Ruby Timeline



Brand Background


Designer: Robyn Lidsky


Academic background:

Bachelor of Arts & Masters Political Science - University of Cape Town

Design training:

Pattern-making - London School of Fashion, London.


RUBY was founded in 2002 to answer the call of South African women looking for gorgeous, comfy lingerie with interesting colour and fabric combinations, quirky prints and fashion-forward vision.


Intrinsic to the Ruby brand is a conviction to do some good in the world, and to help support the many woman, single-headed households in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.


From the outset, the vision for Ruby was to complement her range of unique lingerie with beautiful hand-beaded jewelry made by talented bead-workers. This vision emerged from a Masters thesis for UCT’s Political Science department on the use of beadwork as a sustainable model for job creation in South Africa.


For seven years now, this framework has proven itself to be a highly successful business model for Ruby, and the many households that benefit from the beadwork project.




Ruby est. 2002. Ruby is available at YDE stores nation wide in SA.

2002–2005, 2006-2009, Ruby shows at SA Fashion Week, JHB.

2003 & 2004 exhibited at the ASAP Global Sourcing Show, Las Vegas, USA.

2005 showed at the POOL trade show, Las Vegas, USA. Sold to 15 stores in the USA including Fred Segal and La Petit Coquette, NYC.

2006 & 2007 showed at MAGIC, Las Vegas – possibly the most important apparel trade show in the world.

2005- 2008 exported to stores in Japan, Australia, Canada and the US.

2007 launched Men United™, a men’s undies brother brand to Ruby in partnership with her husband, David Gimpel.

2006 - 2008 Design Indaba Expo, Cape Town

2007 – invited to show as part of Runway Africa – an exclusive showcase of seven designers from the continent, held at the French Embassy in Washington D.C.

2008 – purchased a house in Macassar, Khayelitsha for Andita Shaweni, a senior Ruby staffer who also supervises the Ruby Beading Project. This house has also become a convenient home for the beading project, and plans are afoot to upgrade facilities to make it tour-group friendly.

2009 – launched Stiletto, a line of very sexy undies for liberated women that features unique hand-beaded details.


Highlights over the past few years include being selected as the finale designer for Tyra Banks’ hit show, America’s Next Top Model that was screened all over the world. Previous shows, interviews and products featured on F-TV international, and in a host of international publications including Wallpaper, US Elle, Nylon Japan and Australian Vogue.


Retail Outlets: YDE stores. Various independent retailers and boutiques nationwide and abroad.


Contact details:

021 439 3469, 082 822 3555

PO Box 365, Sea Point, Cape Town, 8040