Andres Izquieta is an American born fashion designer and entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and CEO of the apparel brand Five Four, a company started in 2002. In 2012, the brand evolved into a monthly apparel subscription service and personal stylist entitled Five Four Club and currently boasts over 60,000 subscribers across the US and Canada.
Other pursuits include, creating, producing, and co-starring on the Esquire Network’s travel series, Weekend Fix. In each episode, he and actor Omar Miller travel to a new city on the fly and rely on social media to plan their trips. He is also an owner or partner in several other ventures in the apparel (notably streetwear brand Young & Reckless), media, and restaurant industries. He most recently launched Fala Bar, a vegan fast food, falafel & salad bar restaurant in Los Angeles.
He has been a FoundersCard Member since 2012.
How did the idea to create Five Four Club come to be?
Five Four was already an established wholesale & retail brand for 10 years in the market place. After the business had flat growth for a few years since the recession, I was looking for other opportunities with the brand. I felt that the biggest pain point in men’s shopping (related to fashion) is that the majority of men didn’t enjoy the shopping experience altogether. E-commerce made it one less step, but the pain point was still there. Also, the other membership models out there trying to resolve men’s fashion online were still too expensive for most men, hence I conceptualized the Five Four Club as a membership service that prides itself on style, convenience, exclusivity & value.
How would Five Four Club benefit todays’ busy entrepreneur and executive?
All of us are on the same boat, we’re busy and shopping is not really a priority. Five Four Club makes it easy for you, since we actually curate the packages for you every month. Every month is usually a different outfit, depending on your style profile and preferences. And you get a minimum of 2 items, for only $60. Your closet essentially becomes on auto-pilot.
What is the most common fashion faux-pas men are making?
I still don’t understand how most guys are wearing baggy clothes. I’m not saying you have to wear slim clothes either, but when I see guys wearing pants/jeans with huge leg openings, I always shake my head. Completely unnecessary!
How has e-commerce revolutionized the clothing industry?
I look at it in two ways. For men, it’s made things easier so that they can avoid going to retail stores. For women, it’s encouraged them to shop more all the time. The common thread here is convenience, and what the Five Four Club at its core is all about that. We take it a step further and do the picking for you.
What advice would you give to the budding entrepreneur?
Persistence is everything, never give up.
Treat failure like a learning lesson, while you iterate on your concept.
Always look to innovate what your working on even if it’s working. Don’t break what isn’t broke, but just know that if you are successful at something, someone is out there trying to figure out how to make your product better. Make sure to tinker on your concept and strike when you feel confident that your company is ready to evolve.
Aside from your company/job, what is your greatest success?
I feel that as a person I’ve grown and matured a lot the last 5 years. So without sounding cliche, I value my personal growth as a huge success.
Professionally, I’ve accepted my failures and it’s helped to make me a better and humble person. Personally, I’ve been able to see the world multiple times over and learn from other cultures. I value myself as a citizen of the world, and try to find the good and positive in everything. I’m in a constant thirst for knowledge and learning about culture and the world, that I feel all this has impacted me personally and professionally.
What is one book you would recommend to everyone?
I’ve only read about 3 books in the last 10 years, so I may be a bad person to ask. I read everyday though everything from blogs to newsletters to magazines that cover multiple topics about current events. The 3 books I did read were about Apple/Steve Jobs, Amazon & Zappos, 3 companies I admire very much. If I were to pick one, it would be the Steve Jobs book since I appreciated his vision, work ethic and persistence to be the best.
What is one app that all FoundersCard Members should be using?
I use Uber everyday and it’s really simplified my life. I don’t own a car anymore (and I live in LA which is known as a city where you need to own a car) and it’s most major cities in the world. I’ve used it in 5 continents thus far and it is my go to app everywhere I’m at for transportation purposes.
Give us your best plug/brag a little about as to what you’re working on now/next.
Five Four Club is about to have a blockbuster year in 2015. We have a lot of exciting collaborations taking place that are going to help redefine the brand and our service. Overall, our member experience is also being redefined as we perfect this one to one interaction with our members that is going to elevate the club as a whole. Lastly, we are expanding into Europe & Australia next year.
On another front, my TV show on Esquire Network, Weekend Fix, just wrapped up it’s first season. It’s a documentary travel show inspired by technology that I created and am the co-star.
Lastly, my vegan fast food restaurant in LA, Fala Bar, is about to launch vegan burgers and we are constantly tinkering in the kitchen before we expand the concept in 2015.
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