Your cart
Close Alternative Icon
Shop Spring Arrivals | Free Priority Shipping Shop Spring Arrivals | Free Priority Shipping

Brand Ambassador Highlight - Robb Pollard

Arrow Thin Left Icon Arrow Thin Right Icon
Brand Ambassador Highlight - Robb Pollard

Author: Melody van der Veen / Category: Brand Ambassador / Published: March-13-2019

I had the pleasure of meeting, photographing, and interviewing Robb, one of Leather & Cotton’s brand ambassadors. When I first arrived at the coffee shop in Venice Beach to meet him, I was surprised by his height (6’3”) and strong British accent. From our first moments speaking, I knew that I was about to hear an incredible story.

Originally from Manchester, Robb spent his early adult years in France, Spain, Singapore, China, and Thailand. He often visited the States as a tourist, but finally made the move about 4 years ago to Los Angeles. While Robb has many passions, his initial passion was soccer. Though he didn’t make it as a professional, the journey to get there included working as a DJ at nightclubs. In the late 90’s, Robb toured all over Asia and once played in front of 90,000 people at a Chinese festival. Eventually, Robb purchased a club of his own in 2010. Working multiple shifts a day at the club, Robb would transition between 3-4 unique suits, always changing up his style and never wearing standard black. After some years in the business, the nightlife began to wear on him, so Robb chose to transition to working in men’s fashion, a career that felt less like work and more like a passion project.

Robb’s Start in Men’s Fashion

Robb first became interested in fashion as a school boy in England. Since he was required to wear a uniform, Robb would try to dress as uniquely as he could, adjusting his tie or doing something funky to look different than the other kids. As a teen, Robb was inspired by David Beckham, and that still rings true for him today. When Beckham wore a sarong or bleached his hair blonde, Robb followed suit. While Robb is not following Beckham’s every move anymore, he continues to be inspired by Beckham’s unwavering sense of style as he has aged.

In 2012, Robb began his career in fashion by selling sunglasses, and then added suits. He was first introduced to the suit industry in London when he worked under Ray Calvin’s mother at Ted Baker. In the midst of Robb’s journey in fashion, he met his wife to be in L.A. At the time, she was preparing to travel for 6 months in Europe. During her travels, Robb began the long process of becoming legal, so that he could officially move to the States.

Before transitioning to L.A., Robb established his clothing brand and spent time preparing for his business launch. Currently, Robb still designs and sells suits, with the help of his business partner in France, who constructs the suits. His products are primarily located at his store, Mr. James, but are also sold at 6 retail locations, including one in Switzerland.

Robb’s Start in Men’s Fashion

Robb first became interested in fashion as a school boy in England. Since he was required to wear a uniform, Robb would try to dress as uniquely as he could, adjusting his tie or doing something funky to look different than the other kids. As a teen, Robb was inspired by David Beckham, and that still rings true for him today. When Beckham wore a sarong or bleached his hair blonde, Robb followed suit. While Robb is not following Beckham’s every move anymore, he continues to be inspired by Beckham’s unwavering sense of style as he has aged.

In 2012, Robb began his career in fashion by selling sunglasses, and then added suits. He was first introduced to the suit industry in London when he worked under Ray Calvin’s mother at Ted Baker. In the midst of Robb’s journey in fashion, he met his wife to be in L.A. At the time, she was preparing to travel for 6 months in Europe. During her travels, Robb began the long process of becoming legal, so that he could officially move to the States.

Before transitioning to L.A., Robb established his clothing brand and spent time preparing for his business launch. Currently, Robb still designs and sells suits, with the help of his business partner in France, who constructs the suits. His products are primarily located at his store, Mr. James, but are also sold at 6 retail locations, including one in Switzerland.

The Art of Building a Brand

Robb’s big break came through a connection with costume designer Paul Tazewell. Tazewell is best known for designing the costumes for the famous Broadway musical, Hamilton. He received a Tony Award for Hamilton, and has been nominated 5 times for other Broadway shows. Working with Tazewell gave Robb momentum, credibility, and additional opportunities to dress and style celebrities. When asked where he sees men’s fashion headed in the future, Robb responded:

“I would love it to go more formal here in the States, for the men to make more of an effort...I’d like to see subscriptions, customizable to sizing. Fashion doesn’t have to be an expensive thing. As long as you’re investing in quality you are good.”

One philosophy that has helped Robb be successful is focusing on the current customer rather than the next customer. He works to build a base of customers that trust him first, rather than focusing on getting rich quickly. At Mr. James, Robb offers unlimited alterations, even 2 months after the suit was purchased. He does everything in his power to ensure his customers are taken care of and look great.

About a year ago, Robb felt the pull to dive further into social media and learn how to create meaningful content for his company. He began by taking a 2 week course and then continued with home courses. Robb decided to test what he learned on himself first. Only a year later, Robb has 12.5K followers and partners with a variety of brands he believes in, including Leather & Cotton. He tries to over deliver, providing more than the brands ask of him. If he is asked to do 1 photo, Robb will do 5. He spends up to 5 hours a day on his personal Instagram on top of managing his company's Instagram and running his business.

“Whatever I’ve ever sold whether it’s liquor, fashion, selling my consultancy skills, the brand has already been around me, so I knew I had to build my own brand around me...I had to do it myself, organically, and work hard at it.”

