It started 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.
New Jersey Monthly: What inspired you to become a designer?
Ramy Brook Sharp: 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.
NJM: When was your first big break?
NJM: How has your business evolved?
RBS: 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 differently 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 novelties.
NJM: And all this success started in New Jersey?
RBS: 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.