SweatStyle: Tell us about how you got started in the Athleisure business and at Vimmia
Ardy Raminfar: Following nearly two decades in the fashion industry, my sense of wonderment has never wavered. Since my first day on the job, I was a student of fashion and, on a daily (and sometimes nightly) basis, I obsess about every facet from developing fabrics, to producing the highest quality products and keeping up with the latest trends.
I’ve had close to 20 years of experience in garment manufacturing, designing our lines ‘Bordeaux’ and ‘Heather’, and committed myself to reinventing and continuously creating products that appeal to a general market while maintaining style and reflecting current trends.
Over 5 years ago, I began paying close attention to how companies like Nike and Lululemon were directly impacting the fashion industry. I noticed how ornate and complex garments were no longer in demand and more and more people wanted comfortable, stylish clothes, creating a high demand for the expanding athleisure category. That is when I began developing Vimmia’s fabrics, I studied the activewear/athleisure stylings and worked tirelessly to push the envelope of fashion and performance. After two years of development, testing fabrics and fittings, Vimmia was born!
SS: Who has been the biggest influence in your career?
AR: The one person who has been the biggest influence in my career is my first boss and current mentor, Henry Shahery - the founder of one of the world’s most prominent textile converting and trading companies. Henry taught me the importance of dedicated work ethic, significance of paying attention to detail, and the simple concept of always working on ways to grow. Henry’s passion for business inspires me every day and I owe my successes to the lessons learned under his wing.
SS: With the recent boom in athleisure, how do you make sure Vimmia stands apart from the crowd?
AR: At Vimmia we pride ourselves on being garmentos first and foremost. Laying the groundwork for Vimmia’s simple mission statement - use only the highest quality fabrics, create precision fits, give the consumer forward yet classic styling, and maintain true performance credibility. At Vimmia, our core is to push the limits of fashion without sacrificing the fit or quality of our garments. Vimmia is committed to creating a product that our customer can put through a killer bootcamp, wear to work or on a dinner date.
SS: What do you wear when you’re not in your own brand?
AR: My style is simple: I like a great pair of jeans or slacks, a great comfortable crew-neck or button down and a stylish sports coat. Right now you’ll probably find me wearing Theory, John Varvatos and Ted Baker.
SS: Tell us about your typical exercise routine
AR: Exercise and fitness are a big part of my life and my family’s life. Depending on the day my exercise will include: a run through the hills with my dog Brady, a Soul Cycle class, and working out with my trainer, which includes a heart pounding stint on a water rower, which is probably my single favorite piece of gym equipment.
SS: What advice do you give to people who want to get into the fashion business?
AR: I truly believe that everyone should follow their dreams and pursue a career/job/industry that they love. If your dream is fashion, you must always remember be patient, to be thoughtful and be prudent when it comes to business decisions. While there have been many brands that have taken the fashion industry by storm and become very successful, there are even more brands that have failed before they were ever able to make a single delivery. Those brands that have stood the test of time all have shown patience, found a niche and excelled in the area in the industry that they are the best at.
SS: What’s the biggest trend that we can expect to see next season?
AR: All I can say is there are some incredible new styles and pieces on the way! I’m very excited for our spring collection and cannot wait to show everyone the revolutionary stylings we have developed for summer and fall!
SS: How do you unwind at the end of a long work week?
AR: After a long week, there is nothing that helps me unwind like spending time with my family. Whether its watching a Patriots game with my twin boys, baking with my daughter, or having a glass of wine with my wife, it’s truly just simple time with the ones I love that melts my stress away.
SS: Where are you going on your next vacation?
AR: My current favorite place in the world is the island of Capri. My 20th anniversary is right around the corner and this amazing Italian island is where my beautiful wife and I will be celebrating.
SS: If you had guests coming for dinner this weekend, what would you cook?
AR: Not even a question! A skirt steak cooked medium rare with a marinated chimichurri sauce. Give me my grill and a great piece of meat, fish and veggies and I can satisfy any houseguest!
SS: Tell us about a typical day in your life
AR: I start every morning with cooking breakfast for my kids and driving them to school. Once I arrive at the office, I meet with my business partner to discuss everything on tap for the day, week and month. I then spend a good amount of time with my head designer reviewing designs, development and trend forecasting. Throughout the day I will continually run numbers and analyze everything from sales, to costs of production and managing the business of fashion. The day will end with a quick trip to the gym and, of course, dinner with my family.