The Art of Building a Brand

Robb’s big break came through a connection with costume designer Paul Tazewell. Tazewell is best known for designing the costumes for the famous Broadway musical, Hamilton. He received a Tony Award for Hamilton, and has been nominated 5 times for other Broadway shows. Working with Tazewell gave Robb momentum, credibility, and additional opportunities to dress and style celebrities. When asked where he sees men’s fashion headed in the future, Robb responded:

“I would love it to go more formal here in the States, for the men to make more of an effort...I’d like to see subscriptions, customizable to sizing. Fashion doesn’t have to be an expensive thing. As long as you’re investing in quality you are good.”

One philosophy that has helped Robb be successful is focusing on the current customer rather than the next customer. He works to build a base of customers that trust him first, rather than focusing on getting rich quickly. At Mr. James, Robb offers unlimited alterations, even 2 months after the suit was purchased. He does everything in his power to ensure his customers are taken care of and look great.

About a year ago, Robb felt the pull to dive further into social media and learn how to create meaningful content for his company. He began by taking a 2 week course and then continued with home courses. Robb decided to test what he learned on himself first. Only a year later, Robb has 12.5K followers and partners with a variety of brands he believes in, including Leather & Cotton. He tries to over deliver, providing more than the brands ask of him. If he is asked to do 1 photo, Robb will do 5. He spends up to 5 hours a day on his personal Instagram on top of managing his company's Instagram and running his business.

The Art of Building a Brand

Robb’s big break came through a connection with costume designer Paul Tazewell. Tazewell is best known for designing the costumes for the famous Broadway musical, Hamilton. He received a Tony Award for Hamilton, and has been nominated 5 times for other Broadway shows. Working with Tazewell gave Robb momentum, credibility, and additional opportunities to dress and style celebrities. When asked where he sees men’s fashion headed in the future, Robb responded:

“I would love it to go more formal here in the States, for the men to make more of an effort...I’d like to see subscriptions, customizable to sizing. Fashion doesn’t have to be an expensive thing. As long as you’re investing in quality you are good."

The Art of Building a Brand

 

Robb’s big break came through a connection with costume designer Paul Tazewell. Tazewell is best known for designing the costumes for the famous Broadway musical, Hamilton. He received a Tony Award for Hamilton, and has been nominated 5 times for other Broadway shows. Working with Tazewell gave Robb momentum, credibility, and additional opportunities to dress and style celebrities. When asked where he sees men’s fashion headed in the future, Robb responded:

“I would love it to go more formal here in the States, for the men to make more of an effort...I’d like to see subscriptions, customizable to sizing. Fashion doesn’t have to be an expensive thing. As long as you’re investing in quality you are good.”

One philosophy that has helped Robb be successful is focusing on the current customer rather than the next customer. He works to build a base of customers that trust him first, rather than focusing on getting rich quickly. At Mr. James, Robb offers unlimited alterations, even 2 months after the suit was purchased. He does everything in his power to ensure his customers are taken care of and look great.

About a year ago, Robb felt the pull to dive further into social media and learn how to create meaningful content for his company. He began by taking a 2 week course and then continued with home courses. Robb decided to test what he learned on himself first. Only a year later, Robb has 12.5K followers and partners with a variety of brands he believes in, including Leather & Cotton. He tries to over deliver, providing more than the brands ask of him. If he is asked to do 1 photo, Robb will do 5. He spends up to 5 hours a day on his personal Instagram on top of managing his company's Instagram and running his business.

“Whatever I’ve ever sold whether it’s liquor, fashion, selling my consultancy skills, the brand has already been around me, so I knew I had to build my own brand around me...I had to do it myself, organically, and work hard at it.”

As a Brand Ambassador for Leather & Cotton, Robb was drawn to the style of our jackets, and even though he generally avoids purchasing products online, he found Leather & Cotton to be a good fit. His favorite jacket is The Ellis Peak in camel because it opened up a new color pallet in his closet. When I asked him if there was a certain product he would like to see more of, Robb responded, “Definitely more of the bomber jackets that have elastic on the bottom.” He would also like to see Leather & Cotton show how the products can be worn in a variety of ways.

Outside of his work as an influencer and owning Mr. James, Robb is very passionate about mental health. As a child, he was misdiagnosed for years, and now advocates for mental health on his vlog, Let’s Talk Mental. Robb tries to “take away the filters of Instagram to be completely exposed.” On his vlog, Robb shares his story, how he sought help, and mechanisms he uses to get through the day. Robb hopes that his openness creates a space for conversation, normalizes mental illness, and promotes the importance of mental health.

"[Mental health advocacy] is not my main job, but it's my main passion."

Toward the end of our interview, I told Robb that he should write a book about his breadth of experiences. Apparently, he is told this often, but chooses to not go that route because to him, writing a book feels like the end of the story, and his work and experiences are far from over.

Click here to follow Robb.

"[Mental health advocacy] is not my main job, but it's my main passion."

Toward the end of our interview, I told Robb that he should write a book about his breadth of experiences. Apparently, he is told this often, but chooses to not go that route because to him, writing a book feels like the end of the story, and his work and experiences are far from over.

Click here to follow Robb.

READ NEXT

The Life Changing Art of Not Living Like a Pig

Author Kate Clements / Life & Style / Published: March-08-2019

Leave a comment

x