that rest naturally on the shoulder-blade. The most remarkable thing about the collection is the leather itself. In the quintessential autumn colours slate, rust, nut and charcoal, Rudsak’s soft-touch leather (and pleather) has the luxurious sensuality and intimacy of an exterior skin, slick and cool.

The men’s collection is a perfect combination of classic and vintage styles. Saddle-stitching boldly delineates pocket-flaps, ties, charcoal suede elbow pads and collars. The black suits are the greatest benefactors of this detailing feature, attaining the sophisticated first-class traveller look when paired with the accessories. Leather ascots, leather lining and ribbed, brown sweaters are recurring motifs that intermittently accent Rudsak fare. From Marlon Brando biker chic to cream corduroy jackets, the torso was the star of the show. The collars are of particular interest, sculpted to incorporate a stiff, (often leather)detailed back and calculated unfurling tips. Even though more meticulous attention to detail was invested in the men’s line than in the women’s, the vote is unanimous: Rudsak presented one of the most refined and chic collections in Canada. Make-up was provided by Lise Watier.

Rudsak began as a tenant of 555 Chabanel, the International Fashion Centre of Montreal, a fountain of design talent and import expertise. The Rudsak flagship boutique opened for business in 1999 in downtown Montreal. Their success continues in 2001, the recipient of a Matinée Fashion Foundation grant. The future looks equally as bright, with plans to launch an integrated lifestyle concept featuring furniture and home accessories.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Bruno Petroza, Photographer