Every so often in the Fashion Industry there comes an intuitive dreamer with a distinct eye for a new view on classic renditions. Having that individual component that at the flip of a switch can easily be identified, ultimately creating a generational stamp of recognition. A lifelong identity even, constantly turning the new wheel with remarkable quality, design, and work ethic – three key components to success in an ever turning field.
Known as Rich Fresh, the self-taught tailor took Los Angeles by a calm pursuit with an innovative desire set out to do exactly what he’s done – create a legacy that is unique to his creative eye. As a Black creative in fashion, the pressure is elevated as our best is critically received as bare minimum and duplicated in a watered down replication. Starting as a tailor, which he says he “remains at heart,” has opened many doors for him since he left Memphis, Tennessee where he was mostly raised. With an A-list clientele extending from Lena Waithe across genres to Justin Bieber, you have seen Fresh’s work well-before today. With an identifiable niche related closely to his original bespoke designs full of vibrant colors and one of one fits, his Luxury Label is trickling into homes across the globe.
Just another deluxe talking point for the mogul, he recently joined a history making moment at this years part one of the MET Gala in New York City where he joined Lewis Hamilton’s table dedicated to emerging Black designers of the now. Hamilton collaborated with luxury Image Architect Law Roach on picking four black designers to pair with an A-list Talent and design a unique piece for them to ultimately giving them all a seat at the table. For Fresh’s talent, he was paired with esteemed fencer Miles Chamley-Watson.
Rich created an exemplary two-piece suit for the Athlete putting a creative spin on the classic fencing uniform opting for a high mandarin style collar, falling into an overcoat style jacket with the Richfresh signature color striping in hues of blue. To pair, and complete, the look he created a minimal flare leg trouser with a two-toned tuxedo style strip along the outset of the pant. Following the explosive carpet debut, and just ahead of his Bespoke women’s debut, he sat down with us giving insight into the new collection and creating his first piece of history at the MET.
First Off Rich we just wanted to thank you for taking the time to speak with us and also just overall what you’re doing for the culture! It’s amazing! So just jumping right in, what was your experience like creating your look for the Met gala in addition to just getting the overall invitation what was your experience with the whole situation?
Getting the invite was very cool. Law Roach, whom is a good friend and major stylist, gave me the call sending the invite through explaining what a big moment it is and the details surrounding the entire night. So from there I just had to connect with miles and talk it out to kind of figure out his vibe and the things that he wanted to see to collaboratively incorporate my vision. So from there we decided to do something that was cohesive with his fencing outfit on a more luxury couture level.
So it sounds like very much a natural marriage everything flowed together?
Oh absolutely! Very much so a pleasure.
Seeing the piece on the MET Gala carpet in its final rendition, what was that feeling like for you?
I mean that emotion was amazing because it’s been a goal of mine. I remember before pandemic I really had this big goal of being present at the MET gala and more so the clothes than me personally as I was here in Los Angeles at the time of the Gala, and for it to actually happen it’s just a full circle experience.
I can only imagine and it not just happening but the way that it happened as well. Being surrounded by all prestigious black creatives with a table specifically curated for you at the met gala! It’s quite the moniker making moment and again, congratulations on that!
Thank you! It’s one of those things that you don’t take for granted.
So how did you get into the rich fresh brand how did you end up finding your niche and making your own lane?
I’ve been tailoring for a long time since I was in my late teens, and it was just a natural progression for me when I moved to Los Angeles I worked in luxury retail for about a year to get small experience with it the all around process of it all and I just decided to give it a go and began building my own luxury brand.
That risk became extremely successful nonetheless! How long have you been in LA?
Nice. Where from?
Oh nice! Do you think the Memphis culture inspire or influence your designs?
I mean yeah in a sense. I think the way that I approach fashion, and especially not being from a big fashion city, I sort of do it in an underground way. I like very tailored, very couture pieces. I’m just not very extra with the process.
Completely recognizable! Similar to your silhouettes and the detailed tailoring. Especially the way that you do your color placements which is not an easy concept for designers to grasp and one that you’ve mastered at this point. How did you go about figuring out how to strategically do the color placement and still embracing that eccentric-ness?
Oh it’s always been a thing as I’ve always liked colors. So for me when I got to Los Angeles I wanted to make suits out here and I noticed no one was wearing them and the gentlemen that were, the suits were just plain Jane with the regular blues, grays, and blacks. So I started wearing colorful suits and making it cool which resulted in the starting point in creating my audience which elevated my brand and making people aware of wanting more colorful pieces.
And now all of that hard work is on multiple red carpets events, with your latest being Cedric the Entertainer on the Emmys red carpet.
Yes, that was a great experience as well, you know, a back to back moment and Cedric is somebody that’s a legend and to dress him for the red carpet at the Emmys in which he was hosting is a huge moment, and to be apart of was great. I take none of these opportunities for granted, at the end of the day, it’s work and what I’ve been training for. I’m naturally a perfectionist and I have a strong team and a strong factory so it all mellows out and we get the job done.
Which brings us to your next grand milestone! You’re releasing your debut Bespoke women’s collection this Friday, how’d that fruition happen and designing your first women’s collection?
I made pieces for a number of every day women and celebrity women over the past few years but it’s just been a small piece of my business. I’ve never done anything with like a female focus until this run and was just one of those challenges that I wasn’t sure that I will be able to do as well as the other designers and I just decided that I could probably do it just as good, if not better, so this is just my foray into ita small peek of now showing the world what I think women should wear.
So breaking out of your comfort zone of just doing man was it extremely challenging for you or was it a more structured transition?
It wasn’t as challenging as I thought. I’ve gotten amazing reviews that made the process easy. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought and it was actually a lot of fun.
In closing, Rich, what is one sentence of critical advice that you can offer some upcoming creatives aspiring to your level?
I have a phrase that I always love telling creatives, especially designers, which is: make it, wear it, sell it that’s the thing that I use. If there’s a thing that you do that you believe in whether it’s a pair of shoes, a hat, a purse, it doesn’t matter. Make it so that you can wear it, or somebody close to you that has a big mouth can wear it, and then know how you would sell it. How much you’re going to sell it, the time to complete the product, all the details so that when the opportunity presents itself you’re prepared.
You can shop the Rich Fresh brand, and his Bespoke Womens collection on Friday, September 24th on his exclusive website.