And she won’t be the last!
This design expert is taking over Kohl’s athletics section with her new activewear collection.
Black designers and stylists are responsible for some of the hottest fashion trends today, and they’re paving the way for the youth. Take designer Naveah Woods, for example, who was discovered by Mattel at 9 years old, or Taofeek Abijako, who became the youngest fashion designer to present a collection at NYFW in 2018, or even Kheris Rogers, who became one of the youngest fashion designers ever.
With over 20 years in the fashion industry, we can definitely consider Barbara Clarke Ruiz a pioneer in the fashion world. She’s a design expert who's best known for working with brands such as Nike Europe, Adidas US/Germany, Fila US/Italy, New Balance US/ UK, Speedo UK, Hanes, Jockey, Asics Europe, Disney, Colosseum, and Zoggs International. Ruiz is also CEO and Creative Director of BCSWIRL, Inc, a fashion design consulting firm that specializes in the activewear/sportswear industry. She’s been featured in many publications and news outlets, such as CBS Sunday Morning, InStyle, Sports Illustrated, Shape, Elle, Jet, Town & Country, and Good Morning America. From a young age, she had a passion for fashion and after receiving her B.F.A from the Pratt Institute, she went on to work for Adidas, growing her love for activewear.
Ruiz told Black Enterprise, “Whenever I design collections, I hope that people will love them and with Kohl’s, it is no different! This collection will be a vehicle that will allow customers who haven’t shopped in Kohl’s before to visit the store and be introduced to some new fashion-forward items that could turn out to be wardrobe favorites.”
Tek Gear x BCR collection is currently available in-store and online and is catering to everyone! Women can expect peek-a-boo cutouts and extra-long palazzo pants, men can enjoy graffiti prints and a twist to active streetwear classics while children can expect stylish yet functional clothing for the season. Not only are these clothes vibrant but they’re specifically designed to keep customers feeling “confident, stylish, and energized.” Ruiz’s main goal for this collection was ensuring all sizes were celebrated and that every customer feels comfortable wearing the threads.
Ruiz spoke on her latest partnership stating, “I’m blessed to have had so many dreams come to life. I don’t take any of it for granted because I’ve had to put a lot of work to bring these dreams to fruition and that takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight, and every opportunity leads you to a bigger opportunity or a bigger door. I feel blessed to be granted this opportunity of being the first black female designer to partner with Kohl’s. This is bigger than I could have ever imagined!”
Photo: Kohls/ The Well