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A.K. Rikk's: A Decade in Review

Posted on December 31 2019

   

We’re on the cusp of a new year. We’re in a slow dance with the past and the future is tapping us on the shoulder to cut in. It’s their turn. It’s time for a new partner. My name is Missy Black, and I am the Copywriter at A.K. Rikk's! 

I love clothing that tells a story. It’s why I serve everyday at A.K. Rikk’s and bring the story of our luxury products, our mission and our heart to the world. I’m a story girl and I’ve got a good one for you…

 

If you build it, they will come... 

In 2012, A.K. Rikk’s outgrew its original space and moved into a new luxury destination is the replacement. The vision stayed the same but the footprint is significantly larger at 28,000 square feet. The company boldly took a step into the future with a larger presence, a bigger sales force, and an epic opening night with a carnival theme to attract attention. It does just that as the community is forced to park across the street because of the widespread interest. 

More than just clothing on racks...

When you have a purpose bigger than yourself, that’s the tipping point. There needs to be more than open doors and clothing for sale. The marriage of fashion with events was a natural progression and a way to show our hearts and to do right by the world. Beauty is the pulse of our business and beauty is found everywhere. It’s mined most precisely from the heart, so A.K. Rikk’s decided to live out that purpose in the form of charitable events in partnership with Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Toys for Tots, and Speaks Out resulting in more than 1.5 million dollars raised. When you can give back and hold hands with your community in such a strong way, it’s important that you show up and A.K. Rikk’s is living that commitment.

Celebrating 30 Years of A.K. Rikk's 

What’s better than one party? Two! Both a 60th birthday party for our founder Rick Gaby and a 30th anniversary for the store meant an unrivaled bash in 2017. Guests traveled back in time, the A.K. Rikk's studio was transformed into a library showcasing the A.K. archives as well as indulging in a Veuve champagne tent, dinner tent, and an 80's nightclub venue featuring a live cover band. Rick’s six children honored their father with a charming toast and presented him with a cake adorned with sparklers. The cake paid homage to the past by featuring the company’s old boxes as well as a nod to the future with the addition of the brand’s new bags and logo. It was a well-attended gala where we could reflect on Rick’s leadership. It was a time to celebrate his guidance, his generosity, all given with a quiet strength.

Launching akrikks.com

We set in motion our e-commerce site in November of 2018 (and naturally, threw an unforgettable soirèe). Local delivery service, luxury boxes and virtual styling via state of the art technology are the hallmarks of www.akrikks.com Guests experienced a game room with vintage video games and virtual reality technology as well as a chance to dance, enjoy cocktails, appetizers and a photo booth. A lounge space was created and completely covered in ultraviolet light with projections of videos highlighting our model Andi Horn. Special guests included local tastemakers and social media personalities that toured the e-commerce photo studio, taking part in a styling competition. Dipping our toes into becoming an online style destination was the exhilarating venture that pushed us out of our comfort zone.

Special Guests... 

It’s a blast to host. It’s an honor. It’s also an art. Bringing fashion royalty and cultural icons to the store came in the form of two back-to-back visits starting with a meet-and-greet with GQ Creative Director at Large, and author, Jim Moore. Moore is a legend who’s seen it all and worked with Kanye West, Michael Jordan and a lengthy and impressive list of who’s who in the world of fashion, sports and entertainment. We were graced with another visit, this time from Vogue Fashion Editor, Tonne Goodman. The former model has spent time with Diana Vreeland at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as a stint at the New York Times Magazine and was a stylist with LIFE magazine. Her stop into the store coincided with the release of her book Point of View. Both personalities were accompanied by Ivan Shaw, Condé Nast’s Corporate Photography Director. Staff and clients were immersed in the education and inspiration that such creatures of distinction produce. Bottom line: We were hardcore star-struck.

While I’ve been your guide through this decade tale, I’ve only been here one year but in that one year I’ve watched with wonder what it means to be a big player in the luxury clothing realm. 

Over the year we fell in love (with new designers). We said no (to things that didn’t suit us). Every year is a mixed bag. When you take stock of the past year, some people tend to focus on what they’re leaving behind. We’re concentrating on what we’re taking with us when we enter 2020. We’re taking those relationships we’ve made and growing them into lasting partnerships. 

As 2019 fades, we ask you now to throw confetti. Dance your ass off. Make a scene. 

We march forth into the new year with this in mind: this life, our business--it’s one big moving experience and we’re glad you joined us.