Joyrich and the Lifestyle of the 'Casual-Rich'
While Made Fashion Week has memorable moments in spades, there was something very special that caught our eye during the menswear presentations on the eighth floor. It was a collection that we have previously described as “too-cool-we-cut-school Coca-Cola kids,” an impression that encapsulates the youthful frivolity and sartorial evocations of classic pop-art that comes to define the brand’s colossal aesthetic. The label in question? An internationally made brand that goes by the name of Joyrich.
Started in 2007 by Tom Hirota, Joyrich bi-coastally operates across the Pacific with home bases in Los Angeles and Tokyo. Under brand direction by Taka Okude and the design eye of David Melgar, Joyrich is a project that puts the focus on two starkly potent, self-described points of character: ‘retro-future flair’ and ‘casual-rich.’ We spoke to David Melgar about the process of bringing the decadently vibrant brand to life, as well as the philosophy behind his brand’s statements, and how targeting the ‘brave and courageous’ is always the surest route to success.
When did you all first feel the urge to start designing?
As young as I can remember I always loved to create. Whether it was art, music, or fashion; I was just an artistic person and was always involved in something in the arts. I knew something artistic was what I would eventually do!
What would we be guaranteed to find on your mood board?
Hmmm probably Mickey Mouse to be completely honest (laughs). I am a huge Mickey Mouse fan. If not him, then definitely something that’s pop culture related.
What was the impetus behind your ideal of ‘casual-rich’?
When someone thinks of “rich” or “high-end wear” it always carries with it an uncomfortable feeling of price, and sometimes even fit. I wanted to create apparel that appealed to all and was relatable on a financial scale and on a comfort scale.
Is there a particular person or type of person who fits the Joyrich ideal? Is there a type of person you have in mind when designing?
I think my goal with Joyrich is to make it relatable and approachable to anyone from every age range. I think anyone that feels comfortable wearing a Joyrich piece from any race, gender, whatever it is, is the ideal person to us. We always tend to target the brave and courageous
You often incorporate a great deal of pop culture iconography into your work. How do you decide what to include?
I always get asked this and I don’t think that there’s a single, proper method. I think it’s just what fuels me at the moment and what I’ve seen the most of or what I’m inspired by at any given moment.
What’s the most difficult part about creating a collection?
I think myself (laughs). I find that I’m always in competition with myself and trying to challenge myself to create something amazing that my customers or my customers to be would love. There are so many various factors to consider when designing so it always ends up being a challenge.
Do you have a favorite piece of clothing to make? To wear?
I just love creating stand out pieces. Prints are always fun to create, as well as new cuts and silhouettes or even designing and incorporating different fabrications.
What’s something you think the world should be paying more attention to?
It depends on the issues that one pays attention to but I think art. I think art (music, fashion art) is so important and vital and such a great source of therapy that I feel we should focus more on artistic education. Educating people on it and showing them just how important and vital it is to our every day life.
What was the inspiration behind the name Joyrich?
We wanted to create a name that would encompass a feeling when you said it. Its such a unique name and we wanted people to know that they can be rich in joy, or have joy in being rich. Rich, being such a word associated with money, we wanted to show that rich doesn’t always have to be tied into a financial backing. We can be rich in love, life, wisdom and happiness.
Joyrich S/S 15 photographed by: Ramos Valencia
Creative direction & styling: David Melgar
Models: Geron McKinley and Ganna Bogdan
Hair: Giovanni Giuliano
Make up: James Perez
Check out Joyrich’s website here.