Getting a Pure Fix

If you know a biking barista or watched Joseph Gordon-Levitt dodge bad guys while racing through the streets of New York in Premium Rush, you probably have a vague sense of urban cycling style. The fixed-gear bikes are sleek, efficient, and often glamorously brakeless. These are no lazy cruisers or thick-tired mountain bikes. They’re lightweight and versatile. If you’re buying a Pure Fix bike, it might also be charitable or glow-in-the-dark.

Zach Schau started Pure Fix with his little brother Jordan and two friends, Michael Fishman and Austin Stoffers, after they found “nothing cool for under a thousand bucks” on the fixie bike market. Over winter break, Schau’s crew brought in 165 bikes, “made a shitty website,” and sold stylish, quality-built rides at $325.00 apiece. By the time they went back to school, they’d sold out.

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Nicole, Jordan, and Zach in the Pure Fix Warehouse. (Photo by Jesse Anthony Spooner)

“We sold out in two weeks and we thought it would take like six months,” Schau says. “So we knew we were on to something. We quadrupled our order and invested more. Then that cycle kept happening.” Fast forward a couple years, and Pure Fix now employs 18 people in an expansive office in Burbank, California. Their 30,000 square foot US distribution center is nearby.

Schau is especially stoked that more of Pure Fix’s business comes directly from web sales, thanks in part to social media and content-centric campaigns. The company produces Pure Fix TV, an encyclopedic video series with topics ranging from “How to stop” to “How to ride backwards.” Pure Fix Features hosts more atmospheric compilations of fixie riders pedaling around LA and New York backed by rap or Florence + the Machine.

The combination of FAQ-focused content and nonchalant kids out on the town strikes a winning balance between cool and approachable, Schau hopes. “Cool in the sense that we like to be those cool kids with the new product that the New York Times is featuring, with the cool site and the shit that glows in the dark. But also we’re not so intimidating, we’re not like the badass company that some other companies try to be. We try to be as approachable as possible.”

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Nicole chatting with Zach at Pure Fix HQ (Photo by Jesse Anthony Spooner)

Pure Fix culture also grows through collaborations with non-profits. They donate bikes to help raise money for local charities like HOLA and LGLA, most recently working with charity:water to create a custom line of bicycles, launched in October. For each bike sold, Pure Fix donates $100.00 to charity:water. So far they’ve given $20,000.

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Through charitable work and multi-layered content, Pure Fix has avoided the exclusive feel that often comes with a niche lifestyle brand. Schau wants everyone to have a place at Pure Fix and, in a short period of time, he’s shown that fixies go far beyond badass bike messengers and hipster baristas.

re{FASHION}er shows us how to shop vintage and save the world

Last Fall, FOND fell in love with Kate Sekules – the charismatic visionary behind re{FASHION}er. In addition to running ReFashioner, a {r}ecommerce site dedicated to the practice of ‘haute-cycling’ unwanted or unworn couture and vintage (green, yes!), Kate has embarked on a personal mission to educate other style-mavens-with-a-conscience on the virtues of recycling and upcycling vintage wares. Her message is catching on.

 

Kate at work at re{FASHION}ers Brooklyn based headquarters.

Kate at work at re{FASHION}ers Brooklyn based headquarters.

The art of vintage and its place in high fashion (all fashion for that matter) is somewhat of a taboo topic since designers are constitutionally opposed to revealing just how heavily past collections influence their style and creative process. There are people in New York City and in other fashion meccas whose SOLE JOB is to hunt through past designers’ work in thrift shops and online, organize it into collections and then share those collections with their employers (big name designers) who use their finds for ‘inspiration’. It’s a fascinating rung in a complicated industry that doesn’t get the press it deserves but that it should because the more of us who recycle and upcyle our clothes by shopping and trading second hand and vintage, the better off the world is. (More on this in a future post.)

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KATE’S CLASS – VINTAGE HOW TO>> This July, Kate is teaming up with Skillshare (another business we love) to teach a course on Vintage to give would-be and experienced hunters alike the resources they need to embark on successful couture treasure hunts. Taught online, the course is self-paced and taught via a video and curated resources hand selected by Kate.  She’ll walk you through the who’s who of the underground vintage curation society as well as provide the basics on how to search by date, price, fabric, designer. All for just $15.00.

Check out the course and sign up here.
USE CODE: FBFWEND for 30% OFF

More on Kate Sekules >>

Kate_HeadshotKate is the founder of online couture and vintage consignment site ReFashioner. She has been obsessed with vintage ever since it was called “secondhand” and found only in rummage sales.  She started her hunting career in London’s famous Portobello Road at the age of 11, and ten years later had collected so much she had to open her own vintage business. She never really stopped: hence ReFashioner.

More on re{FASHION}er >>
The site aims to educate against throwaway fashion, giving individuals a means to recycle their unwanted clothes, save money on new items, reduce waste and shop without guilt. Users can also share their clothes’ stories, attach emotion tags, answer 20 Fashion Questions, and can ‘stalk’ each other’s style, making it easy to shop and find quality couture and vintage clothes.

To shop online, swap online and sell your unwanted clothes, visit www.refashioner.com

Don’t forget to read their blog, re{MAG}.

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