We seldom meet someone as fun and motivated by what they do as Ryan Sirianni of Roark. His passion for his business, travel, and the character who is "Roark" is contagious and inspiring and shines through his product that continues to be so well loved by our Stripe MEN patrons. We chatted with Ryan about the daily do's of being a business owner and designer in the industry.
S: When did you realize you wanted to create menswear?
RS: On December 29, 2010, (At the time I was semi-retired on a permanent vacation) I awoke in my apartment in the French West Indies. No rent, no job, no worries. Peeling my face off the pillow, trying to put the pieces back together from the past night at the Eden Rock Hotel and Le Ti, I turned to see a strange, red, "Reset" button on the wall near my closet. Believing this psychedelic, Caribbean dream was(n't) real; I dragged my ass out of bed and pushed the red button, beginning the rest of my life. That was it. Two months later I was back in the states, partner in Roark with a full time job, a full time house to rent, a fuck load of worries with endless ideas, ideals and dreams to discover.
S: What were you doing before Roark?
RS: I was tripping out down in the Caribbean, chasing girls, waves, Ti'Punches, madness and my god-daughter around a small, French island. Before that I worked in Marketing for Hurley along with their H2O initiative. Before that I was navigating thru North America in a van with my best friend, Jon Rose, dodging banditos, bathing in the nearest body of water and eating tuna out of the can for dinner. We did publish a book from the trip, Towards Miles. Before that I worked for a marketing agency managing clients like Billabong USA-Events, Reebok, Kahlua and Greg Norman. Before that it was a degree in Business and Fine Art from Pepperdine. Before that it was working at Laguna Surf & Sport.......all the while saving to travel, wonder and wander whenever and wherever I could.
S:How did you come up with the fictional character that is Roark?
RS: Roark is not fictional. He would like you to think he is, but he is not. Roark is the revival of the spontaneous spirit of adventurism and storytelling in the form of a man. He’s is the bar-brawling adventurer that disappears into Mexico for 6 months camping, only to surface in Paris drinking Bordeaux with a model.
S: Does Roark have a home, or is the road his home?
RS: So far he is from the makings of a road trip from San Francisco to the Mexican border, Northern Baja, Big Sur, Bali, Tokyo, Havana and...you can read each volume at ROARKREVIVAL.COM.
S: Does Roark prefer boxers or briefs?
RS: He's not a fan of unnecessary violence or any type of dossier.
S: How do you decide where Roark travels next?
RS: Oh no, you have it wrong. Roark decides where we travel. We'll get some beer soaked, sunbaked, half-burnt postcard from some depth in the world telling us to get on a plane, hitchhike to the nearest dive bar and wait for the ceremony to begin.
S: Do you have a favorite collection so far?
RS: Cuba. Being a "Sunny Place for Shady People," I feel pretty confident in the dissident, revolutionary direction with the collection. The colors, smells, gangsters and beers encountered in Havana came to life with this collection in the truest sense. i.e. You actually can smell "a hint of drunken prostitute, puffing on a hand-rolled Cuban while she's stealing your wallet" scent on some of the shirts.
S:How do you find a balance between the fashion forward guy and the laid-back surfer/skater guy that you do so well?
RS: We want you to be just as comfortable sleeping in an Argentinean holding cell, dining before a show at the Sydney Opera House or having first watch on a charter from the Indian Ocean thru the Timor Sea on your way to French Polynesia. I believe each finds their balance for themselves within the Roark collection.
S:What's an average day for you?
RS: Waking, creating, inspiring, conspiring, dreaming, designing, loving, caring, eating, drinking, surfing, laughing, learning, listening, sleeping.
S: If you weren't designing and traveling with Roark, what would you be doing?
RS: In this particular order:
-Traveling the world with my love Kara and her son Tristan.........chasing waves, Ti'Punches, madness and my goddaughter around a small, French island.
-Working on our property in Sausalito, trying to decide where the teepee should go while opening a bottle of 2003 Switchback Ridge?
-Flying my Cirrus SR22T
S: Favorite song?
RS: -"Gimme Shelter, L.A. Women, Burnin & Lootin, Africa Must Be Free By 1983, Story of My Life, Nervous Breakdown, I'm Not a Loser, This Must Be The Place, Gimme Danger" Melody
S: Favorite meal?
RS: -Breakfast :: Warm beer & cold pizza
-Lunch :: Fresh Fish with rice & veggies
-Dinner :: Anything that goes with a great wine
S: Favorite surf spot?