Rachel Rutt is an endless well of wisdom and creativity. The master of many talents has been baking love, nostalgia and a lifetime of inspiration—from rural Japan to the sunny shores of Sydney—into her namesake knitwear label since it launched in 2020.
RUTT is a collection of cosy, colourful handmade creations that are intended to “bring back Buffalo style and true-sense-individuality”. Worn by both familiar and new CPC friends in the gallery above, and lensed by photographer Lexi Laphor they’re also guaranteed to elicit all the joyful summer feels.
We speak with the artist below about funneling the essence of her previous lives as a model and musician into everyday handmade knitwear garments, the importance of waste reduction, and the bright future of RUTT…
Hi! What is the Rachel Rutt elevator pitch?
I’m the creator of RUTT, my knitted homage to joy and colour and a celebration of the handmade.
Where does your mind go when you hear the word ‘home’?
A Japanese rice paddy in late spring.
What was the initial impetus behind starting RUTT?
I wanted to make pieces that were simple and direct enough to fit into everyday life, whilst still offering the essence of my earlier work: humour, empathy, and dynamic texture.
How inspired are you by your surroundings? Do you think the city you’re living in informs both your style and the RUTT aesthetic in any way?
I grew up in the remote Japanese countryside. Whenever I went to the city, I was exposed to the wild 2000s fashion culture of the era. Think FRUITS magazine and ‘Gyaru’. I didn’t know it then, but these would become the seeds of aesthetic development for RUTT. Living in Sydney now, I’m surrounded by a lot of same-same-ness. It can feel prescribed. I want to bring back Buffalo style, true-sense-individuality. Punk in the aspect that you work with what you have. That real style is effortless wisdom in knowing that YOU are all that you need.
What drew you to knitting and weaving?
It always reminds you of someone you love.
Where do you source your materials from and how do you work waste reduction into your brand?
I’m really excited about my new crochet swimwear because it’s a marriage of waste reduction and technical innovation. It is handmade in Peru from a groundbreaking recycled polyester and elastane blend. This means that it retains its shape and dries quickly, even after swimming. If you’ve ever worn regular crochet swimwear before, you’ll know what I mean when I say groundbreaking.
Our hats are all hand crocheted from landfill-diverted Pima Cotton, and are made by a second generation family workshop, also based in Peru.
In Australia, I work with local fibres. Our merino wool is the best in the world, so this is a really special story that we share through our pieces. Local farmers, mills, and hand makers. Truly Australian-made.
What does the future of RUTT look like?
Curiosity and playful innovation.
If RUTT was...
A colour: Orange.
A song: ‘Lemonsweet’ by Bagarre.
A food: Onigiri.
A mood: Sunshowers in summer.
A language: Subtitles.
A place: Okinawa.
A famous person: Jennifer Coolidge.
Akira and Aashaa are represented by Kult
Akira Isola is represented by Priscillas
Nylow is represented by IMG
Harry and Marlo are represented by Chadwick
Shot on location in Sydney, Australia