Ryan Hitzel, the founder of Roark Revival, says his brand’s clothes and “artifacts of adventure” are inspired by the voyages of a fictional character who is honest, adventurous, and pragmatic – as comfortable in a Mumbai club as on a Patagonian highway. The type of guy who goes on a surf trip to Mexico, meets a model on the beach in Puerto, and ends up sending a wine-stained postcard from Paris, “Roark is an idealized and elusive figure,” according to Hitzel. For a fictional character, he sure has nice stuff.
Weaving the fictional stories of Roark’s travels and adventures into a unique line of clothing that reflects the adaptability and worldliness of a barely believable badass isn’t easy. Roark’s clothes have to be durable and practical yet a bit eccentric. This fall and winter, Roark is hanging out in the back of a ramen house in Tokyo. If the Japanese military style cuffs on Revival’s new Osaki flannel and the low profile detailed collar on the Nomiya jacket are any indication, he’s quite taken with the place. Rising sun accents on inseams and chest pockets along with traditional block-print shirts pay tribute to the clean, maritime-inspired local aesthetic. Items like Naki’s Vest and Chiba denim button up are a departure from the brand’s and character’s Southern California roots – more metropolitan and worldly than casual or beach ready. Like all great fictions, Roark contains multitudes.
And he’s never content to stay still. Hitzel says that after spending the winter in Japan, Roark will be looking for something a little more tropical. Cuba is on his to-do list. [Osaki Flannel Shirts, $68; roarkrevival.com]