Style File: Rich Fresh

DIM_0518_StyleFile-RichFresh

Patrick Henry, known professionally as “Fresh”. A Memphis native, grew up between Little Rock, AR and Memphis, TN. Moved to Los Angeles in 2013 to aggressively pursue fashion/tailoring. After working with Ermenegildo Zegna for a year, Fresh chose to step out and go into business for himself, creating the brand “Richfresh.”

As a child, Fresh taught himself to sew, sketch, and paint which would serve as useful tools later in his career. At the age of 20, after dropping out of college, he opened a tailoring and alterations shop in the artsy section of downtown Memphis. Struggling to find a fashion-forward base, he then moved to NYC. After tailoring for a few prominent menswear brands in New York, Fresh moved to LA to pursue a more colorful passion.

With a love for vibrance and colorblocking, Richfresh has become a name known amongst elite circles for his use of color and beautifully tailored bespoke garments.

Instagram: @richfresh_
Facebook: @richfreshla

What influenced you to become a tailor … share with us your journey.
I grew up in Little Rock, AR and Memphis, TN, but I’ve always had an interest in high fashion. I taught myself how to sew at 13, didn’t really know what a Tailor was, but I knew in order to be proficient in fashion I need to understand the mechanics of fashion. I sewed all through high school privately, it was sort of my secret hobby. Couldn’t really share with my family or friends just because of the area I lived in and the time that I grew up. Sewing wasn’t really a cool thing.

After I dropped out of college in Memphis, I figured pursuing fashion would be an uphill struggle, and I thought tailoring would be a more needed service. So I started an alterations/Tailoring company at 20 and from that point on I was a Tailor. It wasn’t until I moved to California that I got away from alterations and started creating custom clothes. Then when I moved to Los Angeles, things really took off!

What does “Bespoke” mean to you?
Bespoke means one of a kind, made specifically for the individual. The word originated in London and was used to signify that certain fabric were spoken for. If a client walked into a tailor shop and wanted to have a suit made they would choose the fabric and that 5 yards of fabric was at that point spoken for – which is where the word bespoke came from. Bespoke doesn’t operate with pre-existing patterns, everything is done specifically for the individual. We take measurements, create the pattern, develop the overall concept and then produce it for the said individual. Bespoke basically means couture to me.

Creating for men vs women… any difference?
There are quite a few differences. With men, I’m usually using wool or cotton and my color palettes are different. With women, I feel like I can play with more fabric types and more colors. I have a number of men that like color and they embrace it, but I feel like my women clients really expect that. They don’t want black or navy or gray, they want to explore the colors and the textures and the design concepts. Also, women are more expressive when they see the clothes. They get very “OMG” excited and I really feed off of that. My male clients are so darn cool, they just want to say “oh man that’s dope.” Lol.

We have something in common… love of color & pattern… how do you influence men to try this?
Proof of concept. I’ve noticed that a number of my male clients have to see it before they believe it. So I always show up wearing colors and concepts that I know they wouldn’t be as comfortable wearing. It just kind of makes them imagine a little bit and realize that the idea of a pink suit really isn’t that bad because “Fresh is here wearing a pink suit and looks great on him. Or the silk shirt, I would never think to wear a silk shirt, but Fresh made it look so dope I think I should try it.” I just show guys there are no limits, so I try and give them the courage to step out and try a few different things.

What is your aesthetic?
I would say my aesthetic is a mixture of sport, luxury, minimalism, and maximalism. Lots of juxtaposition. I take a lot of inspiration from the 60s and the 70s in terms of color palettes and design elements. I try to not make clothes that feel uncomfortable or even look uncomfortable. My whole angle has been trying to make tailoring feel more comfortable and casual. I used to hate suits early in my career, I was a tailor who refused to wear suits because they felt stuffy. I want to make sure that my products had the opposite effect and that you actually enjoy wearing these clothes on a daily basis.

Where do you find inspiration?
I literally find inspiration everywhere! I can see a building that has certain colors and think to myself those colors would make nice pants. I can see somebody walking their dog and think I should make a suit that feels like that. Really any of the elements around me, such as flowers or the beach inspire me creatively. Anywhere that I see a group of colors come together beautifully. Living in Los Angeles there is so much color and vibrance around me. I also like to see what’s happening in streetwear to soften the edge on my tailoring and make it a little bit cooler. I’m a sponge, I just take everything around me and convert it into fashion somehow. Again, I love looking at the 60s and 70s and seeing how men and women put their looks together, the colors that they played with, the color blocking, textiles, etc. Finding things that resonate and then finding ways to modernize them.

Who is your muse?
For the menswear, my muse is this guy named Fresh. He’s sort of this caricature of myself. He’s the guy that I would be if I could be anybody, so I just think of what someone so bold and fearless and cool would wear. I’m not really as cool as my alter ego, but the clothes make me feel cool. I used to draw a lot of inspiration from my brother Chase, he was my muse for a while, real rockstar swag. Then he moved back to Memphis, so I had to takeover that role and inspire myself. For the womenswear, I try to think of what my female counterpart would wear. There are a number of women that I look at and like their vibe. Some Instagram fashion models that I’ve never met, but they consistently have a vibe that I think is dope. I try to think how would I dress her, what would make her feel fresh?

Your fave website?
My favorite website is Instagram. It’s a great platform and it changed the way I do business. The majority of my clients are able to go and see my body of work before they make a decision on whether to do business with me. And it’s so easy to see what so many other brands and individuals across the world are doing and take some sort of inspiration from that. I easily spent 40% of my day on Instagram, so I think they’ve won favorite website.

What’s new in tailoring?
I think color is new in tailoring. For a long time, it was very stoic and conservative. Now we’re seeing pops of color and slimmer fits. I think we’re getting away from all the extras and keeping the focus on the clothes in the fit itself. What I’d like to see happen in tailoring is the use of a typical fabrics. I developed a range of neoprene tailored track pants to play with the concept of using weird fabrics in men’s and women’s tailoring. I think that the rest of the industry will catch up very soon and start doing suits and fabrics that we are not used to.

Fave LA hangout for drinks, brunch, fabric shopping?
So I don’t drink, but when I did I used to love hanging out at Bar Marmont in West Hollywood. Such a hip spot, DJ Rashida, all the cool kids and all the fly industry people. For brunch, I love Zinc in the Arts District. I’m also vegetarian and they Have a fantastic vegetarian menu. It’s actually all vegetarian, and they just have an impressive brunch. Super cool space, really cool vibe and great food, whether you are vegetarian or not. As far as fabric, downtown Los Angeles has so much fabric. There are a lot of really good sources in Beverly Hills and in West Hollywood as well. But my go to is Mood Downtown. They always have a nice array of designer fabrics.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years I see myself having a greater presence in the market. Having products ready to wear as well as bespoke. Still in Los Angeles, can’t leave this place. I plan to have helped hundreds tailors start their businesses and really helping creatives get their ideas off the ground. I see myself being a global name, you know, little stuff like that.

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