RubyDawn International, established in 2021, is an Authentically Afrocentric and Socially Sustainable high fashion brand. It is an African American Woman owned company that reflects the cultural background of its founder, Dawn Surgest. By merging boldly hued African produced fabrics with the casual ease of classic American style, RubyDawn International creates uniquely AfroProud, Couture Quality designs for both business environments and special occasion events.


    Our goal is to provide sustainable employment opportunities within our community. We especially strive to create signature style, high quality & well fitting corporate appropriate attire that make our customers look & feel professionally empowered.


    Our vision sees us expanding our e-commerce business into brick and mortar stores in the near future. That is how we can reach more customers and offer them a lovely face to face shopping experience. We intend to build a community destination where we can share our stories and ideas with each other. We are grateful for your support and hope you will join us on this exciting journey.

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Dawn R. Surgest

Founder and Designer

Dawn Surgest was born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, but grew up in San Francisco, California - where she was influenced by the clothing styles of the Black Panthers in West Oakland and the Hippies of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. With a jazz musician father and a fashion model mother, Dawn was encouraged to express her own fashion aesthetic at a very young age.

She began hand sewing for her favorite muse, Christie - Barbie's friend, at age 7. By age 11, under the tutelage of her Aunt Peggy, Dawn was creating fashion forward outfits for herself and her cousins.

In her teenage years, Dawn studied Fashion Design and Merchandising, graduating with two Associate's Degrees. After graduation, she moved to London to learn couture sewing as an apprentice at a New Bond Street boutique whose clientele was strictly silk wearing royalty.

From there, Dawn was invited by an influential Los Angeles born brother and sister team who were working in Europe at the time, to come try her luck in Hollywood. That's when things became glamorous! In mid-1980's Los Angeles Dawn started her first official brand under the name DivaWear.

Through DivaWear, Dawn was able to outfit Grammy, Tony, and Emmy award winning celebrities as well as Playboy models and Soul Train dancers.

In early 2000's, Dawn closed DivaWear and returned to the east coast to further her education at University of Pittsburgh, where she was on the Dean's List and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Legal Studies.

While based in Pittsburgh, Dawn relaunched her company with a name change to RubyDawn International. Her first big break under the new name was a commission to create a private label African skirt collection. She was flown to Tanzania to oversee the production of the collection. The collection of 300 skirts & accessories sold out immediately.

Dawn fell in love with the welcoming feeling of producing in Africa and the rest is history in the making.