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One Step Fashion Forward: Sevali - Unusual Upcycling

Updated: Apr 2

When people imagine vintage pieces, they frequently procure images of a worn leather jacket, or a sturdy handbag that has maintained its structure over time. They rarely think, however, of those same handbags or jackets taken apart and stitched together to produce a whole new piece of art, while saving the planet in the process. That is the mission of innovative couturist, Sebastian A. de Ruffray. His recycled couture label, Sevali, is altering the perception of how people perceive and construct upcycled clothes by adding a sophisticated designer flare. In fact, you have most likely already caught a glimpse of Sevali’s potential without knowing. 


Ruffray’s clothing has been worn by many stars from all different walks of fame. Korean pop group BLACKPINK’s Lisa and Jennie have worn Sevali’s upcycled sneaker top and slip dress in their two popular videos for their songs “Lovesick Girls and “Ice Cream”. Singer Rosalía has made an appearance in an original, custom made piece that draws tribute to the Louis Vuitton colorful monogram. Singer-songwriter Doja Cat dawned a bright butterfly top in her Instagram photos, and Euphoria actress Alexa Demie has been pictured in the high-waisted, cut out black leather pants. With its loyal celebrity following, it is no surprise that Sevali’s colorful patterns and unique styles have gained mass popularity.


The creative mind behind this label has just as brilliant of a story. Ruffray was born in the capital of Chile, and moved to Milan, Italy to pursue his degree at Milan’s Instituto Marangoni. While pursuing his academic career in the Italian city, he obtained an internship with renowned designer Alexander McQueen. He then decided to secure a Master of Arts from Central Saint Martins school for fashion. He is now settled in the fashion capital of Paris, working on his label, drawing inspiration from McQueen, Margiela, and  Corinne Day.


Sevali’s brand has decided to work with and label themselves as “upcycled couture”. Ruffray stated in an article for L’Officiel that “we aim to push the limits by experimenting with unusual materials…aiming to question the common practices of the fashion industry”. While working with brands such as Levi’s and Eytys, the label is founded in its strong environmental mission where the prime consideration is sustainability alongside its ‘90s and early 2000s style. Ruffray incorporates found objects into his collections, such as mattresses with flower prints sourced from the streets of Paris reconstructed to become oversized coats. Other materials that have been utilized are bags, pajamas, car seats, and belts. He touches on the significance of these objects as possessing a powerful feeling because they are relatable to different people. 


Ruffray’s clothing is not only classified as wearable designer pieces, but also as art. His designs were featured in an exhibit entitled Objet Trouvé (“Found Objects”), located in the Lafayette Anticipations Art Museum in Paris, featuring pieces such as garments stretched to form conceptual works of furniture. The main concept of the exhibit is to signify how a piece of clothing that has been repeatedly worn can be reused into something functional and long-lasting. Whether it’s social media star Kylie Jenner or French singer Aya Nakamura, celebrities that purchase and style these pieces of clothing are contributing to a label with a mission of protecting the planet and pursuing a sustainable future. 

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