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Rising Stars: Meet Anne Sommers

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anne Sommers, owner & creative director of Riviera Clothing Company. They have shared their story with us below:

Riviera’s journey started in Feb. 2021 on a business trip to Mexico to collaborate on a start-up with another clothing company which ultimately fell through. They decided they had the business acumen & zeitgeist to create their own company together. They partnered with a local e-commerce company to work on the back-end. They then found a textile design house with the bold sartorial prints they were looking for. Anne designed the shirts & tunics, manufactured & produced in NYs garment distric. We wanted a relaxed yet stylish silhouette for the shirts and a comfortable, casual design for our women’s line “You get to a certain point in life, and you want to direct your life narrative on your terms” “I’ve been a Creative Director, product designer for many national consumer brands, I put that experience to use for our brand, Riviera Clothing Company™” We are bootstrapping it, but 4 months later we launched our e-commerce store. We are pushing daily to make this a success and please our customers. Offers something different; a small shop made in the USA, custom design and ever-changing prints, and a woman at the helm of the design and business.

Riviera is made up of Benet Sommers, and Anne Sommers, a brother and sister duo, who spent their formative years living in Southeast Asia. Their combined world adventures inspired them to create apparel that reflects a unique way of looking at the world, where pattern and color are bold, alluring, and sun-kissed. The easy, casualness of rivieras around the globe reflects the essence of our brand, hence our name, Riviera!

Anne Sommers, designer & owner of Riviera, has let her life experience and curated, artful eye push her creative vision. As a designer, artist, and lifestyle purveyor, she pursues the carefree aesthetic of the Riviera, the off-beat style of travelers on the Hippie Trail, dreams of discoveries along the Silk Road, or the spirit of vagabond seekers exploring the ruins of a 14th-century palace. Fusing all this essence into the clothes and home goods (coming soon) is at the heart of the Riviera Clothing Company. More adventure awaits – join us on this journey.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been fairly smooth?
Nothing about starting a business is smooth, and that is part of the journey. How you approach setbacks in manufacturing, production, or vision can change your business for better or worse.

The first years in a start-up you’re finding your customer base, what are best sellers, and what are customers looking for? Wearing many hats is par for the course – I’m head of marketing, design, production, pr, social media, operations & shipping. I have a consultant & a fabulous intern that are a huge support. Ultimately to succeed you have to have the drive, the belief, passion & enthusiasm to get past each hurdle. Don’t sweat the small things.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
With a unique visual perspective built-on experience elevating well-known consumer brands, a high aesthetic, attention to detail, and a love of pop culture, art history, pop art, music, and fashion all go into creating my curatorial sensibility. I’m a painter, very bold & street have shown my art in Boston & NYC, a visual creator who worked on retail window installations and design in NYC, and a big-picture thinker; I have a retail app in development. And have honed my artistic eye through living in Asia, NYC, and Italy, seeing and being open to cultural differences and art. I also live a certain way that appreciates self-expression which translates to feeling good about yourself. Your clothing choices can lift your mood and that is what Riviera Clothing Co. is about and being yourself on purpose! When you wear Riviera, the domino smile effect happens sparking conversation and happiness to everyone around you.

Try it for yourself and see!

What’s next?
Supporting women in entrepreneurship are important for the future! I will keep moving Riviera Clothing Company forward. Raising more capital to get us to the next phase of Riviera. I hope to open a retail store with pop-up carts in major airports & resorts featuring our clothing.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Josh Voto, images by Rick, Hannah Holmbom-Brady

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