What’s good yo. So you’ve been doing big things. You’ve been on the trade show circuit lately, right?
Philly Nicks: Yea, we showed at both we did agenda in new york then we did magic in February and preview show in Atalanta. we do all the major trade show. we are the number 3 brand in the south under T.I.’s brand. In 2011 it was rich kids life and just started as Rich Life at the beginning of this year, very seamless transition.
-can you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Philly Nicks from West Covina La Puente , CA.
Bee Nyguen from Los Angeles California and one half of Rich Life.
-How you get started in streetwear fashion?
Bee Nguyen -Always been involved, marketing his background, started working with other brands such as LRG, Artful Dodger, Help start up Fly Society, had other brand called Hot Air in 07′,
P-Met Bee through mutual friends, I was never was in the streetwear game but always wanted to be in it but threw myself into the situations always wound up at the parties and events and then me and Bee became partners, I knew Bee had a certain trait and skill that could push Rich Life to what we are today. so thats how i came into the game.
-When did you come up with the initial idea to start the Rich Life brand?
P-Initial idea came from always wanting more, I never graduated high school and was always a firm believer in your mind and how you think so I always wanted to associate with people that wanted to do more and The Rich Life and everything that goes with it and thats how i came up with the RIch Life.
-How did you link up with with Philly?
B-One of my other businesses is in the night life and throwing parties in the hollywood area. I met Philly in 07 at one of my parties.I thought he was a kid trying to bug me for advise but we ended becoming close through a mutual friend at the end of 11′ he approached me to join forces and thats when we made changes to the name for the reason that I couldn’t wear something that said rich kids club cuz im no kid. we partnered up at end of 11′ and went proactive with the company at beginning of 2012.
-How is your working dynamic?
B- In any start up you were multiple hats but Philly is formally the CEO and the face of the brand, Im co founder, partner, chief operations officer but those are just mear titles but we do everything to design direction to marketing direction to shipping stuff we do it all.
P- We wear all hats whatever needs to be done we do it, and its not like a 9-5 its always going and we wear all hats.
-What drives you every morning to wake up and hustle and grind and bring the brand to what it is today?
B- for me first and foremost its my kids, as you just saw i got a family and wife and kids, Thats my motivation for each and everyday for them to get everything that i didn’t get when i was growing up, when i grew up below middle class i wouldn’t say poverty but we didnt have everything so i started form the bottom so that my motivation as well as being in the game for as long as i been in it and have a rep to covet and anything that i have to be with has to be successful and im happy to say i got a good track record. so rich life being new and brands popping up everyday how do we ensure this brand will be successful how do we make sure we win you know thats my last name i can t lose .
P-for me i definitely wanna feed my family when i have one thinking about the future i came up under middle class as well so i def. have the hunger like ive never really been comfortable and i refuse to get comfortable so i push myself everyday to keep winning
-whats the inspiration behind the lifestyle portrayed by the brand?
B- its pretty simple all thing pertaining the rich life the luxury living that lavish rich lifestyle you know whether you are rich or your not everybody aspires to have a little piece of it that why you have people in the hood wearing gucci lui and you know they probobly shouldn’t be rocking it but you know rich life its a state of mind you can get even deeper with it about letting people know hat anyone can achieve your dream if you set out goals and you grind and work hard and stay focused anyone can live that rich life you know its a mentality its a way of thinking.
P- its whats it is its a mentality
B- you want me to do the interview you can just (starts laughing messing around)just keep your shades on the whole time both laugh
– Being that you didn’t complete high school, without that attribute of fashion design or business management what can attribute to your success?
P-I always knew what i wanted to do so i forced myself to be around those people and learn and be a sponge i learned everything i can and i know what im good at and and what im not good at and the things im not got at i find people to help make up for that you know cuz i can only do so much so thats why Bee and i work perfect together because he’s very intellegent at what he does .
B-you know people ask me for advice all the time and i tell em business boils down to relationships its also a part of what you know but also who you know, we like to be the dumbest in the room an surround ourself with extremely intelligent people and more powerful people and productive people that know more that what we know and never stop learning.
-Bee we see that you also own you own design and marketing firm, how has that molded your overall brand and strategy?
