Photo: Evening Standard

Ruth Chapman is the co-founder of British retail brand and online boutique, a company that’s been in the news recently for releasing its financial reports for the first time. I interviewed Ruth for Style Forever, we had a lovely chat over lunch at the town house and she really is wonderful and charming and the kind of person you meet and instantly want to be friends with:

On being a global online brand director

It’s fun. I get more and more confident about what we’re doing all the time. We went online 10 years ago and it’s grown very organically. I was very happy when we were just retail but our customers were travelling all over the world and it made sense that they could shop with us when they weren’t in London. Things change constantly and we have to keep on top of it but I try to make sure that work doesn’t impact on my family life. I’m very conscious of it and always make an effort to have a balanced lifestyle.

On age

I don’t mind being older, at all. For me it’s all about health and vitality and feeling really well; that makes a huge difference. We’ve used Linda Rodin in our campaigns, and I am very inspired by women who look like that.

On Ruth Chapman-Style

I’d like to say effortless, simple, slightly masculine. I live in separates and flat shoes, and I know it sounds ancient and a bit of an old lady thing but comfort is important. Having the right amount of layers, I’m travelling a lot and don’t want to be too hot or too cold. Looking modern really is key, but it’s not about chasing trends, it’s about finding your own DNA; knowing what suits you and sticking with it – but looking around at what’s happening and freshening the look.

On what would improve the quality of life

More sleep, more rest – if I could figure that out it would be amazing.

On the Old Lady Revolution

I think it’s brilliant. It really inspires younger girls, so they don’t have a sense that it’s over by a certain age. It gives them more choice; they know that their career can change, they can be a polymath, have kids, do whatever they want to do.

On what the grown-up customer wants

Value per wear is important. There was a time when we used to sell very expensive dresses for events but now our customers want timelessness. They want great pieces that work back and have different lives in their wardrobe. Pieces that can be put together in different ways.

On what’s important

A good balance between work, life, friends and fun; laughter is very important. I also think being kind to people is important and that kindness shows in people’s faces. It’s something we should learn very early on.

And here’s my fantasy shopping list from

8 thoughts on “An interview with Ruth Chapman of

  1. I love to hear other women say that they don’t mind aging!! And what Ruth said about inspiring younger girls is point on, in my opinion. If fact, that’s exactly what #thefierce50 is trying to do. We’re going to team up with some younger women bloggers to show that it’s not the end of the world!!
    What a fun interview, Alyson!

  2. Ruth is a wonderful role model and is second to none for great customer care. There is a lovely feature on Ruth in Alyson’s brilliant book Style Forever.

  3. When I read this statement: “Looking modern really is key, but it’s not about chasing trends, it’s about finding your own DNA; knowing what suits you and sticking with it – but looking around at what’s happening and freshening the look,” I thought, yes! this is just it *exactly,* the perfect articulation of the way I feel about dressing at my age (59). So well said, Ms Chapman.

  4. Oh Ruth does sound lovely! She’s right about older gals showing the young ones we can do it all. My sentiment is we can do it all just not all at once. Have a couple of careers, have kids early or have them later, marry or don’t whatever you want to do is up to you because we’re living healthier longer. Not only being fit in a literal sense but also in a “wow that 50 year old woman is fit!” sense Hahahaha!

  5. Ruth Chapman: what a star it seems she is. Sensible yet fun, great style with no silliness and all in favour of balance and strength with a dose of kindness. What great values.

  6. Coincidentally, Matches Fashion was written up in this morning’s New York Times Style section, with her husband’s photo. Interesting timing. Like her philosophy but the fashions are not for me.

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