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Split founder takes helm at Ambiguous

By Tiffany Montgomery
October 07, 2008 7:02 AM

David Patri, formerly of Split, is the new president of Ambiguous Clothing USA.

David founded Split Clothing in 1988 and later introduced the Split Girl line in 1999.

Frank Delgadillo, the founder and president of Ambiguous, recently left the company to start a new brand, Comune.

Below, is some information about the plans for Ambiguous going forward that I pulled from a press release David sent me. That is followed by a Q & A I did with David via email.

The plan

Patri said he plans to re-launch the Ambiguous clothing line for Fall 2009. The company is securing a new building, staff and team riders in Southern California and in Biarritz, France under the name of Life Distribution.

Growing Ambiguous internationally is a key priority.

JF Cahu and Christophe Chabaud will lead the European headquarters of Life Distribution. JF and Christophe headed Split Europe, with JF as President and Christophe leading sales and marketing.

Patri said the Ambiguous team has built a tremendous legacy of creativity in the market. The focus on street culture and art will continue to be an important component of the line. "We want to continue this legacy and create a line that is unique and forward as well as offer solid, consistent sellers," Patri said in the release. "Collaborating with photographers and artists is key to keeping it fresh and on point. I am committed to throwing off the limitations that have been put on the brand in the past."

Currently Ambiguous is still under Rays Apparel in Irvine. As of November, Life Distribution will take over the brand. The new line launch for Fall '09 will be at international trade shows Pool, Agenda for the US and BBB, The Bright, Ispo and Who's Next for Europe in January.

The new Ambiguous will be offering a special artist and photography series of T-shirts called "4A", which stands for "Ambiguous Addicted Artists Association" for Spring/Summer '09 that focus on the creativity and diversity of the brand.

Q & A with David Patri

Is Life Distribution the new owner of Ambiguous? I'm not sure what is the business structure for Ambiguous.

Yes - Life Distribution US and Europe and Rays Manufacturing (not Rays Apparel) own it together as "Life Distribution."

Will Ambiguous have a spring 09 line?

We are offering a special high-end T-shirt line that features artists and photographers from around the world called 4A as mentioned in the press release. We will have some basic tees as well along with some carryover cut and sew pieces. We are hoping we can supply our loyal retailers with enough product to maintain the Ambiguous buildouts and sections. There simply is not enough time for me to react fast enough to get new salesmen out on the road to sell Spring 09. We will be launching Fall 09 with a full line and build momentum from there.

Up until now, were you still involved with Split? Will you be involved with Split going forward?

I still have my interest ownership in Split but have not been involved with the brand directly since 2005.

Will Ray's Apparel be involved with Ambiguous at all?


What attracted you to working with Ambiguous? Will you have an ownership position in the brand?

I have always admired the Ambiguous brand. I feel like the brand has always been "real" with it's approach to design and marketing. We see so much of the "smoke and mirrors" in our industry it is refreshing to see a brand that is honest about who they are and who is the target market. This appeals to me and how I approach branding and design.

I will have an ownership in Life Distribution.


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