Making your mark in the fashion world as a new brand is relatively difficult, though you wouldn’t be able to tell by the progress made by Los Angeles lifestyle brand Popular Demand. In a short amount of time, Popular Demand has paved its way as one of the hottest new apparel lines on the market. Just ask T.I., Diddy, Game, 2 Chainz, Future or Justin Bieber —all of whom have been rocking their signature logo and designs. Blake Ricciardi, Popular Demand’s founder, took the time to tell XXL about the reasons for their recent success and what to expect in the future. —Rachelle Jean-Louis (@RJL24)
Is this a solo project or do you work with a team?
This definitely isn’t a solo project — it’s all about the team at Popular Demand. Our staff is diverse, creative and real – just like our consumers and fans. We also have key brand ambassadors who influence what we do.
How long have you been at work on this brand?
The brand officially launched in January 2012, and it’s been nothing but a non-stop every day since.
What inspired you to launch the brand?
The city of Los Angeles. The heartbeat of this city is what inspires us daily. LA is filled with creative people, talented people and risk takers.
What were some of the difficulties you faced when first starting the line?
Trying to do an incredible amount of things in a short period of time. We grind, but we don’t have the resources that some of our competitors do. I’m not complaining though, that’s natural for any start-up. That uphill climb is what drives us. We’re going to go hard until the wheels come off.
Please describe the line in 10 words or less.
What do you think draws the consumer to your brand?
I think different things appeal to different consumers. Besides offering quality product, our designs are bold and speak to the consumer’s style and confidence (our new Python and Snakeskin Flag tees continue to gain the most attention). They want to feel fresh when they step out, and Popular Demand gives them that. Seeing artists like 2 Chainz, T.I., Diddy, Justin Bieber, E-40, The Game, Freddie Gibbs, Soulja Boy, Future, New Boyz and Problem rocking our gear – they’re artists who always push the envelope creatively, and that shows by what they wear. In addition, our hardcore fans pay attention to our lifestyle and want to represent that.
A brand’s logo is arguably one of the most important features of a brand. Who or what inspired your logo?
The Popular Demand logo represents the work + play nature of our brand. The script ‘Popular’ portion of our logo represents the ‘play’ side – our lifestyle. The bold block ‘Demand’ portion represents that grind that we take very seriously here. While that’s our official logo, the Popular Demand Cheetah Flag has become an iconic image worn in music videos and photo shoots. When people see the flag, they know that’s Popular Demand.
Describe your personal style. Does it influence your brand? If so, how?
Both my style and design aesthetic influence the brand heavily. I don’t design for myself though. The brand is an extension of how I think and look at things beyond just what I personally wear.
What can we expect from the brand in the future?
More bold designs and a much wider array of tees, hoodies, crewnecks, hats, accessories and custom products. We are also working on collaborations with some amazing people and companies —companies that we respect and admire.
Where can your line be purchased?
Our line is available on our official online shop at populardemandshop.com and also in over 100+ stores throughout the U.S. and internationally in Australia, Japan, Taiwan, etc.