rustic-Air™ is a union of two journeys between multi-disciplinary designers Baba Diop and Luís Ruano. Inspired by traditional Senegalese sewing techniques and timeless design, rustic-Air™ marries both creative’s life stories into one-off artisanal creations that evoke emotion with every ripped seam, splash of paint or stitch by hand.
Baba Diop is the founder of Xelkom, a celebration of artisan traditions passed down from the hand’s of a tailor to his son. Xelkom creates designs made by hand, using styles and techniques inherited from tribes in Senegal renowned for their skilled craftsmanship. From the local towns to the bustling markets of West Africa, the needle and thread represents humble beginnings through the tapestry of life. Xelkom’s list of clientele includes: Saul Williams, Lenny Kravitz, Usher, Halle Berry and Questlove.
Luís Ruano is the grandson of a tailor. His passion lies in storytelling in all mediums, whether that be through a sewing machine, his photography or graphic design. Luís has worked as an art director and designer, following a lengthy tenure as the first North American Senior Editor for Hypebeast, where the publication received a Top 50 Website ranking by TIME Magazine. Luís is a published writer and photographer for fashion and art publications, including the annual All Gone book series and numerous interviews with high profile artists, athletes and musicians.