Today as a part of our Behind the Seams with A.K. Rikk’s series we would like to introduce you to our End of Season Specialist, Zach Claflin. Zach has been an important part of the A.K. Rikk’s family for two years! We asked Zach what piece he couldn't live without in his closet and what makes him tick in his Behind the Seams with A.K. Rikk's interview!
How did you first discover A.K. Rikk's?
This is easy, I was working at WZZM 13 in advertising sales and I was prospecting businesses for an upcoming campaign and I stumbled across the company that installed the tile floors in our current building. I looked at pictures of their work and I researched deeper into who A.K. Rikk’s was and from that moment I knew that’s where I wanted to be. I was still studying at GVSU at the time and needed an internship, as fate would have it, they were looking for an intern. I haven’t left since!
What was your first impression of A.K. Rikk's?
They were the real deal. Driving up the building alone was amazing. My first thought was “this is definitely me”. We have malls here in Grand Rapids but nothing in terms of high fashion and design. I was a little intimidated at first, I had no true fashion experience outside of mall retail but I was going to college at the time and figured I would take a chance. When I got to know the people that worked there and the atmosphere they created, it really felt like home.
What is your favorite part of working at A.K. Rikk's?
There are many reasons actually. First and foremost, the ability to merge two areas that I am truly passionate about, fashion and business. It’s rare that someone wakes up and is genuinely excited to go into work, but I get to feel that every day. Second, the culture, I love the freedom to be creative and the ability to collaborate with everyone here. It’s refreshing and exciting to work on a team where ideas merge and you get the results we do. It just works! So many places are changing to have their culture and environment reflect what we have, not that we started it, but we have been doing that for a long time now and we constantly strive to do it better.
What is your favorite brand at A.K. Rikk's?
Eleventy, it’s the first brand I really connected with when I came onto the staff here. It is hand made in Italy and what Marco Baldassari does is fantastic. They blend a sophisticated color neutral palette of whites, beiges, greys, and blues with luxurious textures. It reflects them and where they are from in Italy and it really reflects who I am and what is in my closet. They balance suits and blazers with a more modern laid back feel. Similar in aesthetic to Brunello Cucinelli which is another designer we carry and who does a phenomenal job.
What is at the top of your bucket list?
Wow that is hard, there’s so much I want to do. I love traveling and experiencing new cultures, food, and fashion. The top of the list would have to be traveling Italy to experience what true Italian culture is and how they live life. Traveling the north (Zegna country) the south (Isaia territory) and central Italy (home of Cucinelli) is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. Each region is different in the way locals live life and how they dress. It would be a very cool trip to say the least!
What is the one thing you can't live without in your closet?
It would definitely be one of my navy blue blazers. The color is extremely versatile and it can be dressed up or down effortlessly depending on what you’re going for. I like mixing textures when it comes to fabric choice. A tie or pocket square can really add that extra touch to your outfit. Just as long as the jacket is tailored and looks right on your body. It’s a staple in my closet and I wouldn’t be able to live without.
That concludes this Behind the Seams with A.K. Rikk’s Interview! Next time you stop in, be sure to say “hello” to Zach!