Photography / Editorial / Print

Innovative design, quality fabrics and a sense of ethical responsibility is a sentence that sums up trikki, a clothing company set up by dynamic brother and sister duo, Rikki and Nikki Shah. The clothing designed by Rikki provides young fashionable men with a matured aesthetic and exceptional attentionto detail; which when complemented by strong marketing and business acumen provided by Nikki - make a great team.

Rikki, you graduated from LCF, what did you most take away from your course?

Rikki: I think the best thing was the work experience at Tesco Menswear Design. I learnt the whole process in how a commercial fashion business is run. From drawing, pattern cutting to creating a fashion line and finished product.

Growing up, you mention you read a fashion book by Gianni Versace, which inspired you. How important was that? 

Rikki: When I read the book, Fashions Last Emperor, I knew what I wanted to be - beyond that, I guess it set out a path. As a continued influence, it's mostly magazine, galleries, style websites that influence me more

How did the brand name come about?

Rikki: I used to be called Trikki Ricky a lot at school, a nickname that came from my football and basketball skills. We started out as very sportswear inspired label, but changing the style and being able to adjust the clothing to suit your look, sums up trikki in a way - so we adopted the name.

How has your relationship developed, being Brother and Sister and now managing a fashion company?

asked this, but I guess we live in each other pockets now. 
Rikki: We pretty much had the same social circle and went to the same schools, so going into business was a natural progression. 
Nikki: There was a gap of five years between our Uni courses, I went more corporate and business and Rikki, more creative and fashion based. When trikki started getting bigger and more recognised, I came on board, to help with the business side.

Could you tell me about your design process?

Rikki: I do everything on illustrator, I do draw a lot - in terms of the design process, 99 per cent of it is in my head. I'll sketch everything, choose fabrics, linings and do more refined drawings on illustrator.
Nikki: I think his filtering process is quite good. Once the designs are sent over to Portugal, we get a first sample back.
Rikki: We go back and forth during production and manufacturing, sampling clothing, testing things and so on until completely satisfied. Quality and finish is key.

What made you decide upon manufacturing in Portugal?

Nikki: We have a strong ethical upbringing and after visiting the factory, we felt that our beliefs of social responsibility would be guaranteed.

Rikki: More especially as there would be no child labour and fair rights for workers. We want to create something sustainable, in line with our values but also premium and well designed.

Name a famous artist or piece of artwork?
Rikki: I love Dali for the colours, crazy ideas and Rembrandt's sketches... also Michael Jackson (laughs)
Nikki: I think, for me, I was no where near as interested in art as Ricky was, interested more in fashion, but not from an art point of view. I do love Mexican Art.

Have you travelled to Mexico?

Rikki: We both have travelled extensively and have been to Mexico on numerous occasions. It is pretty much our dad's influence, who loves South American culture.

Have you drawn on various culture or places you have travelled for your designs?

Rikki: For our Autumn/Winter collection, the graphic t-shirts have imagery from Alaska. Quite abstract imagery. We have seen poverty and having seen a lot of this world, it has definitely shaped how we want to run the company, from an ethical standpoint.

What do you see on the high street that you think is amazing?

Rikki: I'm on a mission at the moment to avoid buying anything from the high street.
Nikki: Which is harder to do than you think
Rikki: High street stores have so much choice that they can turnaround lines and respond to trends, which means that most UK independents have to charge higher prices to survive. 
Nikki: I think it is a bit stagnant for menswear, we have seen a lot of the same reproduced looks.
Rikki: There is not much innovation. We went to Berlin recently where we have four stockists and what we saw was a craving for people wanting something different, whereas here, people go for the mainstream or popular look.

Speaking of stockists, where can we buy your clothing?

Nikki: we have one in London, one in Leeds, one in Belgium and four in Berlin. We have an e-store on Amazon and also sell via

Could you tell us about your latest collection, I can see it has moved from bright sportswear to a more toned-down and sophisticated palette?

Rikki: Yes, for example the destruct baseball jacket, whereas your average jacket would have big brand logo's, bright coloured sleeves and so on, we have chosen to make this from heavyweight denim. We don't like emblazoned logos, we prefer understatement. It's torn by hand and washed through. 
Nikki: We incorporate a lot of unusual and fine details 
into the line, be it extra pockets, two buttons, pockets or unique stitching.
Rikki: Even small details like the inner labels are cut with sound waves so they are less abrasive on your skin. Our outer labels are laser cut, so you just see right through. For the tweed trousers, we have poppers at the bottom so it can be worn as straight trouser or adjusted to suit. 

It looks very minimalistic, but on closer inspection you can appreciate the design...

Rikki: It is all quite subtle, for example our primal range, you can have curved sleeves, which get tight on the forearm but baggier higher up. We have tears for where the pockets would be. I think the people it will attract are those who like the finer detail and design. The production run is small, so we want them to also feel they are owning something special.
Nikki: We also have a strict policy of no re-runs. It may be counter intuitive if something is selling well... But we don't conform to the norm.

As featured in Unfolded Magazine Issue 04

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