A Collected Brand Interview Feature: The Grunion Run Groomsmen Shop
I am the Co-founder and Creative Director of The Grunion Run Groomsmen Shop, an online shop for grooms and groomsmen. The new alternative to the ill-fitting tuxedo rental! I grew up in Toronto, Canada, went to college in NYC, moved to Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, and San Diego before finally settling into my current home, LA. I love designing, weddings, and making guys look their stylish best for affordable prices.
ACG-What’s your definition of Style?
TGR-I think style is more than just the clothes you wear. Style is an attitude and expression of who you are. People with great style know that the clothes don’t make you but rather enhance what is already cool about you. I feel that when people try too hard to conform to an ideal of what being stylish means the clothes end up wearing them.
ACG-What inspired your Brand?
TGR-When my husband, Kevin, and I got married in 2006 we wanted to create a wedding that was very personal and that represented who we are as a couple. There was a certain look and feel to our wedding that we were trying to achieve that turned out to be fairly difficult to put together because styles were still fairly traditional then. In the last few years, however, there has been a growing trend towards non-traditional, more casual weddings that emphasize the more crafty, do-it-yourself, vintage style we were trying to achieve. Most areas of the wedding industry have expanded with many more options now available except the menswear category. Men are still pretty much stuck with the traditional tuxedo rental shop or having to piece outfits together on their own. So, I thought it was the perfect time to seize on what appeared to be a great (and fun) opportunity!
ACG-The do’s and don’t’s of Style/Fashion?
TGR-Do try to make your style original to who you are and your personality. Don’t try to be someone you aren’t.
ACG-How does your Brand stand out from others?
TGR-There really aren’t other menswear brands that focus exclusively on grooms + groomsmen they way we do. The biggest difference between us and regular retail brands is that our line of clothing isn’t seasonal. We offer our items year-round since the decision-making process for weddings can often span months. With a traditional retailer, couples run the risk of losing out on an item they like if they don’t purchase immediately, and as we know with many groomsmen, they tend to wait until the last minute to get what they need for weddings.
ACG-What’s one thing you would take out of Fashion World and one thing you would add?
TGR-Though I think this is a large part of what gives high-fashion it’s allure, I would take out the elitism that seems to pervade the industry and I would add in more collaboration and cooperation between designers to see what kind of cool, creative projects could be cultivated from all that talent creating together.
ACG-Tips for men who are looking to get into wearing Ties,Bow ties and Button Downs etc
TGR-Don’t save these pieces only for special occasions. Break them out with any type of outfit from casual to formal. Have fun with it — experiment with mixing patterns and colors, or high-end and low-end pieces.
ACG-What’s going to be big this Fall/Winter season?
TGR-This season will focus a lot on fabric textures and patterns. When you have pieces in the same color palette with lots of different textures it makes for a very smart, interesting look.
ACG-What’s your dream job?
TGR-My dream job has always been to do something that, as cliche as it sounds, makes me want to get out of bed in the morning. I have worked at plenty of jobs that didn’t make me want to do that so I can say that with sincerity. So far, working on The Grunion Run has been one of the few work experiences I’ve had that keeps me excited with each passing day. The dream would be to have this business grow and thrive into a vehicle that would allow me to stretch my creativity in a variety of avenues. I’ve always admired the careers of people like Philippe Starck or Richard Branson who are not defined by any one category or type of work but are able to apply their skills wherever and whenever they see an interesting project that they would like to work on. That would be the ideal!
ACG-All time favorite item can be a shirt,shoes etc?
TGR-If we’re talking about my favorite Grunion Run item then I would have to say it’s the Red Chambray tie. Not too many people offer a tie in this fabric and I just love the textured look and feel of the fabric. Also, red chambray is a little more unusual. You see plenty of blue chambray items around but not red as often.
ACG-Who’s your style icon and why?
TGR-My mom. She has this uncanny ability to see the potential in pieces that no one else would look at on the hanger but that turn out to be both quirky and classy all at once She always looks so well put together even when just going out for a walk. I aspire to have an eye for dressing like hers.