The Mystic Museum of Art is very excited to introduce to our community our newest art faculty member Cristina Ruales. Born in Quito, Ecuador, Cristina Ruales’s first summit was in the Andes at the age of five, setting the stage for a life time of high achievements.

Cristina comes to MMoA after moving from New York where she was an accomplished fashion designer and businesswoman. Her quest for excellence led her to Parsons at the age of 16 to pursue her BFA degree in Fashion Design, from which she then received her MFA in Costume Design and Fashion History from Yale. Cristina is the first female Latina to graduate from the Yale School of Drama in the Design program, an accomplishment that is due to her hard work and humility.

Now decades later, Ruales still makes time to go mountain climbing between her collections, where her love of nature and architecture continues to act as her inspiration along side her love for the ocean and travel. Her line has been carried in stores such as Henri Bendel, Takashimaya, Intermix, American Rag and more. As a Senior Designer for DKNY, she gained crucial knowledge of the merchandising, production, and sales market. She has also shown her eponymous collection as part of the official CFDA New York Fashion Week calendar.

When asked to describe what drives her designs, Cristina shared, “My whole ethos is basically based on the idea of architecture versus nature. So, nature can be in the print, often, but also in terms of the way things fit the body and natural fibers versus technical fibers. But the architecture isn’t just like the architecture that inspires me like our buildings we live in and our indoor/outdoor experiences as human beings, but really the architecture of the clothing itself – how the garments are draped.” The ethos of her label is to #CelebrateYourIndivuduality as well as #FemalEmpowerment. You can view some of her work .

The MMoA is so very excited to have such an accomplished artist working in our studios. Cristina Ruales will offer classes starting this Fall. Cristina is very excited to make our CT coast her new inspiration and we invite you to stop by and personally welcome her into the MMoA community.