Behind the Brand: 611 Lifestyle's Nigel Richards
by kristin detterline-munro
Philadelphia fashion designer Nigel Richards launched his first clothing company during his freshman year of college. Along with his two best friends and business partners, he designed University of Rochester–branded T-shirts and sweatshirts for special-interest groups and Greek life. Though short-lived—the company folded when Richards and his friends graduated—R.A.D. Enterprises was a hit with fellow students and faculty: Within three days of launching, they sold every piece of clothing they had; within two years, the label was an official vendor of the university. “We were scared to death because it cost $800,” laughs Richards, who is sitting at the conference-room table in his Northern Liberties office. “But we sold everything and had more money than we’d ever made in a weekend.”
Two decades later, Richards is comfortably immersed in every aspect of his growing 611 Lifestyle clothing brand. It is a name familiar to Philadelphians of a certain age: From 1993 to 2007, his 611 Records was a South Street staple, a destination for house-music fans to score hard-to-find dance tracks and face time with a then globe-trotting Richards, whose career as a DJ took him—and his store-branded logo tees—from LA to Malaysia.