Renée Rubino, de Toronto à Paris, et du chaîne-et-trame à la maille.

Renée Rubino, élève de la promotion 2024. DR
Renée Rubino, élève de la promotion 2024. DR

You are in year 2 of the school curriculum, can you talk about your background

before you joined, and your experience at the school.

Before enrolling at l’École de La Maille de Paris, I completed the Fashion Design Undergraduate program at ESMOD Paris. At ESMOD Paris, I specialized in women’s ready-to-wear. Although enrolled in the womenswear program, my design teacher recognized my passion for knitwear and connected me with an industry colleague - Marine Peutat, a teacher at L’Ecole de La Maille. Marine and I collaborated on my graduate collection and after seeing her bring my ideas to life, I was certain that I wanted to be able to do that for myself.

After completing my studies at ESMOD Paris, I went on to do design and pattern making internships, working both in women’s ready to wear and haute couture. While working full time, I enrolled in weekend courses at L’Ecole de La Maille. Although these courses offered an introduction to the craft, I felt that I wanted to pursue knitwear further and part-time studies were not allowing me to progress as fast as I wanted to. Hence, this led me to enroll in the full-time program for the following year. Given my background in fashion design and creation, I started directly in the second year.

It's the content of the program and size of the school that makes L’Ecole de La Maille different than other design schools of its kind. The program is very rich, made up of 4 core courses (design, sample research, prototype and volume drawing) and 5 elective courses (graphic design, illustration, history of architecture and art history and culture) - plus weekly outings of various kinds that really enrich our school experience (current expos, theatre pieces, textile factories and more).

The boutique nature of the school allows students to collaborate and work closely with our teachers and peers. It is easy to connect on a personal basis and helps us grow respectively in all our projects. After already having a big fashion school experience, I find a more intimate structure to be incredibly helpful and imperative for my development as a designer. That being said, we do often work autonomously and although it is not necessary to have any prior experience in garment creation, I found that my previous education in fashion design has helped me immensely throughout the year. I would definitely advise taking an intensive year or two of general design and pattern making prior to joining the program to really get the most out of it.

"It's the content of the program and size of the school that makes

l’Ecole de La Maille different than other design schools of its kind."

What made you decide to do knitting

What I love about knitwear is how little it has been explored in fashion historically, making the possibilities seem endless (which they are). In the design process, the steps are reversed. While woven garments are usually born from a sketch, knit is born from a single thread. We start with creating the textile rather than have it as an afterthought, which is a step that we don’t always have the privilege of while designing woven garments. We are literally creating our fabrics, unique to us and us only. The exploration of textile research is what really attracted me to knitwear in the first place. Often an initial idea can take you somewhere completely different from where it began. This experience can be funny, frustrating and liberating all at once - but above all incredibly innovative. Knitwear design is both my passion and professional career pursuit, and I am incredibly lucky to be able to combine both. Most of my inspiration is influenced by personal experiences, my heritage, my upbringing, etc. I try to put a lot of myself in my work, for me this is crucial to make my work authentic.


3/ What are your plans after graduating from l’Ecole de la Maille de Paris?

Once graduated from L’Ecole de la Maille, I plan to continue my studies in a specialized knitwear master’s program. After obtaining a master’s degree, I envision myself working in the fashion industry as a knitwear designer - to gain experience and understand the industry. After interning for several small brands in the past, I want to have the experience of working in the luxury sector. My long-term goal is to create a brand of my own one day - 100% knitwear.

"The exploration of textile research is what really attracted me

to knitwear in the first place."

Modèles et inspiration Renée Rubino. DR.