Frank Rivera: A Cut Above
He's ambitious. He's in high demand. He wants to dress your boyfriend.
Frank Rivera of retailer Boylston Trading Company. (Photo by Jonathan Kozowyk)
Frank â€śThe Butcherâ€ť Riveraâ€™s telling me he may never wear jeans again â€” which is really something to say for a Worcester native who used to walk around in Army clothing and Timberlands.
â€śI think thereâ€™s a set of people who arenâ€™t afraid of doing something different,â€ť he says. â€śIâ€™m just loving pants and chinos and khakis and cords, because it feels like jeans are work.â€ť
Street style, in other words, is changing, and Rivera, 34, is at the forefront of that transformation in Boston and beyond. As the creative director of Boylston Trading Company, the new Karmaloop-owned online retailer, heâ€™s pushing upscale, hard-to-find menswear brands from around the globe (like Italian footwear line Diemme and Canadian bag and accessories company Want Les Essentiels de la Vie). The site is part store, part multimedia magazine, with editorial features, photo essays, and videos. Rivera, a former metalworker, left his day job six years ago to pursue his passion â€” and since then, heâ€™s made waves as brand manager at influential Harvard Square boutique Concepts; written for Highsnobiety, Sneaker Freaker, and other outlets; and collaborated with Nike, Adidas, and New Balance on limited-edition kicks.
He calls Boylston Trading Company an â€śall-encompassing lifestyle,â€ť and fittingly, it seems to have consumed his life: Rivera and Karmaloop founder Greg Selkoe plan to open an appointment-only shop on Boylston Street (where else?) this summer. â€śMy appetite is heavy,â€ť he says. â€śIâ€™m like a fat kid for art and for culture and for creativity.â€ť
â€śThe Butcherâ€ť â€” his nickname reflects his blue-collar roots â€” is already well known in international sneaker-fan circles, but he says Boylston Trading Company is whatâ€™s put him on the map locally. â€śUntil you get recognition at home,â€ť he says, â€śyou donâ€™t feel like youâ€™ve accomplished anything.â€ť
Boots, $360 (coming this fall).
varsity jacket, $426
Greg Lucci at Gourmet Footwear. I just really appreciate his courage â€” he literally does whatever he wants, but heâ€™s very educated with brands and fashion in general.
Salmon. I just love it.
A SunspelÂ ÂEgyptian cotton T-shirt, light corduroy pants from Leviâ€™s Vintage or a pair of khaki shorts, a Harun beaded bracelet or necklace, and Converse Jack Purcells. What attracts you to sneakers? You can really express your individuality with them.
How many pairs do you own?
Iâ€™ve given away more than 100 pairs in the past year, and I still have hundreds. I probably have 500 pairs of shoes.
Advice to live by?
Greg Lucci told me, â€śIf youâ€™re designing a shoe, donâ€™t look to other shoes. Go to a glove store, go to a coat store …. Look at other things to inspire you, and donâ€™t be so literal with it.â€ť
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2012/06/frank-rivera-cut-above/