Peach & Pepper's Allison Ruchaber
Our series Talk Shop is a career and style profile featuring personalities from various industries. They are shot on location in Cherry Creek sometimes wearing clothing from stores in the area. Esther Lee Leach interviews Fashion Blogger Allison Ruchaber of Peach & Pepper at Lucy’s Flowers & Design in Cherry Creek North. Allison wears clothing from her closet.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ESTHER LEE LEACH
LOCATION: LUCY’S FLOWERS & DESIGN
Esther Lee Leach: Allison, you are a very popular blogger. Tell us about your back ground and how you got started?
Allison Ruchaber: I’m a wife, mom of two, major shoe lover and believer that style is an art form and a way to express creativity. I actually dreamed of becoming a fashion designer back in high school (and used to sketch dress ideas), but instead went to college for Journalism and received my Bachelor of Journalism Degree in Advertising. I worked as a marketing and freelance writer for many years before deciding to try my hand at fashion and starting my own Denver-based clothing line, peach & pepper apparel, in 2013. After about five years of designing (which I loved), producing in small batches and selling mainly to boutiques and fitness studios, I transitioned peach & pepper into a style blog and began focusing on content creation for social media and the blog.
ELL: Why did you create your blog Peach & Pepper?
AR: I initially created my blog as a part of my clothing website, as a way to talk about my designs and boost SEO. But then I began being contacted by other companies to wear their clothes and started combining my designs with other brands for my blog and Instagram posts. So when I decided to take a step back from designing and producing clothing, the blog had started to take off and became my main creative platform and outlet.
ELL: Tell us more about the content that you create for Peach & Pepper?
AR: I truly believe style is a way to express creativity, and I’m a big believer that fashion should be fun! So the content I create is based on that….my goal with content is to share fun, colorful, eclectic and hopefully creative and artistic style! As far as the images I share on social media and my blog, I work with an amazing photographer, Nicole Marcelli and we do try to get creative with shots, angles and locations for added interest and because we both appreciate the art in it. In addition, I always try my best to style fun looks that are still comfortable, wearable and attainable. When it comes to captions and blog posts, I really focus on giving as much detail as possible about the garments themselves as well as offering (or often showing in photos) multiple styling ideas and ways to wear because I feel that if you invest in a piece or love an item, you should wear it as many ways as possible!
ELL: How would you describe your style?
AR: In one word: eclectic. I love and appreciate so many different styles, pieces, moods. I can’t pick just one. However, the way I typically describe my style is feminine with a touch of edge or sweet with a little spice, which is actually where my brand name, peach & pepper, came from. So while I do love so many different styles, that mix of feminine and edgy is my go-to.
ELL: Where do you find your style inspiration?
AR: Is everywhere an acceptable answer? Honestly, I find so much style inspiration from other content creators on Instagram. Some of my favorites (who I really look up to and from whom I find constant inspo) are @tezza, @officiallyquigley and Denver-based influencer @rantiinreview. Her style is the epitome of chic. I also love Pinterest for style inspiration, and I love researching upcoming fashion trends online. I also am often inspired by a particular piece. For instance, when I see a tulle skirt, I start thinking about how I could take that ultra-feminine vibe and silhouette and make it edgier or even more casual and wearable for daytime. And finally, I have found lots of inspiration from Audrey Hepburn who is a fashion icon and style idol of mine, and also from Sarah Jessica Parker who I think is a style trail-blazer and willing to take risks. I think one of the biggest style compliments I’ve received is when I’ve had people tell me my tulle skirt outfits remind them of Carrie Bradshaw.
ELL: Who are your favorite designers?
AR: That’s a tough one. I actually tend to not gravitate to name brands or designer pieces as much as just trying to find fun and interesting pieces in general. But I do love Valentino, Alice & Olivia, and Pam & Gela especially. As far as attainable everyday brands, I love Zara, & Other Stories, Marc Fisher and Topshop.
ELL: What are your three favorite places to shop for clothing in Denver?
AR: Again, it’s tough to narrow that down. Denver has some wonderful boutiques and stores! But if I had to choose just three, I’d probably have to say: Melrose & Madison, Zara and Nordstrom Rack. I think Melrose & Madison has such a great mix of pieces and styles and I found my very favorite Mother Denim jeans there as well as some great graphic tees and two Misa dresses that I love. And Zara just speaks my style love language – a little girly, but also edgy and colorful and I love all the printed pieces they carry (they are drowning in animal print and I’m totally ok with that!). Finally, I love a great deal and I have a lot of fun digging for those fashion diamonds in the rough, hence my love for Nordstrom Rack. I feel like you can find some total style gems (at a great price) if you’re willing to spend some time looking. I honestly find 80% of my shoes there.
ELL: Do you think Denver has a style language like New York or Paris? What is it?
AR: I think if Denver has a style language it’s comfortable and casual. I actually often complain to my husband that no one really dresses up here and I kind of wish they would! Don’t get me wrong, I love comfort….but I feel like you can be comfortable and still a little dolled up.
ELL: What are your five favorite pieces from your closet?
AR: Another super tough question! My favorites change over time and even with my mood, but currently I’d have to say my high-waisted, distressed Mother Denim jeans, leopard print Zara midi skirt, orange & Other Stories wrap mini dress, black tulle skirt and ivory Marc Fisher western booties. Oh and can I throw in my Valentino bag (that was my dream bag and a gift from my husband)? But honestly, there are so many more pieces that I love including graphic tees and moto jackets. I feel like when you love style, it’s so hard to narrow it down!
ELL: Do you have any items in your closet that you regret buying? Why?
AR: I don’t know if I have one item in particular that I regret buying, but I have often been guilty of purchasing a lot of trendy pieces that don’t really stand the test of time. So while I do appreciate trends and wear many of them, my style is gradually becoming a little more timeless and (I hope) chic, so now I’m better about asking myself “how long will I like this and want to wear it?”…especially if it’s a pricier item.
Cherry Creek Fashion TV’s My Style Guide with Allison Ruchaber