Clements Ribeiro

Amber Jane Butchart

Designer Biography

DOI: 10.5040/9781474260428-FPA115

Design duo Clements Ribeiro is comprised of a Brazilian, Inacio Ribeiro, and a Briton, Suzanne Clements, who met on their first day of study at Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design in London and graduated in 1991. The husband-and-wife team opened their own business in 1993. Their early collections featured patterns, Scottish cashmere, and collaborations with artists such as Julie Verhoeven, Peter Saville, Celia Birtwell, and Petra Broner. They have also collaborated with shoe designers Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, and Jimmy Choo.

From 2000 to 2007, Clements Ribeiro were creative directors at the Cacharel label. In 2009 they reintroduced their own label at London Fashion Week (last shown in 2005) in a series of “upcycled” ranges called Projects, with an emphasis on transforming salvaged vintage pieces into uniquely designed items. These have ranged from Christmas stockings auctioned for Oxfam to a knitwear collaboration with embroiderer Karen Nicol.

From March 2012 they debuted their Swan range for high-street retailer Evans, for women of UK size 14 (US size 10) and above. For the first collection, Inacio Ribeiro told the Telegraph , “We addressed the different body shapes, with styles which are accessible but modern, with an emphasis on prints and femininity. It was our starting point, understanding different proportions and different needs behind a desire for fashion that is not different from the high-fashion consumer. Far from being apologetic or patronising, we celebrated curves and voluptuousness.”

Suzanne Clements has talked about her love of natural history, including a collection of taxidermy ranging from bugs to owls and even bones. She also professes an obsession with color; she even named her daughter Violet. Clements Ribeiro remain best known for their knitwear, especially brightly patterned cashmere, and an aesthetic that mixes and clashes color, print, and texture.

Clements Ribeiro, Spring/Summer 1999 Photograph by Niall McInerney, Fashion Photography Archive

References and Further Reading

Clements Ribeiro. Website.

Find in Library Eceiza Laura. Atlas of Fashion Designers . Barcelona : Maomao, 2008.

Find in Library Pithers Ellie. ““First Look at Clements Ribeiro for Evans”.” The Telegraph , 26 March 2012. .

Find in Library Rosée Sophie de. ““World of: Suzanne Clements, Fashion Designer”.” The Telegraph , 4 February 2012. .