RICHUALS ON THE SUPERNATURAL ESSENCE OF CREATION
Romance is many things; love, sex, art, sensuality. But romance can also be creation, the mystique that comes from alchemizing a thought into something tangible. The realness of something you’ve envisioned come to life, through your own hard work and labor. What’s more romantic than literally creating your own fantasies?
Though he may not pick as many words, Rich of 9Richuals, affectionally called “Richuals” in this interview, is a romantic. At least, in the sense of the above. The New Jersey-native finds his fix in Los Angeles, patterns and intense self-expression that break the rules with ease and grace. If Vivienne Westwood, the Cramps and A$AP Rocky had a love child, Rich would probably be it. The rebellious punk spirit of Vivienne Westwood in her Sex Pistols era is reminiscent in the bold designs and patterns Rich implements, but it’s all done through a street style lens, upping the ante in the age of the internet.
FASHION IS DYING talked to the designer about his own rituals, what inspires him, what his ghost outfit would be and what’s next.
RICH ON THE ROMANCE OF RITUALS
FASHION IS DYING: You have a very distinct style. When did you first start designing/ creating, and how long did it take you to develop your own look?
RICHUALS: My style almost confuses itself and contradicts itself. My outfits are based off my mood and I can be a moody person at times. Sometimes I go out of my own typical style just to express that feeling. I don’t necessarily care if Im breaking any rules by doing so. I first started really creating in high school, where I jumped from scenes and groups. I always felt alone and different. I wanted to escape. I thought of the idea of Rituals when I was in high school walking home with an old friend. I might have been about 15 or 16. I thought “Rituals of Society” would be a cool name for our brand, so that stuck with me. This was when streetwear was really becoming a huge thing, when A Bathing Ape and Nike SB kind of ruled the game. We stayed in that lane but we soon found ourselves on different paths. What happened is a crazy story; I forgot about the idea until years later when I decided that I needed to find a purpose. It hasn’t been the shortest or most comfortable road, but I express myself so differently now and I use creating as a medium for that. So I should say [Richuals] has been developing since before I could remember, until right now, and then some.
FID: I love that you talk about the ritual of creation, and then the ritual of engaging with something once you interact with it. What's your creative process like? Do you have any rituals you do while creating?
R: Of course, I have rituals that I do from when I first get up to the ones that end my day. It’s like black coffee to start my day; I don’t feel right without it. The ritual of creating happens all the time for me, just by poking into my imagination or the imagination of others. I’m usually in the mode of “what can I do to make this time better?” I am always looking to better myself and learn something new everyday.
FID: You work across a lot of mediums — clothes, album covers, graphics — do you have a favorite? How does the overlap influence your personal style, if at all?
R: I do try to mix things up, just like I do with my style. I don’t like limitation, but it’s a creative push that can carry over to whatever I’m looking to do. I look to build my world. To mold it and play with it and let the drama unfold. My work all seems to have a connection in some way. From now to the next, I can see almost a pattern of what comes and goes. What I can say right now is that my focus is fashion. I love making clothes and trying to come up with some new schemes you haven’t maybe seen before.
FID: Who are your current muses/ inspiration? Favorite designers? Musicians?
R: My friends, lovers, my surroundings, Los Angeles. All the inspiration isn’t intentional. Sometimes it just happens. Those are the good moments. My favorite designers and musicians are my friends. They’re the ones that push me the most to do what I do.
FID: I love that you include occult motifs in your designs. Is this on purpose?
R: A little magic goes a long way. Sometimes it’s on purpose, and sometimes not. I feel like there can be a trace of it in a lot of my work. I really love symmetry or the destruction of it, also signs and symbols that give us new ways of saying something. Also, the duality of things. I think it plays a part in everything and sometimes I like to point out where and when it does. Thats what makes the power of creating so great. You have the power. It’s supernatural.
FID: Is fashion dying?
R: Everything is, but with death comes birth.
FID:If you were to die and then be stuck in that outfit forever, what would be your ghost outfit and why?
R: A Ho99o9 hoodie, plaid pants and Doc Marten boots. (This is what I’m wearing right now.)
FID: What's next?
R: Not quite sure, but Im open to things. I’m working a new project right now that Im pretty excited about. With each project I look to reach out more and more. Next, I want to really focus on my first collection. It been a long time in the making and I have a few things I want to get off my chest…
I love you all