Roubaix brings elegance and style to cheering on your alma mater
By Elizabeth Scinta
Photos provided by Roubaix
As we all know, college sports are a big deal in the South, and right here in Kentucky, we have a rivalry like no other. It’s nearly impossible not to see someone sporting a University of Louisville or University of Kentucky t-shirt any day of the year. The colors alone, red and blue respectively, associate you with that team, whether you meant it to or not. After struggling to find attractive accessories to cheer on the University of Texas Longhorns, Meaghan and Robert Rubey decided to take matters into their own hands and launched Roubaix in 2021, a luxury accessory brand for people who want to support their alma mater in style.
Roubaix’s products pair sustainability with fashion by using wild alligators sourced directly from Louisiana’s wetlands. “The large consumers of wild alligators on Earth are mainly three companies: Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren and Hermes. Most of those brands have gone to farm raising their alligators, which was cutting into what had traditionally been a very significant market in Louisiana. Not only relative to the tradition of the state and the livelihoods of the landowners, but it was also an important part of the preservation of wetlands,” explained Robert.
After deciding to incorporate wild alligator into Roubaix, Meaghan charged forward and began researching wild alligator sustainability in Louisiana and vendors that could help bring their idea to fruition. “We’re trying to help the wetlands, so I wanted it to stay within the United States and help the economy in a full circle. And, that brought a lot of challenges, too, because there are only a couple of manufacturers left in the United States that produce exotic skins into products; most of it is done in Italy or China,” explained Meaghan. “It took 22 months to figure out the products, and finally, it was able to launch in July of 2021 with my first show in Aspen.” Meaghan used feedback from her first trunk show to help with her product design moving forward. The Rubey’s soon realized that they had targeted two different clients: those who wanted the product to support a university and those who purchased simply because they liked what they saw.
Roubaix began with the Rubey Mini Tote, modeled off the Louis Vuitton Neverfull Bag’s size. “I wanted something that everyone could wear daily, but alligator and more structured,” explained Meaghan. Although that is the flagship product, Meaghan says the Remy Bracelet in medium and small is their best-selling item. The Remy Bracelet is named after their beloved chihuahua rescue, named after St. Remy, a town in France where Robert grew up going in the summer. “Those sell quickly, and it’s great because they’re stackable. People will buy them regardless of school affiliation because they look great with a Cartier bracelet or any nice gold or silver bracelet they have on,” said Meaghan. “When I go to trunk shows, they’ll put it on, and that’s it. They’ll buy it immediately.” Another best seller is the Miller Clear Stadium Bags, which can also be purchased in full alligator. It’s a three-in-one bag that can be “worn on your belt like a fanny pack, as a crossbody or you can also take the strap off and use it as a clutch,” Meaghan described; UofL fans check out the red and UK fans, the electric blue.
While Meaghan recommends the Remy Bracelet to first-time clients, Robert recommends the Kathryn Double Wrap Wrist Watch Band for the Apple Watch, elevating the Apple Watch into a luxurious and appealing accessory. For men, Robert gushed about the McLaughlin Belt and Roubaix Men’s All Alligator Wallet, two products he carries daily; Robert has the burnt orange wallet and belt. So hop online to shop Roubaix and keep your eyes peeled for women’s alligator slides hitting the site in the fall of 2022.