Adam Taubenfligel (pictured above on the right, with his brother Mark and sister Ania) started Triarchy denim with his siblings in 2009. The brand recently made it to the semi-finals of the Mercedes-Benz Startup Program, and is gaining notable buzz in the fashion world (this will be amped up this year with Triarchy showing at LG Fashion Week. Find out more about this young entrepreneur in today’s YEDaily.
Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
Triarchy is a denim and custom motorbike company I started developing with my brother Mark and sister Ania in 2009. The idea was to create a brand that could take you from riding a motorbike all day to dinner and drinks in the evening with ease. We found there was a lot of over-branding in the denim world, so I created a branded pocket that is subtle but still noticeable. Our “T” is also the architectural blueprint for the brand, and is used as seam lines in our shirts, leather jackets and accessories – all coming in Spring ’12 – all the while keeping with styling that is timeless, irreverent and sexy.
Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
It was very important for the three of us to combine our skills and work on something we were passionate about – denim and motorbikes. Denim is what we all live in and so I wanted to create a brand that spoke to our different ways of life and was appropriate for each. My brother has built custom motorbikes for as long as I can remember, and so we joined our business ideas so that they would both fall under the same brand. Triarchy Bikes are custom built to order and I design the denim hardware based on the Triarchy bike that is being built at the time. My sister is the fit model for the women’s denim and the brand stylist, as well as being my muse for the women’s collection. So it really is a coming together of three to make a whole; which is what Triarchy is.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of what I do on a day-to-day basis is being creative. There’s nothing I love more than getting inspiration from just being out in the city or the country and coming across something that sparks an idea for a new piece in the collection. Besides handling the creative aspects of the brand, I’m very involved in the production and quality control. So some days I could be coming up with a new denim wash or jacket idea and some days I can be inspecting 300 pairs of jeans making sure there are no imperfections. The latter is what I would consider the challenging part, but I love being that hands-on with our brand. I’m the one who designed it so I should probably be the one inspecting it – and I intend to do so for as long as I can.
Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
I see us continuing with the core of our business, which is our men’s and women’s denim and expanding into more apparel, outerwear, and accessories. Triarchy is a very well thought out brand; it was a bit ambitious to plan it as detailed as we did, but I always saw this as being a complete lifestyle company that people come back to because of our vision and consistency.
We’ve recently been given a jump start by winning the semi-finals of the Mercedes-Benz Startup Program, which has given us a spot at LG Fashion Week in Toronto this October. So our 5 year plan has been turned into more of a two-month plan, but we couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to showcase our brand to the world. We’re ready.
What does success look like to you?
Success to me would be having accounts across North America that resonate with us and vice versa. For us, this is about working on something you love, and we love nothing more than working with people that are passionate about what they do as well. I would love to have customers think about that when they wear Triarchy, and make that one of the reasons why they come back. Sales are obviously important as this is a business, but if we could achieve sales with meaning, that would mean success to me.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Most definitely winning the semi-finals at the MB Startup Program and being given a spot at Toronto Fashion Week. I had been developing this brand for nearly two years. Splitting my time between Vancouver and Los Angeles (where we manufacture), and everything was always in development, always being pushed back; so to be able to show my work to a panel of industry experts and have them acknowledge and see the promise in the brand was unbelievable validation. I have always believed in Triarchy from day one, but to see others believing in it too for the first time was a huge milestone for me.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
It’s hard to start a clothing brand, and it takes a long time, but if you have a good team around you it is doable. There are so many things you have to adhere to that go beyond the fun creative side of it, like trade-marking and handling money, to name a couple. Without an education in business you cannot do it on your own, so I strongly suggest putting together a solid team before you get ahead of yourself. My brother is the business brains of the company and he keeps me in check. Maybe I have an amazing idea for a jacket, but maybe it’s too expensive to make and so therefore is not wise to pursue at that time. I wouldn’t always be able to tell myself something like that, so you need someone by your side who will.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
We are actively looking for charities to support. I used to throw fundraisers in lieu of birthday parties with a good friend of mine when I was younger, and so have always wanted to include a charity element to the business.
We have reached out to Vancouver charities to see about collaborating with them so it’s in the works. We pay close attention to Fuck Cancer and Create Change Now – both charities were started by people that my sister and I went to high school with, respectively, and they are both resonating because they do an excellent job creating movements that speak to our generation.
What is Notable to you?
Notable is doing what you love, being recognized for it, and inspiring others to do the same.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Iphone. Even though I am currently using a Blackberry, I have a date later this year with the iPhone 5 that I am really looking forward to. A lot.