We first bumped into brother and sister duo Rikki and Nikki Shah a few months back at our Buttoned Up event. At the time we only knew who they were through twitter!! (Rikki had been paying us compliments on our video content as he’d been watching them for 3 hours straight!)
However, after knocking back a few beers I realised they were the super passionate designer duo behind the brand trikki. Since that first encounter I can’t stop bumping into them!
One thing I’ve always admired is that they’re a family business, much in the same vein as Reuben and I. So obviously it’s only right that we sat down with them and asked them a little bit about who they are, what they do and how they plan to move their amazing brand forward in the future.
Interview by Ben Jordan:
When did trikki clothing come about and why?
Most brands stick to one style; we are here to offer a diverse, fashion forward style that is accessible to all. We want to dress everyone, and dress everyone in a different way! There are so many brands who are far too interested in making money with a disregard for social costs until they’ve made their millions. trikki was a lifelong dream of designer Rikki Shah. Whilst it would’ve been quite hard to start a brand at the age of 12, he patiently waited until he’d finished school and graduated to bring his ideas to fruition.
“trikki”, which is spelt with a lower caps ‘t’, is the product of a childhood dream. It is a menswear company that produces garments that are ahead of the fashion curve. Having produced two collections that have been a full year ahead of the trends, this is clear for all to see. trikki takes it’s social responsibilities very seriously and keeps the consequence’s of its action’s in mind during all business practice’s.
What was the hardest part about starting up the brand and why and do you still have that problem now?
The hardest part was making friend’s and family understand that this was not just another ‘online t-shirt brand’. The process all in all took almost 6 months as alongside the release of various hoodies and jacket’s there was also the aspect of celebrity endorsements to overcome. Getting valuable time with U.K. buyers was also extremely hard when we first launched. Many are still oblivious to the brand and constantly fail to support designers from this country. Our target market is undefinable by age, race and ever more-so gender. This means that the people that buy our products are generally individuals who search for their clothes and know how to style themselves!
Where would trikki like to be in 5 years time?
In a fleet of Lamborghini’s contemplating the opening of our flagship store!!
What subcultures or genres have influenced trikki
The quote “There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness.” has made an impact, Mohandas K. Gandhi is such a huge influence. We are driven by an urge to make the world a better place. Design inspiration can come from anything from a cheese-cracker to a suitcase. Rikki’s thoughts constantly revolve around creating the most original and most loved clothes possible. It is this single minded-ness that makes trikki garments stand out from the crowd. We also had an incredible childhood filled with sports and activities which has also played a part in our development. We feel like we’re still living it! We were influenced by the fashion and business sensibilities of our parent’s who were involved in wholesale to major high street store’s and owned their own retail store’s over 20 year’s ago. A great childhood is the reason we choose to produce in Portugal rather than in India or China. That way we know for certain that no child will ever be caught up stitching our label’s when they should be playing outside!
If you were to start trikki all over again, what would be the things you would do differently and why?
There is nothing we would change. We believe everything happens for a reason and we’ve learnt from every trial and tribulation we’ve been through.
If your brand could be a person/celebrity who would it be and why?
We are far too diverse to narrow our brand down to one individual’s style. However we could imagine people such as Will.i.am, Ollie Sykes, Pharrell Williams, Philip Crangi, and Tinie Tempah.
Who would you love to work with in the future both brand and people wise?
We would love to work with more young designers and unknown talent!
We are currently contemplating a sweatshirt collaboration with a fine art student that Rikki use to coach in basketball.
Rikki, how hard was actually starting a brand with your sibling?
trikki was started by myself and Nikki joined the company a few months before we launched. We have always gotten along really well, but starting a business together was something Nikki was really wary about. She didn’t want to spoil our relationship, however we both agreed that money could never come between us and we started a trial period which never ended! We know our strengths and I stick to mostly creative projects whilst Nikki seems to be excited by spread sheets and collective ideas
We used to always hang out on the weekends and have mutual friends, but now we avoid each other out of office hours because we are literally living in each other’s pockets. We have developed the same mannerisms and even ‘umm’ and ‘ahh’ at the same time! People always mistake us for twins, but now we actually feel like we are!
Are you proud about what you have achieved at such an early stage in creating trikki?
We take pride in what we do all the time, but to take a break, step back and admire what you have achieved can be very dangerous. It’s easy to lull yourself into a false sense of security when you are doing well. We’ve decided not to stop until more people wear trikki than they drink Coke!
To finish off, if all clothing on Earth, bar underwear, were to suddenly evaporate what item of clothing would you save?
I (Rikki) would save a pair of our navy corduroy trousers which are set to be released this winter. They go with absolutely every type of shoe, t-shirt, shirt and jacket.
I (Nikki) would save my Karen Millen leather waistcoat! It’s a great outfit finisher and I’m sure it work just as well with the underwear I would be left in if all the clothing on Earth had evaporated.
trikki – We work hard and ‘make it look so easy. . .’
Discover more about Trikki at there online store: http://www.trikki.co.uk/