This week's TAYO Hot List:
Zendaya may be on the cover of this month's issue of GQ, but so is a story about Rhude founder/designer, Rhuigi Vellaseñor. His designs are worn by Jay-Z, LeBron James, Justin Bieber, Nick Jonas, Michael B. Jordan, and Kendrick Lamar to name a few. The brand is finding its niche in fashion, but continues to gain an audience globally. Rhude continues to step out of the norm with its designs and functions on the basis of "becoming something larger." What exactly is the Rhude world? It's more than graphic t-shirts, shoes, and streetwear. It's a glimpse inside the creative mind of Rhuigi Vellaseñor.
In this piece by Senior Editor Sam Schube, Rhuigi shares his journey from Manila to the US. Growing up, he traveled a lot with his architect father, but it was the job he had as a kid working with his uncle building furniture that led to his curiosity in design. He moved to the US at the age of 9 and officially became a US Citizen last summer. However, the road there wasn't without making hard decisions. Between balancing the cost of an immigration lawyer and producing his designs, Rhuigi believed in the process and "everything falling into place."
Fast forward, Rhude is taking off with making $30 million in revenue in sales alone last year. His collection continued to sell despite the world staying home. Rhuigi recognizes the success, but stays true to himself. He realizes that there's always going to be the next big thing, “waiting to knock him out,” but this is where he looks to the youth for input and inspiration. Rhuigi has a mission in mentoring the next generation and working together to think outside the box. He emphasizes the youth brings the new energy that we all need when we get into the routine of adulting.
Rhuigi Vellaseñor has created his own path in the world of design and fashion. The only way is up for Rhude which now can give him the "advanced taste he's always had." He may be part of the "in-crowd" but doesn't forget about the humble beginnings. As the brand grows, we grow along with him.
Rhuigi posted on his Instagram that the official championship Lakers collection he designed drops at 10A PDT today, the items are likely to sell out in minutes at rh-ude.com. According to Hypebeast, inspired by his love of American culture and the sport of basketball, designer Rhuigi Villaseñor came together with the Los Angeles Lakers to craft a truly special RHUDE collection." It's easy to say this is every Filipino's dream to work with the Lakers, especially in creating dope streetwear where typical NBA merchandise lacks unique style and flair.
Celebrating the LA Lakers legacy, the exclusive set is built around RHUDE's favorites myxed with the championship NBA teams signature mix of gold, purple and white. The collection includes a Quarter-Zip in different colors a vintage championship-inspired Ring Tee, Warm-Up Pants, Logo Shorts and Lakers themed socks.
In partnership with New Era, Rhuigi reimagines the classic Lakers logo with RHUDE branding in a similar way that you've seen on the hats created for rapper Jay-Z that Rhuigi has been seated Lakers courtside with.
Rhuigi was born in the Philippines in 1992, came to the United States when he was 11 and mentioned he was apart of the DACA program, for 20 years he had fought adversity & freedom all while creating & nurturing his dream with Rhude. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a United States immigration policy that allows some individuals with unlawful presence in the United States after being brought to the country as children to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and become eligible for a work permit in the U.S. See the full story in the TAYO story below:
R H U D E, founded by Rhuigi Villaseñor in 2015, is a design venture born out of Los Angeles, balancing luxury techniques with streetwear elements, showcased as ready-to-wear collections.
Designed from a narrative standpoint R H U D E is both a reflection of modern socioeconomics and personal stories as Villaseñor came to Los Angeles. Now a reoccurring theme season-to-season, R H U D E combines American iconography with nostalgic references, a visual commentary on Los Angeles style and culture itself. Rhuigi studied art history shortly after graduating HS and was an understudy/intern to Shaun Samson.
With no formal training specific to fashion design, Villaseñor credits his understanding of garments and construction to growing up with a mother who was a tailor, providing a foundation and understanding of how to build each piece and the subsequent stories told with each collection.
RHUDE’s journey parallels Villaseñor, chronicling the evolution of a man from adolescence to maturity, a narrative reflected each collections both the Creative Director and brand continues to grow-up with its ever-expanding fanbase, culminating in the most recent debut presentation during Paris Men’s Fashion Week for the Spring/Summer 2020 Collection.