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Tiffany Montgomery
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RVCA CEO Tenore on growth and more

By Tiffany Montgomery
January 28, 2009 6:01 AM

RVCA is coming up in all sorts of conversations lately - from PacSun CEO Sally Frame Kasaks talking about the brand's success and expansion at PacSun during an investors conference, to a shop girl I overheard at the Longboard House in Florida pining for the store to carry the brand. 

To find out more about what is happening with RVCA, I asked some questions of brand CEO and founder PM Tenore, who most in the industry refer to as Pat. 

Here's what he had to say:

RVCA appears to be growing rapidly. Are there special challenges that come with that growth?

"Growth requires change, particularly in our infrastructure."

If so, how are you handling those?

"Our challenge is to make adjustments, but continue to stay focused while doing the things that we do best. We always try to maintain positive and productive relationships with our customers and suppliers."

How has your relationship with Pac Sun evolved? Is that exciting for the brand?

"Our relationship with Pac Sun is still very new. We value Pac Sun and the relationship we are continuing to build with them. We are pleased that Pac Sun has frequently made note of RVCA's success at public forums. We treat all of our retail partners with the same integrity. It is great to have retail partners show enthusiasm and support our life-style brand."

How will RVCA balance increased distribution at large stores with keeping the core shops happy?

"RVCA is a lifestyle brand and that is our core. We will keep focus of whom and what we are, a lifestyle, and continue to work with the customers that have supported us. We do not have plans to expand distribution in 2009. Our focus will be providing quality product and excellent customer service to our existing distribution."

Why do you think RVCA is having so much success these days?

"Without sounding cliché - We keep it real and do our own thing. RVCA has always been a 'vision and people building a brand.' People embrace the RVCA lifestyle and connect and grew with RVCA."

How is the economic downturn impacting the company?

"Although we are growing and very optimistic about the future, the current economic climate is are having effects on RVCA as is the case throughout the industry."

Is the company in a position to gain market share in the downturn?

"Most definitely."

Are there any plans for a new President?

"We do not have immediate plans to bring on another President. If we do it will be a person within the organization. I believe that we have an incredibly strong management team that I can trust and lean on to make strategic decisions. We have great employees at RVCA and that has been a key part of our success. We do not believe in titles."

I am told RVCA received a significant financial investment fairly recently. Is that true? If so, how is that helping RVCA's growth?

"That is not true. What is helping RVCA's growth is our second-to-none family of employees and team commitment to our vision."

Many people say RVCA will be the next brand to make it to the top level of industry brands. Is that what you want for RVCA? If so, how do you plan to get there?

"It is exciting that people acknowledge our success and show support for RVCA . What I see and want for RVCA is to keep improving on what we do. That is, design and create clothing and provide a platform for the artists, musicians, and advocates we work with. That is what we are all about."


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