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August 30 2014

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Riviera Club Pulls Out All The (Bus) Stops

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No harm in stacking the deck a bit. Ron Herman threw the fledgling SoCal menswear line Riviera Club a party for its Spring 2010 collection debut on Saturday, but its designers—and its fans—are distributed between Santa Barbara and L.A. No sweat for RC’s Derek Buse, Greg Ullery, and Joe Sadler (pictured, with Herman): They chartered a party bus to cart in the loyalists. “It was only supposed to have 25 people on it, but I think 35 people ended up coming down. Apparently there was Coors Light being thrown on the 101,” Buse said. Cut the stalwarts a little slack—they’ve got plenty to celebrate. Things are looking sunny for Riviera Club now, but when it was founded last season mid-recession, there was no guarantee it would succeed.

“Ron Herman was the first order we ever wrote as a company, and we did it at the Tranoï trade show in Paris,” Buse explained. “I remember wiring the money over to the trade show, thinking to myself, I hope this doesn’t suck. Then, the first order we wrote was with this store that we thought embodied a lot of what the clothing line embodied. After that I remember just having a settling feeling, like, I think it’s going to be OK.” Shoppers perused the double-faced shirts and jersey-lined shorts the line’s fast becoming known for—the kind of comfortable basic girls are likely to nick from their boyfriends’ closets. So we had to ask, any hope of a women’s collection down the line? “I really want to, but we have a lot to learn on the production front,” Buse said. “I really want to have the men’s stuff well greased and then to dive into women’s and do it right.” No guarantees, but that sounds like a recipe for success.

Photo: Courtesy of Riviera Club

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