In preparation for their fall 2016 collection dropping this Friday at Union, we sat down with the team behind the Los Angeles based brand Rokit. I met up with Bam Barcena, Brand Mangager / Creative, Nico Guardalabene the founder and Owner and Rionism, a creative to talk about their first full collection and some of the inspiration behind the brand.
Can you tell me a little bit about Rokit and the brand as a whole?
Nico: Well obviously it’s basketball and skateboarding. It is taking the two loves and putting them together. The brand is for the youth, it’s something different and new. Especially here in LA where it started. Right here in downtown.
Rion: It’s really just the way we grew up as millennial’s, it’s not like the whole purist thing. Like you don’t only have to skate or only hoop. The way we grew up is we skated to go hoop, or visa versa. That’s the brand’s reflection of where we came from and our experiences. It made sense to have that fusion and juxtaposition of basketball and skateboarding. You know, I learned how to skate on a basketball court.
Is Rokit an LA brand?
Nico: Oh yeah for sure, we’ve been here almost four years now, we started here and everything is made right here in downtown.
So Friday is the official release of fall ’16?
Bam: Yeah, it’s our first real collection and to release the collection at union is a great partnership. The line has military aesthetics because we are obviously into military and obviously there are hints of basketball culture and hints of skate culture. We are trying to keep it as subtle as possible. When you look at the brand we want you to look at it for what it is versus being categorized. When you look at the collection you see that, the logo, the circle, it represents a wheel, a ball, it’s never ending, its always changing. That is the whole process for us when we are designing, it’s not just based on one thing. For us, working with the kids is exciting to see, it’s dope. Giving back to the youth and making the youth know that this brand is for everyone. There is no elitism or anything with this brand, that’s what we really want people to take away. Like you can see a kid that is 17 wearing it and you see a kid that’s 40 wearing it.
And to have this collection release at union what does that mean to you guys?
Bam:It’s home team, it’s everything.
Nico: Union was the first store to ever carry Rokit. I work across the street too and over the years building that relationship with Chris and everybody at Union, it’s like a second family. For them to even open their arms and carry the brand is great. I think for them to see it grow too, that’s home.
Bam: When I was living in New York I would always go to the Union store to see what’s new and what new brands there were. Unfortunately it closed down, but to have it here, in LA, it’s awesome.
And There is a collaboration release on Friday as well?
Bam: Yeah, it’s family.
Rion: We are doing it with Brendan and Cali and their brand Some Ware.
Bam: Yeah the collaboration is a long sleeve t-shirt. It’s over died with our art work together on it. They are really cool guys and for us it was just an organic relationship that turned into a collaboration. It just made sense and for us it’s family.
How long have you guys been putting out gear?
Bam: Spring 2016 was the introduction of the brand, we are a new brand, its only been like 7-8 months.
Nico: Its been such a fast growth.
And can you tell me what is included in the collection?
Bam: It’s T-shirts, hoodies, fleece, sweats, outerwear, cut and sow pieces. We are introducing the cut and sow in this collection and we are only going to expand from it.
And what goals do you have in the years to come?
Nico: You know just growing really, extending the message and letting people know what we stand for. Continuing to do different shit. I think it’s dope to do something that’s different rather than what everybody else does. It sets yourself apart from everybody.
Bam: We want to create a lane for other people to do a mix as well. That would be dope.
Rion: Yeah we hope it becomes bigger than the brand and the clothes. We want it to be a movement.
The collection releases at Union this Friday at 7pm. Full event details are below.