26;OC TOBER ;;;; NJMONTHLY.COM
EDITED BY DEBORAH CARTER AND SUSAN BRIERLY BUSH
Born to Design
For New Jersey native Ramy Brook Sharp,
a fascination with fashion began as a teen.
Designer Ramy k
Sharp (left) is a fav ong
celebs Cindy Cra d,
Kate Beckinsale sa
Milano and Con e
● TAS TEMAKER
• Complements Two
• Marcia’s Attic
• Neiman Marcus,
Find It Here
Playful dresses and
faux-fur jackets, along
with sexy tops and pants,
headline Ramy Brook’s
;; ;;;;;;; so innocently. Ramy Brook Sharp and her family
enjoyed regular outings to the Mall at Short Hills. Soon, the Chatham
High School student was smitten. Not only with shopping, but with
restyling her jeans and shortening her skirts. Years later (after all
three of her own kids were in school), this mom morphed into a self-trained designer of alluring day-to-night fashion. Today, the Ramy
Brook label is available at high-end retailers nationwide, as well as
RamyBrook.com. We recently caught up with this talented tastemaker.
What inspired you to become a designer? I always admired
my fashionable mom, who bought McCall’s patterns and sewed
clothes for my sisters and me. In high school, I
began altering and bedazzling my clothes from
the mall without realizing I was creating my own look.
When was your first big break? I started my design
business in ;;;; by creating prototypes of six tops
and one dress and then debuted them at a trunk show
at my sister’s home in Short Hills. That gave me the
confidence to do more shows around the country. Later
that year, I was working with personal shopper Betty
Halbreich, a legend at Bergdorf Goodman. She invited
me to bring my small collection to her big corner o;ce,
and we laid everything out. By chance, Chelsea Handler’s stylist popped in, loved what she saw and bought
a top for Chelsea. Soon after, Betty
called her buyers, and Bergdorf’s
placed their first order.
How has your business evolved?
I’m very fortunate that my label is
sold nationwide, and soon I plan to
go global. Bloggers and Instagram
users around the world post images
of my clothing, and it’s fun to see
how they make each piece their
own by tying a top di;erently or
accessorizing in an unusual way.
My first collection was exclusively
silk. But now I design with wrinkle-resistant Japanese
tech fabric as well as suede, leather, crepe, lace, studs
And all this success started in New Jersey That’s
right. I’m proud to be a Jersey girl and still like shopping
here, especially since there’s no sales tax [on clothing].
My mother and sisters and I especially love Bloomingdale’s in Short Hills. We always order their frozen yogurt and then stop to check the racks for my collections.
And sometimes I reorganize them—just a little.
—Susan Brierly Bush