Behind the Seams with A.K. Rikk's: Meet Chris Rivera

Behind the Seams with A.K. Rikk's: Meet Chris Rivera

Today, as part of our Behind the Seams with A.K. Rikk's series, we would like to introduce you to Personal Stylist, Chris Rivera, affectionately known as Riv. He joins the stylist team to serve clients on the sales floor with a servant’s heart and a desire to get to know customers on a personal level. 

What initially drew you to A.K. Rikk's?

I was drawn in by the family-like atmosphere and the opportunity to vastly increase my fashion sense and fashion knowledge at such a unique store.

What is your favorite part of working at A.K. Rikk's so far?

So far it’s the people I get to work with day in and day out.  The staff and clients are great to be around and there’s never a dull moment. 

What have you learned this week at work?

This week there’s been a lot of focus and emphasis on product knowledge and the sales process. I’ve learned that client service is of paramount importance to the A.K. Rikk’s experience.  We have over 100 brands and each one has their own DNA, signature features and they all have a story to tell.

What is your favorite brand at A.K. Rikk’s?

Picking my favorite brands is a challenge. Having said that, I would say that my top three brands are (in no particular order) Casablanca, Isaia and Common Projects.  Casablanca is relatively new on the block and their vibrant style is both energizing and refreshing to me. The style is playful, optimistic and very Miami and I resonate with their vibe.  

Isaia is my favorite legacy brand that we carry and similar to Casablanca it has a youthful and energetic nature in their stylistic designs, colors and fabrics.  Lastly, Common Projects has been my go-to shoe/sneaker for the last decade.  It is truly versatile and I would regularly wear them with my favorite business suits as well as my weekend wear outfits to concerts and music venues.  

Working at A.K. Rikk’s means…

Working here means that I get to express my style and influence through clothing. I love that A.K. Rikk’s is a purveyor of luxury goods and I get to share all of these amazing products with our clients.  Ultimately, I feel privileged to work at the coolest store in Grand Rapids!

What is the most embarrassing piece of clothing you own? 

I own an 80’s Adidas see-through men’s tank top that I inherited from my grandfather. It’s a fun piece to wear while tubing down the river during the summer.

What food feels celebratory to you?

Some sort of chocolate dessert paired with a sparkling rosé.

What’s the last nice thing you bought for yourself? 

A Smeg espresso machine.

What do you think is the difference between fashion and style?

The difference between fashion and style is that fashion is everywhere but style is elusive, not everyone has it.  My wise mentor Jordan Hill once said, “fashion is a social construct and style is an unflappable expression of self.”

Who would you say is your number one fashion inspiration? 

Nickelson Wooster. The dude has impeccable style and he's worked alongside titans in the fashion industry.

What’s the one thing about which you most often say, “Well, maybe one day?”

Maybe one day I’ll move back home to Puerto Rico and live on the beach.

What’s the one achievement you're most proud of?

The achievement I’m most proud of is being selected to the Grand Rapids Business Journal “40 Under 40” class of 2022 for professionals and business leaders in our community.

Any books you are reading right now? 

I’m currently reading Rick Rubin’s The Creative Act: A Way of Being.

Any TV series or movie you just watched and loved? 

I recently finished HBO’s Succession and though I loved the series, I have a bone to pick with Jesse Armstrong on the series finale!

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