How the ARIKO Journey Began…

How the ARIKO Journey Began…

It’s hard for me to pinpoint the exact timeframe that I started having this vision for a brand. ARIKO's birth as an idea began in 2022. I was living at the beach in the Palisades and spending a lot of time in the water. I was styling full time and figuring out what my niche was in fashion. My styling work gave me a lot of confidence about working directly with clients on their looks for events, campaigns, awards, galas, and more. In my buying past, I had worked mainly with the brands that were making the clothing behind the scenes. I have a good eye and grasp of what I want to select for the stores or sites. I was removed from those customers in real life though; I wasn’t on the ground. Styling put me back in front of the people wearing the clothing and not behind a desk. I was then able to see clearly clients’ needs and that helped me to see my own clothing needs around my surf and fashion lifestyle.

I love surfing! I love the excitement of it but also the calm of it. It’s the only place I can go where I’m not thinking about something else. You must completely be in the moment of it. When I would emerge from that mental space and look around at what everyone was wearing, I was dismayed. Surfing does tend to have a certain laidback aesthetic, no doubt about that. I started researching brands I thought I would get a couple pieces from and found nothing that spoke to me. Furthermore, I asked my friends what brands they buy in the genre, and they all said none! They would buy the technical apparel only. The “fashion” elements of it where not appealing. None of them bought this stuff. They preferred well known denim, shoes, outerwear, t-shirts, etc. brands that are sold in better boutiques and department stores. So, it hit me; if I can select items for men and women to wear in my styling work, why can’t I create items that people would wear in their life too? I wanted something I could see my beach lifestyle in but also see my appreciation of fashion in.

I got serious about this in early 2023 and started my journey of finding all the things you need to make a brand work: production, fabrics, patterns, sewers, suppliers of buttons, snaps, labels, denim, wash houses, factories, packaging, and warehousing/shipping. I’m sure I am also leaving a million things out! I was incredibly fortunate to have a great network already in fashion that allowed me to facilitate this. I had an old colleague of mine and dear friend, Josh Gross, who helped me from start to finish on the web design, products, and photoshoots. He’s so talented! I met Simon Miller, the most knowledgeable denim designer out there as well as a longtime entrepreneur and expert in launching brands. I immediately jived with him, and we’ve been working together ever since then. It’s been a yearlong process, which in the world of brand development, is quite fast! This network of those mentioned and many others allowed me to move at a quick pace and bypass many of the pitfalls a person starting a brand could fall into.

It’s been quite a learning curve to go from working exclusively with finished products to creating finished products. Here are a few snaps of the everyday events and behind the scenes process that got us to the finished products I get to wear, and you get to shop.

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