Interview by Frederick Marfil
What started as a platform selling Levi's jeans quickly turned this Virginia-based shop into a multi-brand outpost. Known for carrying premium denim, Need Supply Co. has been mixing up contemporary brands since '96. Despite the cons of online shopping, we can always count on this well-edited Virginia-based store to stock a vast selection of brands including Common Projects, Brooklyn We Go Hard, and Patrik Ervell at a reasonable price point. With endless collaborations and relatable lookbooks to a must-read blog, this outpost is just recently released their second bi-annual issue of the Human Being Journal.
Need Supply Co, has added a dose of style with its newly vamped redesign. We caught up with Gabriel Ricioppo, Creative Director of Need Supply Co. about plans for the shop and his thoughts on his favorite pieces of the season.
NAME: Gabriel Ricioppo
HOMEBASE: Richmond, VA
HOBBIES: Time with my daughter is the biggest thing these days.
Describe your favorite piece in stock for the season.
This Gitman linen popover is nice and simple. I wear a lot of blue oxfords; the term "uniform" isn't scary to me. Also this track shoe from Common Projects. They make good shoes and it's a new shape from them. I was pretty excited to get these for myself. We ended up being the only people in the US to carry it.
How did you get involved with Need Supply Co.?
I got involved a few years later and created the web side of the business with him. He started the store selling used Levis, which were a thing back then. I built the website because that's what I know how to do. At the time I got involved with Need Supply Co. I had a tee shirt company, that was starting to sell a lot of product online each month.
Though that I learned the fundamentals of how e-commerce worked, and I'd been doing interactive design for years already. That was the launching pad for all of this. It all seemed natural. Chris and I both like to work and really enjoy what we do every day. One of the great things about a clothing store is there's always a lot of culture around it.
Who is your typical customer?
I see our customer base as diverse and broad, but in reality we probably have a pretty unique appeal. We see our brand and culture as "inclusive" rather than "exclusive" and we try to present things in a way that's accessible, but still well-curated and true to what we love and believe in.
I think we attract a lot of designers or aesthetically astute people to the brand. We try to keep things really clean and simple. Other than that it's friends.
We love that you're carrying the exclusive Filson Red Label Briefcase. Any upcoming projects in the works or foreseeable collaborations?
We'll have several new Alden makeups that will deliver throughout the year. There might be a re-cut of one of our favorite boots in there as well. We are releasing another collaboration with Rogue Territory called Wash Me Over. We've done a few things with Karl but this one is a little different. He's even referred to it as "unexpected." Hopefully people get excited about it.
What is the aesthetic youre striving for?
Simple and clean. I like things to be easy to understand, which I attribute to my simple mind. A goal is always to do as much as possible with as little as possible.
Any plans to expand in New York or LA?
Yes, I would like to see stores in both locations. That kind of thing takes a lot of work and resources, so it will probably be in a couple of years.
Any new product releases?
We recently launched the Babar collaboration with Soulland. Out of all the collaborations we've see this one is pretty cool. I picked up the shirt the other day.
What was the first designer item you bought or wore?
I got a crazy pair of Hermès loafers. They don't come out much, but if you've seen me wearing them I'm probably having a good time and we're probably partying at my house.
What keeps you inspired?
I think there is a crazy drive inside of me to create so random walks or an errand can get me thinking. Honestly, a few minutes of downtime can do it as well. Maybe it goes back to the lack of a hobby, but I just want to make things. I'll be dead one day, so hopefully I leave a few things behind.
Favorite go-to spots in the area?
I'll eat at Mamma Zu's or Edo's Squid any chance I get. It's some of the best Italian food I've ever had, anywhere. We recently had the guys from Soulland in town and we took them to Edo's, which was a ton of fun and a bit painful the next morning. I can't blame it all on the grappa though.
If you want good coffee or an easy lunch, you should checkout Lamplighter. Just plan to be there for a few because the place gets crowded.
What kind of music do you listen to at the shop?
We use Spotify in the office. Our selection varies; I don't know if we have a specific type. I usually play a Washed Out station on the new Jambox, but it depends on who's connected to it.
What movie best captures your style?
If you were to plan on attending Coachella, what would be your 3 must-haves ?
The trouser from that Wash Me Over project, a popover linen Gitman Vintage shirt and my Garrett Leights. I thought Coachella was just for girls though.