Getting to Know...
What's your claim to SCV fame?
Wow...after all of my years in the SCV, that's a tough one!
I'd have to say that my top pick would be my years organizing reunions starting on the night before Thanksgiving, and eventually leading up to our 20-year high school reunions. I did more than one because I loved the classes around me so much!
The night-before-Thanksgiving events I organized grew over the years up to the largest we had at the Plaza on Lyons. We had almost 600 people that night, as well as DJs from Philadelphia, and raised over $1,000 in donations for Henry Mayo in my Mom's name.
Tell us about your clothing line Ace Rivington. How'd you get started - and why?
Ace Rivington - made up as part "A River Runs Thru It" and part "Remington Guns" - is both a character-driven story and an apparel brand of enduring quality fashion basics.
After spending 16 years growing into my role in the apparel industry, eventually heading men's global denim design and product
development at Guess, along with working for other well-known brands, I had the dream of starting my own business.
About five years ago, I spent four months putting together a 100-page business plan - definitely excessive! I created the concept for the brand. In my first pitch, I was told that what I had created was amazing, and it looked like a $2-million start-up, which wasn't going to happen.
Fast forward three years. I came across a fabric that I wanted to live in and had learned enough about crowd funding to know I could launch the brand with a single prototype.
After a couple of weeks with that little fabric swatch in my pocket, I finally built up the confidence to quit my job and came home to my wife who was six months pregnant with our second child in a house we had just purchased two months earlier. I told her, "Sweetie, this little piece of fabric is our future." For my Kickstarter video, one of my best friends from Valencia - that's where they are all from - told me to say, "Chances are you or someone you know own a pair of jeans I've designed." The momentum has built from there and now it's about sharing the story and our great products.
What drives you aesthetically? What's the "look" about?
There are definitely many things that go into creating the right look and sometimes the simplest can be the most challenging to pull off. I've always been inspired by "California Cool" and influences that people - like Steve McQueen, James Dean or even Marlon Brando in "A Streetcar Named Desire" - have had on iconic American fashion. Denim, a tailored sweatshirt and a soft-washed button-up work for me in just about any situation. In addition to pulling together the right outfit, you've got to have the right fit. Slim, but not fitted, tops and bottoms are an important part of looking well put together.
Tell us why you're excited to have
Ace Rivington available at J. David's.
Since starting Ace Rivington, one of my biggest goals has been to sell our products in my hometown. I went out to spend some time at J. David's recently and I had the chance to see the team at work helping customers, who were mostly friends of the store. The expert product knowledge and understanding of customer needs with everything from denim fits to tailored suits that David and his staff shared, blew me away. Between the local relationships and service that J. David's offers, there isn't a better fit for Ace Rivington in the SCV.
Where do you live now? And why is the SCV better?
We moved to Carpinteria back in September of 2013, and this place is certainly tough to beat - but it isn't the SCV. I was very lucky that my folks moved my sister and I to Valencia back in 1978, when Town Center, and even Granary Square, were only onion fields. We grew up in a place that was protected from the big city and allowed us to be kids, playing outside 'til dark every night. The town was important, but the lifelong friendships that I established from my early years at pre-school through COC and continuing on today are what really make the SCV home for me.