THE EXPERT: Jonathan Riff JOB TITLE: Founder, Latitude Supply Co.
Written By: Genesis Gonzalez
Photographed By: Michael Oliveri
Lookout! East Coast cool is coming to sunny California, and it’s heating things up for the perfect mix of coastal fashion. Latitude Supply Co. is all about the laid back style of Cali, but with the sophistication of some East Coast sailing. Growing up on the East Coast and living on the West Coast may seem challenging when it comes to picking the right side of style, however, for Founder Jonathan Riff, the combination has been nothing short of creative inspiration. With tailored fits and designer quality, the look and feel of button downs, shorts, and blazers speaks to the creativity and time in which Riff creates the perfect look, whether it is sailing on the high seas or enjoying a party by the docks. There is an inspiration and unique quality to every collection that Latitude Supply Co. has to offer. Whether it is vibrant colors with the perfect fit in the Aloha Collection, or the sharpness in detail from the California Kennedy, there is something to be said and appreciated about the ease and breeze of Latitude Supply Co.
Set sail with Latitude Supply Co. for great style doesn’t have to come from one coast or the other. Enjoy the look and feel of craftsmanship that exudes not only true tailoring, but the fun and cool of a California day. Get ready for the next adventure in true Latitude style, for according to Jonathan Riff, “Never drop anchor, always keep exploring!”
Q: When launching Latitude Supply Co., what was the goal you set out for yourself?
Jonathan Riff: When I started the company, it was more of just creating an image that mixed the East Coast with the West Coast—bringing preppy into the surf world. We wanted to create something a little bit more dressy and upscale, but still at a lower price point that we can compete with some of the surf image brands.
Q: Latitude Supply Co. is all about coastal fashion. How would you define coastal fashion?
JR: Coastal fashion for us is a lot of bright colors, a lot of whites, and a lot of blues. Everything is nautically inspired, especially with our new stuff that is coming out. My whole family is from the East Coast, so that is where the whole vibe came from. I grew up here, but I’ve gone back home to where my parents are every summer. It’s mixing the two worlds. I always grew up around boats and sailing, but at the same time, I did surf every day. Latitude Supply Co. has that sailor look, but is also casual and not too much of a preppy, collegiate kind of look.
Q: What do you feel sets Latitude Supply Co. apart from other menswear lines?
JR: For me, it’s always been about creating something different. I’m trying to bring designer quality and more of a fitted collection with more of a thought after process to a lower price point for the masses.
Q: When designing a new collection, what comes to mind?
JR: For two years, I always started with menswear—that was always my main focus. When we opened our first store in Laguna along with the women’s wear, it was obvious those were the customers that came shopping a little more. I had to expand and go after the target market there. But as that happened, we’ve been more inspired to go after the female demographic and look more into creating a look for that. But my heart and soul have always been for menswear. I like to dress myself, and I like to figure out what I would want to wear and make it.
Q: Has fashion always been something you’ve enjoyed pursuing?
JR: I started in high school just designing t-shirts for my friends. I’ve always had it as a hobby for myself, and I always wanted to create a full cut-and-sew line. When I was in college, I was doing all the fraternity t-shirts for the Greek life at ASU. I wanted to see if I could do a cut-and-sew line, so when I moved back to LA, we opened our first office in the garment district and we started our first cut-and-sew line. It’s been growing ever since.
Q: When it comes to the creative and design process, what has been your inspiration?
JR: It’s always been my travels. I travel around the world a lot, and I’m fortunate enough to go to a bunch of different places looking at everything and taking an outsider’s perspective on what they see as classic Americana, such as JFK and his classic look, while reinventing it for a modern day young crowd.
Q: With the California Kennedy collection, how are you incorporating the East Coast style?
JR: You will see a lot of slimmer fits, and it’s very tailored. All of our stuff is meant to be clean fitting, and it’s all very pleasing. With the California Kennedy, it’s more of just very clean lines; it’s very simplistic and lets the quality of the fabric talk for itself.
Q: When it comes to the Aloha Collection, it’s all about the Hawaiian shirt. Why do you feel the Hawaiian shirt never goes out of style?
JR: I’ve always loved the Hawaiian shirt. I would see all these terrible fitting, oversized shirts, and I wanted something I would actually wear. So when I made that collection, that was one of our first, and I’m still making it because it sells very well. It’s just about getting a fun pattern and making it fit right.
Q: What is the meaning behind the mantra of “Never drop anchor, always keep exploring”?
JR: This was something I created when I originally started the brand. It was the backbone behind the whole idea. Explore the world and go see what’s out there, but at the same time, always know where home is, and take that with you wherever you go.
Latitude Supply Co.
1550 S Coast Hwy, #104
Laguna Beach, CA 92651