Celebrity car customizer Vik Tchalikian talks expanding into fashion


  • Car customizer Vik Tchalikian has a consumer listing that features LeBron James, Kendall Jenner, and even singer Billie Eilish.
  • In early July, Tchalikian expanded his car enterprise, RDB LA, into the posh fashion sector by launching a shoe line: RDB Shoes.
  • In an interview with Business Insider, Tchalikian talks in regards to the transition from vehicles to luxurious fashion, and what he is discovered about making high-end sneakers.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for extra tales.

To car customizer Vik Tchalikian, it does not matter in the event you drive a Mercedes Benz G-Wagon or a Honda Accord — if you would like a snowplow connected to the entrance of your car, he’ll do it. 

“Logan Paul had us put a snowplow on the front of his big G-Wagon Mercedes Benz,” Tchalikian advised Business Insider. “That job cost almost 30,000.”

Tchalikian mentioned the snowplow was used simply as soon as, for a YouTube video the place Paul smashed by way of objects with it. “He still has the snowplow,” Tchalikian continued. “I guess it’s at his house somewhere.” 

 

Unusual requests like which might be widespread for Tchalikian, who’s greatest generally known as the proprietor of the famed car customization firm RDB LA. Located within the coronary heart of Hollywood, the corporate’s consumer listing contains noteworthy names reminiscent of LeBron James, DJ Khaled, Kendall Jenner, and even Billie Eilish. 

The firm, Tchalikian says, has grown “very rapidly” since its doorways first opened 15 years in the past — and it isn’t simply celebrities who’ve taken an curiosity in his providers. On social media, the corporate has amassed a large following: a YouTube channel with half 1,000,000 subscribers and an Instagram web page with over 600,000 followers.  

In reality, in response to Tchalikian, each vehicles and folks from everywhere in the world journey to RDB LA simply to get a style of his work. 

“Usually, we get a guy that gets a new car, and even though it’s a very nice car, they want us to further customize it for them, personalize it,” he mentioned. “We can change the color of these cars, we can do whatever they want. We’ve done a lot of vehicles for music videos, album covers, even cars for Coachella.” 

Tchalikian is expanding his auto enterprise into an sudden path: luxurious fashion

Perhaps Tchalikian’s expertise in design ought to have given a touch as to the place he would subsequent take the artistic ambitions of each he and his firm. In early July, RBD LA launched its luxurious shoe line, RDB Shoes— a undertaking Tchalikian spent a yr engaged on creating. The sneakers are at the moment accessible to buy on-line. 

“I’m very passionate about shoes,” he mentioned. “A lot of guys are.”

Vik Tchalikian



Vik Tchalikian


But this shoe line is not mere merch for the shop: It’s supposed to develop into a luxurious model and Tchalikian says it was designed in the identical manufacturing facility that Louis Vuitton makes use of in Spain. Made with the “high-end driver” in thoughts, the hand-made sneakers vary in value from $350 to $525 and embody leather-based loafers, high-top sneakers, and simple slip-on slides.

“I work with so many different types of people on their cars and realized that not everybody is exactly the same,” he mentioned. “Some guys wear high-tops all the time; some guys are into loafers. What I wanted to do was to get into all those aspects of our audience, so everyone could pick a style that they liked.” 

Vik Tchalikian

“The Slides” retail for $350.

Vik Tchalikian


Tchalikian had been pondering the shoe thought for months with a good friend, Stephen Blazick, who has since come onto the undertaking as a enterprise associate. Tchalikian mentioned he has all the time wished to broaden into fashion, and that his background in vehicles actually helped him when it got here to designing a number of the items. 

“We have the runner shoe that is geared toward the sporty guy who’s driving the sports car; there are guys that like to drive barefoot so we made slides,” he continued. “High-tops are for going out at night, and then the [loafers] are, of course, the classy version where you can wear them anytime.” 

The pandemic briefly delayed the launch of his model — however now he is again and higher than ever 

Tchalikian had been selling the model earlier this yr however paused because the pandemic swept by way of the nation.

Instead, the corporate teased the launch, after which, when July got here round, determined to launch a full-blown promo marketing campaign: a really on-brand photoshoot that paired good vehicles with good sneakers, Ferraris and Mercedes Benzes splashed everywhere in the firm’s social media pages. 

Vik Tchalikian

A mannequin sporting “The Runner” shoe, which retails for $470.

Vik Tchalikian


“We have two of the shoes on display at Cool Kicks LA, which is the biggest sneaker consignment shop in Los Angeles,” Tchalikian mentioned. “It’s really about targeting our existing RDB audience.” 

He additionally advised Business Insider that a couple of celebrities and influencers who had been followers of the model earlier than have expressed curiosity in collaborating on shoe traces sooner or later. For instance, he mentioned, rapper Chief Keef noticed a number of the new sneakers after RDB LA redid his Lamborghini. He then promptly agreed to advertise a pair, which Tchalikian mentioned was “really cool.” 

“We have a lot going on,” Tchalikian mentioned. “We already have a few [collaborations] in the works right now.” 

But for essentially the most half, and particularly as a pandemic continues to snatch the nation, Tchalikian and the RDB household are taking it at some point at a time. And with regards to managing the brand new model, Tchalikian acknowledged that he by no means thought making high quality sneakers could be this difficult. At least, not as exhausting as placing a snowplow on a G-Wagon.

“It’s very tough to build a true business from scratch. A lot of people we see entering the market just get a product and change the color or something. That’s pretty easy,” he mentioned. “But it’s very hard to make a high-quality shoe … and I’m excited to finally launch this.”



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