Updated: Apr 21, 2021
Rich & Rotten was founded in 2013 by Hamed Jalaly. With activism running through his bloodline, he created a way through fashion to express his own truths & struggles. He began using simple graphic messages and placing them on t-shirts. He named the brand Rich & Rotten, a moniker for Rich Life Rotten World.
Jalaly’s goals were to share his story and inspire others. Fabric became his canvas, with his innovative designs & quality. He produced his version of the perfect t-shirt. The brand’s famous shirt designs have been worn by icons such as Diddy, Meek Mill, Jason Derulo, Gary Owen, and many more. We salute Jalaly for remaining true to his creativity and had the honor of asking him a few questions.
1. What inspired you to start a clothing company?
I always had a love for creating style. I also felt like everything on the market was mediocre, streetwear needed something new, a facelift you could say.
2. How do you compete in such a highly competitive industry? What sets you apart?
We don’t worry too much about competing, we try to just make things better.
Our concept is a bit different. We’re telling a story and also trying to educate and motivate thru our brand.
3. How do you define the Rich & Rotten style?
Our style is our Lifestyle. We accept our past but are always working on elevating and moving forward. We wear our experiences on our sleeves.
4. What was your biggest fear about starting a business in fashion?
Honestly, the only thing was the amount of money it would take. If you want a successful brand that you can scale, you need money.
5. What kind of pivot did you have to make in 2020 for Rich & Rotten, if any, due to the pandemic?
Not much. Just making sure we were able to stay open, stay safe and keep our employees employed. Luckily we stay ready by keeping some extra inventory so while factories were closing and companies scrambling, we were able to keep the machine running.
6. What is something that surprised you about the fashion industry that you weren’t aware of when you started?
Well, I can’t say I wasn’t aware of it but didn’t know at what scale, which was the low quality of the apparel. Even if the brand was huge and had amazing marketing, the quality was still mediocre at most.
7. Running a business can be stressful. How do you stay motivated and stress-free?
Being able to help people and give them opportunities along with leaving a legacy for my kids is my number one motivation. Besides that, just making sure I leave enough time every day to spend with my family.
8. Many believe you just need a product and it will sell. Explain how easy/difficult it was to gain the exposure that Rich & Rotten has today.
That is one of the biggest misconceptions. It’s very difficult. We are on year number 8 and it still feels like at times that we are just scratching the surface. It is known that 95% of new brands don’t make it past year 3.
9. What is in the future for Rich & Rotten? Will there be a Rich & Rotten kids collection?
We will def be expanding our brand by launching our kids’ line, also adding more SKUs to our Rich & Rotten HeRR collection along with adding lots of limited accessories. Other than that we will def be working on bettering ourselves so that we can help the next generation the best we can.
To purchase and follow the Rich & Rotten brand, visit their website https://richandrotten.com/ .