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The Met Gala: Breakdown + the Girls

May 6, 2014

Finally, after sifting through all the hype of the Academy and Oscar’s respective red carpets, last night we arrived at the one that everyone at A.K. waits for every year. The Metropolitan Costume Gala, and this year was exceptionally great because the costume wing was named after Conde Nast, past Vogue editor, and fashion tsunami Anna Wintour. The Met Gala is also very different because you really see the fashion crowd show up. It isn’t necessarily about celebrity, or trying to portray an image (like anything in LA is), it is gritty and daring; it’s New York right?! So here they are, the girls who made our list, in “no particular order”..

1)Karolina Kurkova in Marchesa

2)Naomi Watts in Givenchy

3)Suki Waterhouse in Burberry

4)Liu Wen in Zac Posen (A.K.RIKK’S Designer) ; )

5)Charlize Theron in Dior

6)Giselle Bundgen in Balenciaga

7)Arizona Muse in Ralph Russo Couture

8)Dakota Johnson in Jason Wu (another A.K.RIKK’S Designer)

9)Hayden Panettiere in Dennis Basso


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In Case You Missed It!!!!!!!

April 28, 2014

A few months ago, we got a call from a woman inquiring about some information on the A.K. Rikk’s women’s department. Among the questions were basic facts like how large of a store we were, how long had we been carrying women’s, and had we ever been featured in the press before (namely larger publications or national/international magazines). That’s when our ears really perked up. Turns out that the woman calling was as a research journalist from non-other than Elle Magazine! After speaking back and forth a few times via email and by phone, we had painted quite a picture of who is and what is A.K. Rikk’s. With no official confirmation, we scoured the internet daily for the tiniest hint of being published and checked the magazine racks until the May issue finally came out. The day came, and there we were! Page 58 in the May 2014 issue of one of the top US women’s fashion magazines! We could not have been more humbled or excited. Thank you, Elle Magazine for the wonderful feature! Check out the full article below!

Elle’s Top Shop: A.K. Rikk’s, 6303 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546;616-957-3242.

WHAT’S THERE: Owner Richard Gaby founded it in 1986 as a men’s store; he has since included women’s wear and home goods, with the goal of becoming Michigan’s premier contemporary lifestyle destination. The 28,000-square-foot space stockpiles cool-kid classics from Alexander Wang, Rick Owens Dark Shadow, and Jason Wu, and Euro showstoppers Valentino and Salvatore Ferragamo.

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Introducing: Jason Wu

August 7, 2013

You should have seen the staff on Monday when Linda was opening the shipments from Jason Wu. Andrea started putting everything on, Matt was shouting through the store (but that’s sort of normal), and Tricia started petting the fur vest. We’re obviously very excited for this new line. While that introduction was fun, I thought I’d give it a more formal welcoming. Here’s the 101 on Jason Wu:

Jason Wu is a Taiwanese-Canadian fashion designer that, like most fashion geniuses, had an early start designing. After moving to Vancouver at age 9, Wu began to learn how to sew, draft patterns, and sketch in fashion proportions by using his dolls and Barbies and mannequins. Sometimes his mother would take him to bridal stores so he could sketch the gowns in the display windows. At the age of fourteen he studied sculpture in Tokyo and when he was a senior in high school, he spent the year in Paris where he decided to become a fashion designer. He then attended Parsons School of Design in NYC. The years after school and before his debut line in 2006, Wu was (and still is!) a freelance designer and creative director for a line of design dolls called Fashion Royalty. He was also once a Narciso Rodriguez intern.

In 2006 Wu launched his eponymous line that was a favorite to “downtown starlets who appreciated his signature brand of fuss-free elegance.” Although well-known in the fashion world, Wu really blew up when First Lady Michelle Obama wore his sparkling white, one-shoulder, chiffon evening gown at her husband’s Inaugural Ball in January 2009. Since then Wu’s designs have been seen all over the red carpet on Reese Witherspoon, Diane Kruger, Julianne Moore, and many more. He is best known for his clean, classic lines and his ability to incorporate bright colors and prints without being flashy. His designs compliment the feminine figure in a old-fashioned, polished-yet somehow modern way.

Random Jason Wu facts:

-He is best friends with model Karlie Kloss. He even designed her senior prom dress in 2011.

-Wu’s muses are “young actresses on the verge of making it.”

-Collected Barbie dolls- 150 dolls to be exact. He said he disassembled them, put them back together, styled their hair, and designed and sewed clothing for them.

-He credits designing clothing for dolls as the reason why he is so particular about the details in his design. Think about how careful you have to be when designing clothing for dolls!

-One childhood influence was from an English tutor who would bring him the latest fashion magazines.

-He exchanged studying the Bible for drawing lessons with a former fashion student who was a door-to-door Jehovah’s Witness.

-Wu didn’t know his dress was selected by First Lady Michelle Obama for the president’s inauguration until he saw it on TV like the rest of us.

-His influences include the photography of Richard Avedon, works of Charles James (America’s first couturier) and Jacques Fath (one of the dominant influences on postwar haute couture), as well as artists Beatriz Milhazes, RenĂ© Gruau, and Barnett Newman.


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