As I sit with Pocket Change founder and Creative Director Arbi Avanessian, I cannot help but think, damn that’s a nice shirt. Arbi’s up and coming Men’s clothing line lends itself not only to men who wear fashionable casual attire but to an everyday man
who wants to look his best while staying comfortable in his clothes. The more I spoke with Arbi, the more I personally wanted to support this brand because of their intricate style, their business ethic and their everlasting potential.
W: Tell me a little about the company from its infancy. What is Pocket Change?
A: With LA life in general being the base of the brand, I knew I had to create a brand that stayed true to the LA lifestyle and that had a name that fit the look. Pocket Change: it’s carefree, it’s catchy, and it makes you want to know more!
W: Tell me about how living in Los Angeles and living the LA lifestyle has helped mold you and the brand into what it is today.
A: People in LA tend to be more relaxed because of the beautiful weather, but at the same time everyone is trying to shine in their own way. After all, it’s Hollywood, it’s
where the movie stars live, this is where the limelight is. Everyone wants to have their own character and persona, and the city of LA encourages that. Whether it is that of a rock star or a ball player, everyone desires a certain original look. Pocket Change is meant to help encourage and shape that individual look. Whether you’re from LA or just visiting, it is engraved in people to proudly represent their own style. In this city, there’s something out there for everyone; and our clothing line takes that literally by designing our collections for different types of events. We have a business casual style in some collections, laid back beach attire, and we even have an edgier look for a night out with friends. We design for all different events so you can sport a Pocket Change shirt wherever you go.
W: In comparison to other men’s clothing lines, I have noticed the intricate details on your clothing that gives it a subtle, but noticeable attitude. Tell me your reasoning behind this style as opposed to an easier and possibly cheaper alternative.
A: If I’m wearing a plaid shirt and you’re wearing a plaid shirt, how are you supposed to stand out unless your plaid shirt has some catchy details? As the Creative Designer, I try to instill in all the designers that we’re creating something for the mass market. We want people from any neighborhood to wear a Pocket Change shirt and have it fit their look and lifestyle. At the same time, even though it’s for the masses, it still has to have the detailing that makes it a little more interesting than your ordinary plaid shirt. We walk a fine line with aesthetics because while we want our shirts to stand out, we want to do it in a modest way. It can be a trim fabric applied in an original way or a catchy tag somewhat hidden, yet noticeable as well. Our goal is to make great clothing that fits well and stands out in a good way. Then almost anyone can pick it up and say today I want to wear a Pocket Change shirt. That’s what we’re trying to achieve.
W: In one sentence, describe the brand Pocket Change.
A: Wow, one sentence. I would have to say comfortable clothing that’s appealing and noticeable.
W: Tell me about your brand’s motto, “Pocket Change and pencils that’s all we have to work with”.
A: The brand is meant to be fun and relaxed to match the LA vibe and the people that live in the city. The quote is basically saying that we’re working with what we got. We are not trying to make a big deal about who we are behind the scenes, we’re simply trying to show that we’re people of the city and we’re having fun producing our clothing.
W: Tell me about the quote printed on your tags, Make Do, and Mend.
A: That is meant for the customer. We want to inspire them to do what they can with whatever they have at their disposal. Do the best that you can and always take your best step forward.
W: I’m sure at least fifty percent of our listeners will be wondering this. Is there any women’s clothing on the drawing board?
A: We are asked that question all the time. My answer is yes, we would love to start a collection for women. Our concept is to make comfortable clothing that looks appealing and is affordable. Therefore, one would ask, why not women’s clothes? We are currently solely focused on men’s clothing because we’re working hard to build our brand, to get it out to as many people as possible as well as develop our company into a lifestyle. Our company evolves each day into a brand that completes a man’s look. So once we as a company get to a point where we feel that our men’s line has evolved to where we want it to be, then we will start to think about other avenues where we can take our company’s everlasting ideas.
W: In an ideal world, how would you want the brand Pocket Change to be perceived by an everyday individual?
A: We want every item to stand out in comparison to other clothing brands. We want people to notice Pocket Change, the brand, and want to try it on. Once they try our shirt on, we want them to like the feel, to like the fabric. And finally the fit, we want the fit to be perfect for whatever type of client decides to choose a Pocket Change over any other everyday button down shirt. No matter what they’re doing or how they dress, we strive to make our customers feel comfortable in our shirts and confident that they are looking excellent. Pocket Change wants our customers to be certain that with the purchase of a Pocket Change shirt, they are getting an amazing shirt of great quality, unbelievable price and an overall fit that’s just right.
W: What type of advice could you offer to an aspiring designer who is reading this and wants to take his/her ideas to the next level?
A: Make sure you stay focused. Have a vision, have a game plan and do what you must to stay with that plan; but at the same time, let your brand evolve naturally. Finish a project first before you move on to the next one, and hold yourself to that standard. It is vital to maintain your brand’s image. You must know what your brand stands for and you must stand by those ideals. Consistency in designing is very important to starting your own brand. Always stay true to yourself.
After spending the morning speaking with Arbi, I think LA may have found their new look, and it’s time for a Pocket Change. The dedication, professionalism and humility demonstrated by Mr. Avanessian are all qualities that a smart businessman should have in order to run a successful business. I for one will continue to support this brand and I urge you to at least try a Pocket Change if you haven’t already. Get ready for the new Pocket Change T-shirt collection coming soon and check out the new website Pocketchangeco.com for news, event updates and collection information all pertaining to Pocket Change. Last but not least as a thank you to all the readers PC would like to offer everyone 50% off their next Pocket Change order. Just apply the code WEWITPC during your check out and receive the instant promo discount!