Rhuigi was just coming to terms with his newfound identity as a teenage Filipino immigrant in America before Before Rhude became the streetwear sensation it is today. The story of his streetwear-slash-luxury brand, Rhude, a modern “American Dream” story; rags-to-riches if you will. The 27-year-old artist, designer, and entrepreneur Rhuigi Villasenor, who now calls LA his homebase, was born and raised in the Philippines until the age of 11, when his family moved to California in search of a better life.
His father dreamed of Rhuigi becoming a doctor, but fate had a completely different plan. Drawn more towards art and fashion, Rhuigi taught himself the curves and corners of pop culture, art and design and soon started creating one-off pieces that would be rocked by music icons and celebrities. His first hit design was a $200 cotton t-shirt printed with a black and white paisley bandana pattern that caught the attention of the hip-hop world. In 2018 Kendrick Lamar wore a pair of Traxedo track pants from Rhuigi’s line when the rapper accepted his Pulitzer Prize.
At 16 years old he was already accepting several styling gigs for big shots like Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean and the like, all while thinking that when the perfect time comes for him to launch his own brand, he would be able to use everything he learned from those stints to express his own identity through his brand. After graduating from high school, he interned under menswear designer Shaun Samson who was then Kim Jones’ understudy. He said in one of his interviews that one of the most important things that he took away from this experience is how to design not just according to the trends but according to his very feelings.
At the age of 27, Rhuigi has accomplished more than most people can claim to have achieved in their lifetimes. Off-White founder Virgil Abloh described Rhuigi Villasenor as being the future of fashion. He was recently named on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Rhude’s clientele list includes The Weeknd, Bella Hadid, Lebron James, Lewis Hamilton and Adam Levine. In the recently held Paris Fashion Week, the brand had its SS20 runway presentation featuring pieces from his newest collection called “Seven Falls”. Today, Rhude is starting to take over the world.
Rhude has landed in the Philippines, back home to where his roots are. Rhude will be available at Akimbo both in-store and online.