The fashion world contains something for everyone. Whether you’re into bright colors and one-of-a-kind statement pieces, or you’re into more of a muted and simplistic array of clothing, you’ll always scour to find something that speaks to you. But what if there was a line of clothing specifically dedicated to speaking to you in ways beyond the aspect of style? What if, instead, it inspired you? Or perhaps, got you thinking of what your purpose in life truly is?
Hamed Jalaly created his urban lifestyle brand, Rich & Rotten, with this idea in mind. In late 2012, the owner and head designer of the line made it a point to create clothing that sparked conversation, even if it came from a plain white tee. He decided to create his brand as a way to showcase his own personal story; one that was filled with great hardships and harsh realities, but also a second chance to start over and rewrite it all.
He tells us that the word “rich” is not meant to represent wealth, but instead, the people, moments, and things that make life worth living. And while there are plenty of things that make life rich, there are also some difficult decisions we must make and countless mistakes we must endure in order for us to keep growing as individuals. In turn, life can also get pretty “rotten”. But, according to the head designer, one needs to experience both extremities in order to appreciate the full spectrum of success.
Rich & Rotten has become unlike any other streetwear line on the market. Rather than the traditional baggy and boxy shape-cut found on most streetwear pieces, this line features handmade, slim-fit designs of top-tier quality materials. “Me and my team wanted to take streetwear and give it a facelift,” Jalaly said.
“When we first started to think of what approach to take, we figured we might not be able to create something new, but we could always recreate something that already existed and make it better. So that’s what we did,” he added. Graphic t-shirts took on a whole new meaning once Rich & Rotten was debuted.
Not only were the styles well-made and high in quality, but they also featured eye-catching, controversial designs that held consumers’ attention. One of their most popular original designs features a homeless boy holding a cardboard sign that reads “one day, the poor will have nothing left to eat but the rich”.
The sayings, drawings, and overall messages on the pieces encompass relevance with storytelling and relatability, therefore making it far more than a few simple fashion pieces. Topics for the designs can range from inspirational to motivational and more, depending on what it is representing from modern-day life.
For example, a few of the latest styles have been inspired by the recent uprise in the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as on the topic of police brutality. Keep in mind, the designs do not aim to be liked; they more so aim to bring the proper attention to what can likely be a difficult conversation.
Because of the clothing’s extremely unique nature, the urban brand has been a hit from day one. The owner tells us that, prior to even setting up their website, the brand was already selling rapidly at popular retail stores in Los Angeles, California. However, a few years later, he and his team decided to keep the collection exclusive to their online retail site and their flagship store on Hollywood Boulevard.
Throughout the nine years of its evolution, this minority-owned brand has been endorsed by over a dozen high-profile artists including Ty Dolla $ign, Diddy, and Meek Mill. The line has expanded from the original graphic tees to a full range of tops, bottoms, outwear, and accessories for both men and women, which can all be found on www.richandrotten.com.
Despite his rough past, Jalaly has managed to become the business owner of one of the most popular urban brands in the nation. “Rich & Rotten is what helped me reshape and rebuild my lifestyle,” Jalaly said. “My goal for the brand has always been to teach, inspire, and help others that are in similar situations to the one I used to be in. It’s been so fulfilling to see how much of an impact we’ve had. And we will continue to do our best in inspiring all the future generations to come.”
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