How designer Daniel Patrick went from sports to fashion
When Daniel Patrick arrived in Los Angeles, he had two bags and $1,000. It was 2011, and the native Australian was in Los Angeles for two reasons: to see the woman he’d been having a long-distance romance with, and to start a clothing line.
“I had to buy a return plane ticket because they don’t let you enter the country without one,” he said recently. “but I had every intention of staying.”
everything went well. The woman, Jenny, is now his wife and the mother of his two children. she is also his business partner.
Patrick’s line, which includes elevated hoodies, sweatshirts, sweatpants, footwear and more, is sold at his store on melrose avenue, as well as being available at some of the world’s most influential retailers. On the label’s website, danielpatrick.us, there is a range of pieces for men and women. new selections include $45 logo socks, $95 sports bras, $200 graphic tees, and $700 track jackets.
patrick’s clothing has garnered a celebrity following including justin bieber, steve aoki, bad bunny and nba star james harden, the latter of whom patrick has worked on limited edition sneakers for the sports giant adidas sportswear. (The two launched shoes together with adidas last year and now have new products available.)
in addition to his collaborations with harden and adidas, patrick has also partnered with the initiator of the retroactive athletic brand and, in an unexpected twist, the coffee purveyors at the coffee factory, which has roasting facilities in downtown Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seoul.
on friday, patrick launched an eight-piece sneaker and apparel collection: the harden vol. 4 daniel patrick sneakers in a new colourway, featuring the sports star and adidas in time for nba all-star weekend in chicago. the collection ranges from $75 to $380. In the mix are hoodies, sweatshirts, sweatpants, and gym shorts in sun-bleached hues and faded patterns with fluorescent accents.
This is all a long way, and not just physically, from where Patrick started. Growing up in Sydney, he dreamed of following in his father’s footsteps to become a professional rugby player, even going so far as to attend a high school that specializes in sports training.
however, fashion was always there, hiding in the background at first. “I liked the aspect of dressing up as something. You know what I mean?” he said.
To that extent, his sports uniform gave him an early appreciation of the power of clothing: how what you wear instantly conveys who you are. “Just like ice hockey, we had a lot of equipment…it was expensive for my parents,” Patrick said with a laugh.
Ultimately, Patrick’s vision for a clothing brand usurped his dreams of athletic greatness, and he left rugby to attend a local fashion school for a while to learn the basics of the profession. His original plan was to launch his own label in New York. however, a detour to Los Angeles changed everything.
although patrick grew up in another part of the world, the usa. loomed large in his mind. “I always liked hip-hop and rap music and American culture,” he added.
He was instantly drawn to the Angels. “It’s fine weather here,” he said. “Here is that celebrity culture. In the last five or six years, some of the best men’s streetwear brands are coming out of Los Angeles. so it turned out to be a good choice.”
Along with the influence of early ’90s aesthetics, Patrick’s design work is infused with other cornerstones of his teenage years. they range from the wacky fashion experiments david beckham dabbled in decades ago when he met victoria beckham (which caused tongues to wag and paparazzi cameras to flicker) to the swagger of sean “diddy” combs, which the musician he channeled into his fashion brand sean john.
Patrick’s experience on the sports field also served him well in a number of ways. For one thing, he instilled in her a powerful work ethic.
It also took classic sportswear—nylon warm-up suits, oversized basketball shorts, and team jerseys—and updated it with flashy neon colors, throwback logos, or funky riffs on familiar patterns like camo and tie dye. -to dye.
Patrick’s clothing has a laid-back vibe that falls somewhere between sporty leisure and streetwear, which could appeal to LA’s creative class. after all, over the last decade the formal codes of menswear have eroded. In some circles, the suit, dress shoe, and crisp black T-shirt have largely been replaced by more casual wear, and brand daniel patrick encapsulates the most relaxed new men’s uniform of the moment.
“I’m right there on the pulse,” he said when asked about his design process. “It happens a lot when I think, ‘I’m going to do neon,’ and then next season I see all this neon.”
during a visit last year to their headquarters in the downtown fashion district, a classic industrial loft space, the mannequins dressed in pieces from the fall 2019 collection, including baggy cargo pants camouflage or outerwear with panel inserts. “I’m going to have an idea about something, and it’s up in the air,” Patrick said. “It’s instinctive to a certain extent. ”
patrick founded his brand just as instagram started to gain popularity. he’s leveraged the platform to tap into new digitally native consumers and has been able to catch the rising wave of streetwear as it continues to take the menswear market by storm.
However, the designer still remembers his rough early years when he barely survived hoping to sell a jacket to pay the rent. However, he said, he remained optimistic about the future, in part due to initial support from influential L.A. boutiques h. lawrence and traffic
now his brand has gained momentum in the thriving Asian market. One of the associates at Patrick’s Melrose Avenue store uses the Chinese social media messaging/payment app WeChat to sell clothes to customers there. The designer also said that he had been eyeing that market for possible expansion.
downstairs from patrick’s office is where the samples are made and most of their production takes place. Not only is it convenient to design a piece and do it just a few feet away, but it also gives the whole company a quaint feel. Amid the hum of machines and piles of freshly made sweats and sweatpants, Patrick can watch his growing empire.
“I like the idea of ralph lauren, how he created a lifestyle brand,” said patrick, listing his goal of having an expanded footwear collection with adidas, including his own silhouettes, as well as a network of stores in China.
If that sounds a little bold, Patrick said you have to dream big to succeed.
“When I played rugby, I wanted to be the best player in the world,” he said. “That’s how a child thinks, right? that kind of thinking stops a bit when you’re an adult. As an athlete, you know your limitations, but you can also work harder than anyone else. It’s daring to say, ‘Oh, I want to be a billion dollar business in five years,’ but if you aim for that, you might not be there in five years, but it could be in 10 years.
“if you aim low, that’s where you’ll land,” said patrick. “you have to shoot a little higher, yes. you have to aim high.”