Thursday, May 30, 2013

Portrait of a young CEO... My Visit w/ FiveFour Clothing.

Walking into the headquarters of FiveFour clothing located on the 11th floor of a corporate high rise in Los Angeles, it's like being transported to
every kids dream grown up job. No dress code. The average age of every employee lying somewhere in their 20's.  A ping pong table.  A photo studio and a generaly amazing vibe. 

"The only dress code is to BE FLY"

And watching 33 year old Co-founder Andres Izquieta run his 11 year old company is like watching a well oiled machine crank just the way it should.  Andres is the ultimate young CEO.. in the couple hours that I sat with him he downed two bottles of green juice.. took a phone call with basketball star Kevin Durrant.. had a surprise visit from Jonathan Cheban (famous for being Kim K's BFF) all while overseeing the everyday business of running a big clothing company.

FiveFour equals 1. One love

In 2002 Andres and his business partner and best friend Dee Murthy met at USC Business school where after an assignment to create a business plan for a fictional company was complete they decided to take their idea outside the classroom and make it work. "We printed up 20 sweatshirts for a college party and sold 16 for $20 bucks each."
With Dee Murthy and Andres Izquieta in my FIVEFOUR Camo Pants

And from there with hard work, determination and a bit of luck the company has flourished.   After maxing out 7 credit cards to fiance a trip to Magic (a huge clothing convention in Las Vegas) they decided there was no turning back.  By 2005 they hired their first employee and by the end of that same year they had 10 employees.  An Angel investor and a decision to incorporate denim into the line  put FiveFour on the Map.

Andres told me that denim is 60 to 70 percent of the business and in 2007 changes to their branding to reflect a more Modern Menswear feel solidified FiveFour as a major wearable menswear line to contend with.

"We are modernizing classic looks and adding flair" 

Most of the pieces in collections are $100 bucks and under including printed tee's, sweatpants with button fly and pockets with zippers, tapered Camo pants with the perfect amount of stretch, footwear, classic denim and a huge celebrity following including Mark Wahlberg, Jay Z, Zac Efron, Kevin Durrant, Chris Brown, Micheal Strahan and even Larry King. Five Four is an ultimate destination for men who like to look good!

And the most amazing part.. 

The Five Four Club

For $60 bucks a month you get three to five curated pieces delivered straight to your door.  I don't know any guy who wouldn't like that.

Five Four can be found in 500 retail stores in the U.S. and currently has 5000 plus members signed up for their Five Four Club.  You do the math!

I couldn't leave without getting Andres to give me his advice for anyone wanting to start a clothing company.  This is what he said.

 1.Create an amazing product that is not on the market. 
2. Figure out your edge. 
3. Know your branding.
4. Study the market. Understand how the business work.
5. Understand how to make the product.
6. Create a powerful web platform.

And Ladies. I currently own both the Camo pants and the tapered Windsor sweats.. ADORE BOTH!

Huge thank you to Andres and the FiveFour crew for letting me hang..

Check out their site HERE

FiveFour... I "Like"

Taye ;)

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