Rebeckah Ruth is a Fashion Consultant, Author, and Speaker. She is also the CEO of Mode by Rebeckah Ruth, and a global fashion nonprofit called Worthy: The Fashion Meetup where she works to build a community within the fashion industry and mentor fashion and beauty creatives.
Some of the highlights of Rebeckah’s career are producing several charity fashion shows for companies like the YWCA. Rebeckah has worked with politicians, beauty pageant contestants, professional athletes, supermodels, recording artists, and corporate executives. Also supporting and volunteering with non-profit organizations which aim to empower teenage girls, and have had the privilege to work with some industry greats.
Originally from the DRC in Africa, one of Rebeckah’s biggest passions is to bring awareness to the continent of Africa. She is very passionate about giving back to her country and the development of its young girls and women.
Rebeckah is all about empowering the everyday woman. She believes that when you invest in women, you change the world.
What do you love most about being in the fashion industry and how would you describe your sense of style?
Rebeckah: Oh man, so many things that I love about the fashion industry! But if I have to pick one, I would say the fact that fashion is a universal language. Fashion connects people from all different cultures and backgrounds in a way that other things can’t. Even when there is a language barrier, there is the love of fashion. And we all understand that!
My personal sense of style is casual chic. I like to dress up a pair of jeans with blazers and accessories. I’m not a huge fan of heels so I love playing around with flats and sneakers. I like to not do too much but look like I did.
Please tell us about the charity fashion shows you produced?
Rebeckah: Most of the fashion shows that I have produced, directed, and styled have actually been for charities. One of my favorites that I was involved with benefited Susan G Komen. Charity fashion shows are a labor of love for me. It’s something I love doing and I love that proceeds are going to help others.
We would love to learn more about your global fashion nonprofit Worthy: The Fashion Meet Up. How did it come about?
Rebeckah: Worthy is so special to me. I have been in the fashion industry for 17 years. I started out as a model, then a wardrobe stylist, and now a fashion consultant. I started to feel like there was a lack of community within the fashion industry. I attributed that to the fact that the fashion industry can be very cutthroat and competitive, so most people don’t want to be your friend in the industry. I felt that given the fact that it’s such a hard industry to be in, the community was essential. While I love the fashion industry, I’m not naive to the fact that the industry throws a lot of pressure at creatives because it is an industry centered around outer appearance. Who doesn’t need community when your bread and butter depends on whether or not people like how you look, or how your clients look?
For years I kept telling people that it would be great for someone to create a community made up of genuine, supportive creatives who wanted to help other creatives thrive and succeed in this industry. So finally, I created Worthy in 2019. I originally started Worthy as a group under another nonprofit, and we eventually branched off and became our own nonprofit. Worthy offers community, mentorship, and support to fashion creatives in 8 countries!
I’m so passionate about my work with Worthy because I know what this industry can be like. I remember being self-conscious about gaining weight and wanting to impress prospective clients. I know what it feels like to put so much sweat into a fashion show and be anxious about whether or not anyone will like it. And I also know the ugly side of the fashion industry. I just felt like no one should have to maneuver this industry alone. And of course, the name Worthy is because I want people to always remember that they are worthy.
What have been some of the most memorable moments in your career so far?
Rebeckah: To be honest, my most memorable moments are moments like this. A few years ago I went through a really tough personal period and I essentially had to relaunch my business. I had already put 7 years into it at that point, and at the time, it was heartbreaking to have to start again. But as usual, there’s always a reason for everything you go through. Because I had to reset, I came back stronger and my business reflected that. Because of the new focus, I have been introduced to some amazing people in this industry, some of which I can now call friends. I have been involved in some amazing projects and I’ve had opportunities come my way that I dreamt of when I first started years ago. Just the other day, I was telling a friend that I can’t believe the people I am privileged to know and work with now. And even though I’ve been at this for a long time, I feel like I’m just getting started!
What are some of the best characteristics about yourself that define your swag?
Rebeckah: Definitely my strength. It’s a muscle that has been developed over the years, but I’m so proud of the strong woman I am. I’m also proud of my kindness. Don’t get me wrong, I put my foot down when I need to, but I do genuinely strive to be a kind person and treat people as such. I don’t think there’s any reason you can’t treat people with kindness and respect.
What’s next for you?
Rebeckah: I’m speaking all kinds of things into existence, but as far as what is already on the books, Worthy has partnered with 5-star agency The FState, for a seven-city model tour. I’m excited to partner with the agency to bring creatives amazing weekend workshops to help educate them on the modeling industry. And The FState will donate proceeds to Worthy. We will also be launching Worthy in new locations over the next year.
For me personally, I had the honor of being a contributing author for an amazing book, Bl@ck Girl Activist: A Shift In Social Change, so I am looking forward to events, book signings, and speaking engagements for that project.
What winter and 2022 fashion tips would you have for us?
Rebeckah: My number one fashion tip is always to make sure you feel good in it! To add to that, step out of your comfort zone! We sometimes get in a rut and then become afraid to try something new. So this winter, try something new! If you normally do a neutral coat, for example, try a jewel tone coat. I love the reds, greens, and purples for winter. If you normally wear flat boots (speaking to myself here) try a pair of sky-high boots that you can dress up or dress down. For our gentlemen out there, add a pop of color to your scarves, gloves, and hats. Who said you always have to wear blacks and browns?
An extra little tip. If your budget allows, get your outerwear tailored. We talk a lot about getting clothes tailored, but often not your outerwear. It gives you an overall polished look when your coat fits properly in the shoulders and waist area.
Interview Done By: Tammy Reese | @tammyreesemedia