Mamie Ruth: Music Fest Fashion Designer

Music festivals are so much more than just the music that’s being performed. They embody a free spirited vibe, where you can literally let your hair down, become completely absorbed in the music, and just let loose. It’s this same care free spirit that 28 year old designer Emily Bargeron achieves with her clothing line, Mamie Ruth. Describing her customer as a free spirited “chill kind of chick” that doesn’t shy away from bright colors and bold prints; she’s a hippie at heart.

Bargeron started making jewelry when she was 13, selling it at craft fairs. Shortly after college, boutiques started picking up her clothes. The basis of her clothing line started in large part from her desire to wear something unique at music festivals, and grew out of necessity. “People would stop and ask if they could buy the clothes off my back”, she explains.  Named after her grandmother, a florist, the Mamie Ruth line “started 6 years ago as something I did on the side. I slept on the couch and ate nothing but tuna for a week. I definitely suffered for it but it was worth it.”
While her inaugural pieces consisted of remade vintage clothing and African wax prints, she began manufacturing when she started selling wholesale to boutiques. “When stores wanted 6 of something, they wanted 6 of something,” Bargeron explains. In 2009, she was an emerging designer at Charleston Fashion Week, and employed the help of seamstresses to showcase there.  S/S 2013 was her first Atlanta Apparel Mart, and went from being carried in 5 stores to 26, from Florida to Tennessee, in just 8 months. These are impressive figures for someone who did graphic design half the week, and made jewelry the rest of the week when she first started out.
Originally from the” one red light town” of Louisville, Georgia, Bargeron now calls Savannah home. “What I love about Savannah is the slow, southern charm but it’s so eclectic. SCAD brings a lot of that hipster vibe, but we have that sweet Liliy Pulitzer lady as well.  Georgia weather definitely affects the collection. No super big outerwear, because the Savannah weather is so warm. I’ll put in some pieces for other places, but I always think of the weather here.”


Like any true artist, Bargeron is an embodiment of her work. “Everything I do kind of revolves around Mamie Ruth. I don’t know how to turn it off. Every time I go out I constantly feel like I’m working, constantly promoting my brand. It’s what I love to do so I never feel like I’m working.”
Focusing on comfort, she likes to keep the line artsy and hip. Bamboo fabrics and baggier silhouettes keep the clothes wearable during the warm months of festival season.  Her spring line embraces  a few current trends such as dresses with side cut outs, high low hemlines, and tribal prints, but it’s all done with the quintessential Mamie Ruth Style. There’s the trademark ease to the collection, with drapy  cuts, boxy, breezy blouses, and bold patterns. Leather bustiers are sexy yet sweet, Mexican dress style embroidery adorns a pair of high waisted shorts. Now that she has a bigger audience, Bargeron is revisiting the African wax print motif that she experimented with earlier in her career.  Expect a “galactic, gypsy from Arizona feel” and lots of metallic, hologram, and custom prints from Mamie Ruth in the near future.To purchase Mamie Ruth online, or for store locations visit the website. You can also keep up with her latest creations on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

All photos c/o Mamie Ruth

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