Fashion Meets Philanthropy
Artist and designer Ruby Farias supports local causes through her art
Artist Ruby Farias paints, embellishes and designs clothing, accessories and home goods. Most of her creations, if not all, are custom one-of-a-kind pieces answering the client’s needs and desires. “I like to create clean lines, feminine and elegant pieces. I have to love what I create and I do my best to bring in something new to the garment,” she said.
As one of 11 children born to a close-knit Hispanic family, Farias began her artistic journey early on, influenced by her dynamic familia. Her creative mind is rooted in some of her earliest memories. “My mom was always crafting, and she loved her garden and flowers. I stuck by her side to learn as much as I could. She taught me to sew and to love nature. I was the youngest of seven girls and sometimes my mom would create dresses for me, and I absolutely loved that she made them just for me,” she said.
In seventh grade, Farias ventured to craft something of her own. “I created my own pattern for a pair of bell-bottom pants, and I was very proud, especially with the smiley face I embroidered by hand at the bottom of one of the pant legs,” she said. In high school, Farias painted large abstract murals in her home and for friends. A move to Boston helped Farias’ artistic life flourish. There, she opened her first business, Ruby Heart Jewelry, and showcased her handcrafted beaded jewelry in a number of art fairs throughout New England.
In her mid-20s, the artist moved to Phoenix to pursue a career in banking and took a 15-year hiatus from her art. But in 2001, one of the toughest years of her life, she vowed that she would never put her brush down again. She has returned full-circle to her original passion for painting and fashion, embellishing derby hats, shoes and handbags and designing colorful outfits. “It is a dream come true to design clothing and accessories. I create works of art for those who want to stand out in the crowd and want something specially made for them,” she said.
This creative soul believes it’s important to give back to the community and has given her time and talent extensively to a number of nonprofit organizations in the Valley, from showing her designs on the runway to donating an embellished dress, handbag or pair of shoes. “I have even painted a violin as an auction item,” Farias said. She has recently supported the American Heart Association Go Red for Women, Arizona Costume Institute, Arizona Foundation for Women, Childsplay, Dress for Success, FABRIC fashion incubator, Florence Crittenton, Kids in Focus and The Garment League, among others. Last year, she received the On Central Fashion Humanitarian Award presented by The Garment League, a local nonprofit promoting fashion design education, branding and resources. She currently serves on the board of the Arizona Costume Institute and the Artlink Artist Council.
Naturally, the artist dresses in her custom pieces to attend charitable events and support their causes. The last event she attended was the Arizona Costume Institute Holiday Luncheon in December, benefiting Phoenix Art Museum’s Fashion Design Department. Farias wore a sheer striped jacket with puffy sleeves over a haltered slimming lounge dress; the shoes added a touch of sparkle.
In between charitable endeavors, Farias works on new fashion collections in her studio in Scottsdale, continually inspired by the colors and flowers of Arizona and beyond.