-i came up under Steve Rifkind,owner of LOUD records, who ran a hip hop label back in the day called loud records which is home to the wu tang mobb deep xzibit funk flex big pun the alkoholics ext.and so i learned alot and when i realized there was a real business within hip hop culture not only in the music side but from a marketing side because steve also had a marketing agency called SRC which is now the name for his new label i learned that corporations can pay you huge huge dollars for them to tell you whats cool and whats needs to be removed form the culture once i learned that side of the business that was a complete eye opener for me and you know and take everything i learned there and take a good sensibility for what hot and whats not and i had brief stint with nike and i formed brand tactics ant the beginning of 2004 and kind of became this gun for hire if you will consultant and was able to work with activision amp energy drink and the list goes on so its been great its been a fun time working for yourself you know no one pays you to work for yourself but you so you know you gotta stay hungry and have that work ethic but nowadays because my business was telling people whats cool and now everyone is pretty much cool thanks to the internet and fuckin hypebeast and what not my business has quickly evolved to you know more of a lifestyle architecture so there might be a bunch of cool kids online but we still live and breathe and you know talk the talk and walk the walk so you know there still real meat behind what we do and advice and consult on.
-being that you started your brand in 2011 what do you think had lead you and your brand to so much success early
p- we just hit the ground running a soon as we initialized the concept we just went and hit the pavement and went running with it like i said we started showing in january at agenda in New York ad then we showed at magic and upcoming we will be showing at all 3 agendas new york long beach and vegas
b- i think what also lead to rich life’s success you know quick buzz that you will is that the people behind it between Phillip and i have a boatload of relationships that we have have called upon the name is pretty simple pretty straight forward and the placement that we have been able to get the gear on to the game sean kingston ty$ and its a good balance established artist and up and coming artist that you’ll here about in the next six months as well salivation is all the rage right now and we are proud to say were one of the firsts to brands to really penetrate the street market with salivation tees and make and name for ourselves and really do some damage as with a buzz with those tees those shits was fire they sold out i don’t even have any
-being as that your from la or based out of la how has that influenced you with the decisions with your business and your brand?
b-good question, la is probably its pretty well known that la is the streetwear capital right now specifically on fairfax right now we started with a little 500 sq little office on fairfax in the same building as formidable brand out there right now from the hundreds to crooks and castles hells bells android and feargod so that historic building for streetwear has helped spawn hall of fame supreme the hundreds diamond supply with that being said we take pride in being a LA based brand its important not pigeon hole ourselves but yea we are very proud of being a la based brand for sure but we do have offices in new york and we have a showroom in chicago were LA based but shit were global.
-how would you define your cites fashion?
P- the cites fashion is very diverse its just a mix of everything you know in LA there is alot of individualism so you can have and urban skater every things just emerging all together even from the music that were putting out right now i fell like its very diverse
-b: right now LA’s fashion hood version of the rick owens the drop crotch the long elated shirts that im even a victim of right now and then the forever established sneakerhead were you still try to coordinated with your illest sneakes there will always be that high luxury aesthetic feeling with this emo dark steve owen but its whatever. were lucky that when we go out at night we can wear sneakers that way your not obligated to wear some corny hard-bottoms so like Philly said its pretty eclectic .
what do you think is the number one reason for people being so loyal to your brand ?
b- i think people are loyal to us because were just real dudes philly is really proactive dude on twitter and instagram he replys to everyone online you know were pretty accessible if you come and you see us on the street come say wassup you know we shout you out chop it up were just dudes out here we just happen to be doing something that were very passionate about and that we love to do and make good product and our stuff is relevant its very on time but also trying to push the envelope in a better scenes floral is very popular right now so what do we do we take it and be a little different but still relevant.
p-were adding to whatever’s hot but were doing our thing on top of it not just making what everyones putting out
b- i think another this is that a brand life rich life can be for everyone and we got rich life womens coming and anybody and everybody can wear rich life they can find something in our collection or graphic tee that your partner might not like but there will def. be something for everybody were not trying to alienate anybody.
-how has social media been a factor and how have you guys used that to increase brand awarness?
b-social media is huge first and foremost its free promo you know what i mean especially now with video on istagram you can do a video lookbook in 15 secs. and it gives people an insight into our lives. from what were weraing to what were going to buy and give sneak peaks into what we doing and get feedback , im greatful that we live in the age were technology wise and not like our parents that didnt have shit. especially kids want to know whats hot right now right now so social media is very important that social media is around.
-why do you feel that your brand stands out from most brands out there?
b- i think our brand stands out because we offer its pretty straight forward with the all the luxury stuff in your face and other brands have done that but
-p- and none of our prints are small either their bigger there bigger from alot of store brands that ive seen
b-i guess now its a balance from getting older im not gonna be wearing all this big stuff like philly and thats why i say that there is something for everybody
p- and thats why its grown from before when Bee wasnt on all the design was way louder it was just to a young crowd