Ramy Brook Clothes Hamptonites in Color
by danine alati
What do you do when you just can’t seem to find the perfect top for a summer night out in the Hamptons? If your name is Ramy Sharp, you just design your own. “I never could find that perfect ‘go-to’ sexy top to wear with my jeans, so I decided I should just make my own,” Sharp recalls. “And that was the beginning of my design career and the Ramy Brook line.” Now sold in 88 stores nationwide, including Fahrenheit 451 in Westhampton, Ramy Brook will have a table at this year’s Super Saturday 15 in Water Mill, where 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit ovarian cancer research.
The chic ready-to-wear women’s fashion label launched in 2010, and the line of tops, dresses, shorts, skirts, and pants is made in Manhattan from sumptuous fabrics like chiffon, charmeuse, jersey, and crepe. Seeking to create a “versatile line of sexy, luxurious, relaxed separates” that are meant to complement a woman’s figure, as well as the rest of her wardrobe, Sharp says, “I was looking for a fabric that could be worn year-round, day or night, dressed up or down.” In New York’s Garment District she found a store that carried gorgeous silk fabrics with a touch of stretch. “They reminded me of the fabrics from some of my favorite designers—Lanvin, Gucci, Chloé. It was love at first sight,” she says. “I was hooked on how it felt, draped, and looked.”
Sharp describes her personal style sense as “cool with a funky elegance” by day and “sexy yet sophisticated” by night. All of her designs reflect the sensibility of the woman who wants to transition from day to evening. When describing her current offerings, she says, “It’s a very sensual and sophisticated collection—from low-cut silky pieces to slightly conservative tops that can be worn as a blouse or jacket. The silhouettes work perfectly for the girl who works and the girl who goes out at night. We also shake it up a bit with cute leather shorts and colorful leather leggings.”
For each collection, Sharp begins by envisioning different scenarios for her ideal customer and then creating her perfect outfit for the occasion. “My ideal customer is confident, sexy, and sophisticated,” she offers. “She could be 25 or 65, and when she walks into a room everyone admires her style and her joie de vivre. Stylish and free-spirited women like Lauren Hutton and Angelina Jolie always inspire me. I also love the Halston/Studio 54 era. Those women were so glamorous.”
With a summer collection that’s “all about color—bright and fabulous,” according to Sharp, she says her must-have piece for the season is the Harriet top, which can be worn in six different styles. “It’s a constant in my wardrobe,” she admits. “It can be worn so many different ways and with a variety of bottoms. It looks like it belongs in a designer collection, but retails at a contemporary price—so it can be owned in multiple colors.” Another essential piece for the season is the cover-up. “It’s the perfect dress for the Hamptons,” she says. “It takes you right from the beach to happy hour; throw on a pair of wedges, and you’re good to go.”
Fond of summering in the Hamptons for the past 20 years, Sharp will be active in several charity events on the East End this year: In addition to her company’s participation in Super Saturday, she is the event chair for UJA-Federation of New York’s trunk show in Bridgehampton on August 2 and one of the chairs for the Max Cure Foundation’s Roar for a Cure Family Day Carnival in East Hampton on August 18 to raise funds for pediatric cancer causes. Sharp initially became involved with UJA-Federation 13 years ago when her first son was born, and she wanted to be active but not go back to a full-time job. “What’s amazing about UJA is that it’s an umbrella charity that helps everyone—from battered women to the elderly to the homeless to Israeli soldiers,” she explains. Now with three kids and a growing business, Sharp still participates in the organization because she says, “I know with 100 percent confidence that every cent they raise is going to help a person in need.”
When not working or volunteering, Sharp enjoys shopping in East Hampton, walking around Sag Harbor with her kids, or lounging by the pool or ocean at Main Beach. “Since we live in New York City, it’s nice to come out to the Hamptons and enjoy the backyard and fresh air,” she says. “The Hamptons will always be special to us.” Fahrenheit 451, 105 Main St., Westhampton Beach, 288-5724.
photography by evan sung (Ramy); Bill Davila/startraksphoto.com (hurley)