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Ruki Garuba

Ruki Garuba

Crew – Fashion Stylist

Ruki Garuba is a Celebrity Fashion Stylist & Style Expert, with more than 10 years of experience in fashion. She developed her magic touch working with A-List talent, including The Jacksons, Michael Bolton, Kelly Rowland, Keyshia Cole, Stacey Dash, and many more. After graduating from the prestigious London College of Fashion with a degree in Fashion Promotion, Ruki cut her teeth in the industry as Fashion Editor at Pride Magazine. During her 5 years at Europe’s best selling lifestyle magazine for women of color, she traveled constantly to style celebrities and models throughout Europe. In 2005 Ruki launched her clothing brand RG by Ruki Garuba, a collection of dresses inspired by her travels around the globe.

1. Who are you on tour with now and what are you doing for them?

I’m currently on tour with Michael Bolton. I manage his wardrobe, dressing room, and quick changes during the show. There are 3 outfit changes, during the band instrumentals. Having worked with him for nearly 3 years, we have our routine down to a science now. He can do a whole outfit change and still have a water break before the song is over. The crowd loves it when he takes his jacket off on stage, and the propositions shouted out by audience members are hilarious.

2. What do you do when you are not on tour with Michael Bolton?

My company RG Styles keeps me busy. I provide a personal shopping experience that helps anyone develop a wardrobe of clothes that they love. I also teach skills to help them identify pieces that compliment their particular body type and highlight their best attributes. In my downtime I like to blog ( about my 3 obsessions, fashion, beauty and travel. Plus I’m making time after the busy touring schedule to finish designing my next collection, since my last collection was so well received. I’m totally inspired by my travels and can’t wait to share all my new ideas and designs.

3. Can you describe the equipment you use, and why you chose that gear?

I try to always travel with or request a Jiffy steamer. It’s the best steamer I’ve come across for prepping the stage costumes. Also having a wardrobe trunk as part of the touring gear package means that all the delicate show costumes can travel the globe with low risk of getting damaged. My tech box is another essential piece, it contains a very extensive collection of needles, threads, black and silver safety pins, extra buttons, double stick tape, wrinkle release, Tide To-Go sticks, shoe polish, and gum. My latest purchase is a belt hole puncher, surprisingly people tend to lose a lot of weight on tour and need their belts altered often.

4. So how did you manage to make the transition from a Fashion Editor at a magazine to the touring life of a Fashion Stylist & Consultant?

I started my career as a Fashion Editor at Pride magazine, and after a few years of writing fashion editorial and styling both models and celebrities for fashion spreads and front covers I decided it was time to go freelance and broaden my horizons. I placed a few calls and emailed my resume and portfolio to managers, agents of artists I had previously styled for, and got out the word out that I was available.  It turned out Kelly Rowland was on the market for a new stylist and her manager requested a meeting with me. I pitched a few of my ideas to her, and she loved ‘em. Working with Kelly took me around the world and opened many new doors for me and my career. She is an amazing person, and is still so supportive of my dreams. It does feel like I traded traveling the world to attend fashion shows for rock shows. Both gigs are pretty sweet though, and I’m thankful every time I get to visit new countries to experience all the different cultures.

5. You’ve Styled for Music Videos too, for hugely successful artists like Kelly Rowland, Jay Sean, Cash Money, & more.  Can you explain how a day behind cameras varies from being on tour?

On a video set I am on hand to style outfits for the artists that match the storyboard sent to me by the director. I also touch base with the assistant stylists before each scene to make sure the dancers, models and extras are dressed to compliment the artist’s outfit. It’s also my responsibility to maintain outfit continuity between takes, for scene editing and post-production. Working on a video set requires stamina. Show days on tours are long but working on a video set is longer. I remember shooting a video in Hollywood with Jay Sean from 6pm – 6am. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t already been up since 7am finalizing outfits and doing alterations. But it is always rewarding and inspiring.

6. And how is it different for a photo shoot where still cameras are used?  Do you have any tricks you can share to help my readers look their best for the PR shots?

When I’m working on photo shoots I tend to focus more on selecting outfits that look and fit perfectly. On stage clothes need to allow the artist to move and do choreography, where as in photos once the person has picked a pose I can go in and pin & move the clothes around to give the illusion of a perfect fit for the finished photo. People also have time to really take in the details of an outfit, so attention to detail is essential. My one tip is to always steam or iron out wrinkles from their clothes before wearing them for a photo. And remember it’s all about having fun, so just enjoy the process and smile.

7. So what would a typical day be like preparing for these red carpet events, such as the Grammys?

In the week before an award show like the Grammy’s I start touching base with the PR’s for all the fashion houses that make clothes that match the clients general style. I also start booking showroom appointments with the various companies and selecting pieces I would like to present to my client as outfit options. In the days leading up to the show I ‘fit’ the client, which means getting him/her to try on the outfit they will wear on the day and arrange any alterations that need to occur for the outfit to be a perfect fit. Not everyone is sample size, so it’s not uncommon to take up trouser hems or raise dress hemlines. On the actual day it’s all about making sure the outfit looks perfect and nothing like bra straps or shirt tails are sticking out when the artist hits the red carpet and the flashes start going off. ( Photo – Kelly Rowland on the Red Carpet Styled by Ruki Garuba.)

8. Now I know you won’t mention it yourself, but can you tell us about the SKII commercial you did?  What was it like for you being in front of the camera instead of being behind the scenes?

It was so weird. I’ve spent a decade being on the other side of the camera so at first it felt like an out of body experience. SKII approached me to be an Expert Industry Spokesperson for their new anti-aging range, which was a real honor. I was in great company as Cate Blanchett is their celebrity spokesperson and also an amazing actress. I had to record a 3 minute clip (which actually felt like 30 minutes) and do a photo shoot. Throughout the whole process I couldn’t stop wondering if my outfit was still on straight and if anything was out of place. I’m so used to that being my focus when the camera starts rolling or as the show starts. I really enjoyed the whole process and I look forward to doing more in front of the camera in the coming years.


Thank you! Ruki Garuba, Fashion Stylist. It has been an honor to interview you, and a pleasure to get to know you better…


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Photo Credits:

1) Ryan Huddleston

2) Ryan Huddleston

3) Courtesy of 2008 Brit Awards

My Friends on Tour

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Fashion Stylist – Michael Bolton, Kelly Rowland, Keyshia Cole


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