⇾ How Ruben Hughes Shops
⇾ Ruben Hughes,Art Director
The multi-hyphenate discusses the benefits of second-hand shopping and why good denim is non-negotiable
Remember when social media was simpler? More photos of food, beautiful locales or the occasional memes, and not so video-heavy? One person who has excelled at posting tasteful imagery of his life and the things that shape it is art director Ruben Hughes. His Instagram is one of my favorites to peruse. He's been posting for over a decade—from artful photographs of foreign countries and delicious food to stylish outfits from the latest Scandinavian designers.
An in-demand multidiscipline marketer, he's held roles at Magasin du Nord, ILLUM, Bang & Olufsen, Squarespace and more. Much like his work, Ruben's style is clean, minimal and sophisticated. It's clear he invests in pieces that will stand the test of time, from cameras to watches and well-tailored clothing. We caught up with the Copenhagen-based art director to see where he's been shopping, what brands he's currently watching and if there's anything he refuses to spend money on.
Describe your style
in five words or less.
Modern, clean, sophisticated, established and comfortable.
Roccia vet boot,
$362 by Diemme
What are you shopping for at the moment?
I missed out on the opportunity to pick up a good pair of hiking boots last winter, and these by Diemme have been on my mind.
How has your style evolved since moving out of the States?
I've been living in Denmark for the past five years. In those years, I've experienced the covenant Scandinavian style, deeply ingrained in the culture. I believe my style takes notes from it’as in clean and minimalist’but I still hold onto my upbringing in America. Living in a place that's stylistically perfect as a baseline, I can learn from it and bring something new to the table.
How did your earlier career lead to what you’re doing now?
Early in my career, I knew that I wanted to be an art director. Each job before was a step closer to getting me there, even if my role was junior—I made moves to learn and grow. Today, I'm still growing, only now I know much more and can bring my perspective to any industry. I chose health tech because I can make beautiful campaigns that make a real difference in the world.
Any brands you’re watching right now?
OrSlow, Mfpen and Aimé Leon Dore.
Virgin wool/cotton coat,
$1,065 by Closed
What’s one garment that every man needs in his closet?
A good trench coat.
Do you have a piece you’ll never part with?
I bought my navy-blue cruiser jacket by Post O'Alls seven years ago and it still fits me today. I can wear it with anything and in any season.
What city has the best shopping?
I enjoy shopping in Paris. I'm a boutique guy, though I've worked as an art director for department stores. It always feels like the retail experience is more intimate. In Paris, you have a mix of cultures that provide brands from around the world—while still having the Parisian sophistication.
EOS Rebel T7 camera,
$479.99 by Canon
What was the camera that piqued your interest in photography?
I can't remember the exact camera model, but I had one of those Canon rebels in my high school. I had to learn each setting by making every mistake I could, but the process was beautiful.
Do you shop more online or in person?
I do both pretty equally these days. I shop online when I know what I want and maybe need to scan the globe to find it. If it's in person, I might be in doubt about fit and need to make sure it's up to standard.
The Normie jean,
$195 by AYR
Do you ever buy things in multiples?
When I find a good pair of denim, I look for all the usual washes to add to my collection. Sometimes the fit just hits right and I need them all.
Which do you experience more: Buyer’s remorse or regret for not buying something?
I like to think that I'm quite calculated about my buying experiences, but I find I get buyer's remorse when I splurge too much on unnecessary purchases while on vacation. I become a different person when I'm on holiday mode and will collect a very strong receipt at the end.
GMT-Master II Pepsi
$15,000 by Rolex
A watch is a necessary extravagance for me. I can justify it much more when I wear it nearly every day.
What is something you refuse to spend a lot for?
This might sound weird, but I don't enjoy spending money on boxer briefs. I just don't understand the investment—past comfort, of course.
What’s one shopping hack that you can let everyone know about?
If you're visiting a country on vacation, try to check their version of Poshmark or a second-hand online shopping destination. You can often find locally based brands and get them for a fraction of the price while picking them up in person.