Reynard Vixen is a creative endeavor by husband and wife duo Neil and Robin Fox. They've been long time friends of ours which kind of made it an easy decision to add their first capsule collection of denim, tees and bandanas to our curated assortment of menswear. We recently sat down with Neil to chat about his inspiration, denim and San Diego culture.
Q&A by Suzy Lee
Photographed by Louiemark Ambata
ABC: What's the story behind the name Reynard Vixen?
Neil: The name is a play on my wife and I. As we both own Reynard Vixen, I wanted to make sure we're both represented. In the beginning we got a lot of feedback from people like, "Your last name is fox? That should be in it!" But I didn’t want to do that so I simply started googling info about my precious fury name sake to see if there was anything more cryptic or unknown about these little critters. Something that I could attach to it, yet there would be no suspicion of a direct reference. I soon came across the word "Reynard" which a lot of people use to reference a male fox and the word "Vixen" which is commonly used for a female fox. I simply put the 2 together and it hit me, "this doesn't suck!" Haha. It was a name that referenced both of us, that was able to provoke some intrigue.
ABC: What/Who is the inspiration behind RV's aesthetic?
Neil: Our aesthetic is influenced by a lot of different things. We both seem to have our feet in many different worlds and friend groups and such we have a lot of different points of inspiration. Growing up skateboarding, as well as surfing, you end up listening to a lot of punk rock and hip hop. So a lot of vibes I catch come from those worlds. Robin grew up dancing for most of her life and she experiences and is inspired by dance in the same way I am by skating. She has this ability to see things in her head and create them out of thin air, through dance, that is super similar to skateboarding. Also, our faith community has a direct influence on us as well. There are people that we hold very near and dear to our hearts. These are people we get to live life with and bounce ideas off of that continually challenge as well as encourage us in order to shape this brand and it's aesthetic.
ABC: Tell us about your production process...where is RV produced and why?
Neil: We work with a factory in LA that has a great track record with various brands in similar spaces as ours. This was super important for us starting off. We like that our jeans are made in LA. It is nice to be able to be so close to ensure that things are going correctly, or if you need to pop over to your label guys for more trims etc. Also, from an intrinsic standpoint, I personally have a yearning for selvedge denim to be made in the US. There is part of me that almost feels like they're supposed to be. I mean the US played a huge roll in popularizing denim back in the 50's. The Japanese have a lot of our old shuttle looms that they produce their selvedge denim on. So as a country, we have really carried the baton for jeans/denim in society. So I feel like its a cool thing to keep it here.
As a disclaimer I do want to say, that even though we are pro USA MADE, we are by no means anti-"made anywhere else". There are so many places that make things well. If anything, that is what our stance is, "Made Well". Wherever it is made, our goal is to have it made well, with both the customer and employee in mind.
ABC: What's unique about the denim in your collection?
Neil: The main thing we did was to try and create a jean that could be sized up or sized down depending on how you wanted to wear them. They also have a pretty aggressive taper compared to a lot of other jeans. I've seen some that if they have a nice taper, have a higher rise, or if they have a nice rise are more of a true slim straight rather than a slim taper or skinny. Our denim is also a specific Cone Mills skew that we did a sample of a while back that we really liked after seeing how it wore in. But, for us, fit is always the key.
ABC: What do you like and dislike about San Diego and what influence does this have on RV?
Neil: San Diego is an interesting place to grow up. We have for so long been looked at as LA's "ugly little sister". This city has seemingly been trapped inside itself. As a native, I definitely have a great appreciation for what the city is; and a lot of times it has nothing to do with what people see on a billboard or video real. I feel like it wasn't until we embraced the new lenses from others that have transplanted here that we have finally started to try and come into our own. It's funny too because as a native, you see these kids coming here from college jonesing on North Park, TJ, Ocean Beach etc. and you've just grown up with it. It's nothing new, but the new light and perspective that is being shined on it is so great! There are times where you can get a little salty about it… but I think a deeper lesson is not to take things for granted. In all reality I think San Diego is a great city but at the same time still has a lot of growing up to do. And I'm hyped to be a part of that in any way possible.
I think RV is directly influenced by San Diego. I look at it as submersion. I'm not exactly sure what specifically RV is channeling, but it just is. It's a vibe. It's like if you were to move to another country with a different language; you sort of end up reverse engineering your learning. And sometimes you don't know all the technical terms of the language you just know you speak it and understand it.
ABC: You were recently out at Desert and Denim... how was that?
Desert and Denim! So sick! Great show, great time, great people. It was super cool rolling with that ABC posse. I was pumped to get to get to connect more with everybody and enjoy Joshua Tree. Strangely enough...I've never been out there before. I definitely loved to see how you guys at ABC have cultivated a posture of community with their brand. Not only do you guys make dope collections, you also host and befriend dope people. That is a great attribute and something that in my opinion is more powerful. It was felt at the show. It was rad to see people cruising around to the booth and chatting over Mai Tai's. It was also rad to engage with other brands and see what they are about, both new and old. It was a cool amalgamation of a lot of things.
ABC: What’s next for RV?
Our plan for the next 3-5 years would be to continue to expand and grow the brand, both in awareness and sku’s. We shall see what this next chunk of times holds, but for now, we are keeping focus on our mens bottoms program. In the near future, I'd also like to have us jump into more cut and sew with jackets/outwear. And also dive into the women's bottoms category.
In addition, I'd also like to see how the brand can partner with certain causes or evolve into a change agent in our ever expanding global society.