Perfect Partnering


Abode2 talks to Ralu Fine Art Founder, Malina Catoiu, about how simple dressing to impress as a couple can be

What inspired the move to create men's pocket squares?

It was actually down to my subscribers. I was contacted by men who had come across Ralu when searching for gifts for the special woman in their lives, they were charmed by my designs and they started to search for men too. I came up with a single product that can be used unisex , a silk neckerchief that could be worn by women and also by men in different ways. For men, it evolved to be used as pocket squares or neckerchief.

I grew this idea to create a range of matching accessories for couples. It was the symbol of unity and togetherness in a relationship that spoke to me. For me, it's a subtle way for couples to express their connection and style preferences.

Is there a secret to creating a design for both men and women?

The first step is designing patterns that transcend gender boundaries and that are versatile. For example. nature or animal-inspired designs or geometric resonate with both men and women. Second is the type of silk. Silk satin is more feminine while silk twill works well for both men and women. In terms of size, I opted for a larger pocket square size like 45x45 cm instead of 35x35 cm, first because it can fit and stick better in a pocket without slipping out easily and allows it to be used as neckerchief too.

Is it better to Mix or Match with your partner?

I think this depends on the occasion and each couple's unique style. I would say mixing allows each partner to express their individuality, personality and be comfortable with their own style. On the other hand, matching is a sign of strong connection and unity. It gives a visual message that they are on the same page and share common values.

It's quite popular to match accessories at special occasions adding a touch of romance and significance to the moment. Some couples find it fun. So, I think it's a matter of personal preferences. That’s why I make sure the designs and products in my collections are perfect for both mixing and matching.

What sits at the heart of each of your designs?

My designs combine classic, modern and romantic elements, but at the heart of my brand stands the power of self-expression and individuality. Each one of my pieces goes beyond just a fashion accessories, they are a canvas for personal creativity. The designs we create are adaptable to various styles and occasions, allowing the wearer to express their individuality.

Made exclusively from natural silk, they have one of the greenest production process and can last a lifetime. My commitment to quality and sustainability is my trademark. For each scarf, neckerchief or pocket square sold, a tree is planted. I stand for hope, comfort, nature, balance, delicacy, elegance and grace.

What’s next from the brand?

I'm excited to exhibit my range in Paris this September at WHO'S NEXT, the leading fashion trade show in Europe organized at Porte de Versailles.

WHO'S NEXT attracts fashion buyers, boutique owners; department stores, retailers, fashion professionals from all around the world and offers me the opportunity to show my creations, gain visibility in the global fashion market and connect and collaborate with other industry leaders. It's a place where new partnerships and collaborations are forged and I am more than excited to be one of the brands who exhibits and brings more beauty into the world.

In terms of new models and designs, I already have some nice surprises on the way, especially for the Holiday season. The samples came during this Summer and they are simply gorgeous, I can’t wait to share them.


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