It didn't last long as I accepted the role of design director a few months later at O'Neill under Kelly Gibson and Rick Petri. O'Neill was an awesome experience for me. I did not have the pressure as an owner with the day-to-day business and I could focus on design, what I enjoy most. I was fortunate enough to travel to some exotic places to photograph the team. My time there was short, about a year and a half, but I met so many great people.
Months before the collapse of Rays Apparel Irvine I was approached to start a new distribution company solely for the purpose of taking Ambiguous and turning it into a International brand.
With European and Chinese partners, we set up offices in France and here in California. This was in the thick of the downturn of the recession so it was a good time to plan and re-launch. As we unveiled the first line the reaction was one of caution. "Are these guys for real?" was a typical reaction.
Quickly, retailers gained confidence in Ambiguous again with strong sell-throughs in a bad economic climate. In 2009, our sales surpassed our goals and in 2010 they doubled and will easily surpass our goals again.
(Right: Ambiguous team rider Derek Burdette.)
Ambiguous is gaining awareness globally. Our focus has been on high quality product with a forward look and feel. The athletes have been a central role in creating the image for the brand.
The Closet, Jacks, Active, CCS, PacSun, Nordstrom.
Internationally, we are in Canada, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Uruguay, Europe, Australia, Indonesia, China and Korea.
(Right: Ambiguous team rider Sid Melvin.)
My philosophy for these times is to get back to basics. Keep a tight and talented team to maintain a small overhead. When the infrastructure becomes too bloated, there is no room for adjusting to economic downturns.
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