Joyrich Clothing! Everything You Need To Know About This Nicki Minaj And Lil Wayne Favorite

Leah & David / Joyrich Clothing, L.A.
Photo: Joyrich / GIF: Rory Rockmore

Joyrich is one of those brands that if you haven’t heard of it, you’re definitely about to and if nothing else, you’ve CERTAINLY seen it. With major presence in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Japan and, of course, here in the U.S., the label’s vibrant graphics and ultra-saturated palette are gloriously frenzied when worn head-to-toe and perfect for accent pieces as well. Plus, seriously, check out their blog if you haven’t already. Such good feedin’.

ANYWAY, while we were in L.A. we (editor’s note: well, only Rory went and returned with a KILLER TAN and leopard print EVERYTHING) caught up with the folks responsible for the aesthetic, Leah Schmidt and David Melgar (known as Leah & David [no surnames needed]) who took us behind-the-scenes at their Spring/Summer 2012 lookbook shoot. We got to spend some QT with the dynamic duo who design, blog, run the daily operations whilst being CUHRAZY entertaining and looking fantastic. Obvi. So stay tuned and learn a thing or seven.

They’re Leah & David and they do the lionshare of the creative sparkling for Joyrich. Joyrich is a Japanese-born, L.A.-based line that can be accurately described as wearable art – not everyone can wear it but everyone can certainly appreciate it.

These guys in all their leopard print/studded/floral glory have caught the eye of such swagged out superstars as Nicki Minaj, Keri Hilson, Diggy Simmons, Kat Graham, Backstreet Boys, Santogold, and the Black Eyed Peas just for starters. You saw Kreayshawn wearing one of our fav Joyrich prints the Toile De Ville on the cover of last month’s Complex Magazine and right now you can peep Lil Wayne rocking another smash, theRich Drip hoodie from their Fall 2011 collection on the back of his new album, Tha Carter IV. MAJOR.

GIF: Courtesy of Mr. Gif

MTV Style: I know you guys just got back from a pretty extensive trip to Japan, tell me about the country’s influence on the Joyrich brand:
David: Leah and I both have a huge appreciation for Japanese street fashion and just Japanese culture in general. We spend a lot of time in Japan and I think Joyrich’s core aesthetic is derived from a fusion of Japanese street fashion mixed with the laid back vibe of Los Angeles.

Favorite place in Japan?
David: For fashion, it would totally be Tokyo, and as for beautiful scenery, and Japanese culture it would be Kyoto!

As trendsetters (we’re dubbing you with the title RIGHT NOW), what’s a current fashion trend you’re really feeling?
David: Wow, well, thank you. It’s weird to hear, we just design things that we love and are always crossing fingers people will understand and get it [Laughs]. I don’t follow fashion trends too closely because I don’t like the whole idea of, ’This is what’s cool for fall and everyone is wearing this or doing this.’ However, I loved the revival of ’90s grunge we had going on for summer. I thought it was cute. Always loved when I spotted a girl trying to channel Natalie Portman in Leon: The Professional.

Leah: I don’t consider myself to be a follower of trends. Personally, I like to think that I help to create them for the people I work for. I usually go with my instincts and what I’m personally inspired by in life and it usually ends up being a trend by the time I’m onto the next thing. I like to play with fashion.

What fashion trend would you guys like to see die a slow and painful death?
David: Pajama Jeans, Cami-Secret, and pretty much anything fashion-related that’s sold via an infomercial.

Leah: Agreed! Along with embroidered, flared, over-processed denim for men, and those weird square toed boot shoes. Ew.

Who is your favorite artist you’ve worked with so far?
David: We love all the artists that we’ve worked for. Everyone who has worn our stuff has a genuine love for what we do and continue to wear our pieces and at the end of the day that’s all we can ask for. From Lil Wayne, Jessie J, Chris Brown, Keri Hilson, Nicki Minaj, Rej3tz, and all our K-Pop artists as well. We love them all.

What artist would you like to work with next?
Leah: We’re stoked about our new friend Kay who is an up-and-coming powerhouse from Canada, she’s got great style on her own, loves the brand, and we love her. It would be super fun to style her out for her next video project. This girl is about to blow up and she’s good people.

Joyrich has been doing a lot of designer collaborations lately, who would you guys DIE to work with?
David: I would love to collaborate with designers like >Cassette Playa, Walter Van Beirendonck, JCDC, & KTZ.

Leah: The Blonds and Patricia Field would be fun ones. We would definitely create some out-of-control editorial pieces.

What music is playing in the Joyrich office right now?
David: CSS, Foster the People, and Sebastian. LOVE!

Leah: There’s always a party blaring out of David’s desktop, along with an office iPod set-up and two to three other computers competing to DJ, it’s like A.D.D audio-overload in here.

Where do you guys look to for inspiration?
David: Life! From 99 Cent stores, to vintage stores, to random blogs, to bad club experiences, music, cult movies, clearance bins just anything really. We don’t have one source for inspiration we’re just really inspired by sooo many things.

Leah: Same here, I’m inspired by the past, present, and future. I keep my eyes open always and my creativity on stand-by.

Tell me about the Joyrich creative process, from thought to execution:
David: It usually starts with a mood board. Pictures, fabric swatches, vintage clothing etc. Before starting a collection I like to just take a week or so to go out and just get inspired. Doesn’t have to be anywhere specific but from that I will develop my first mood board. I use my first initial board as a map of what’s visually going on in my head and will slowly start to establish a concept or story for the season. Since our collection is so print heavy, I start to develop prints for the season followed by cuts, and after all that is done, we begin the sampling phase then shoot our lookbook. It’s a long process of endless hours and endless coffee runs.

Leah: Blood, sweat, and tears. Plus some of those weird 5 hour energy drinks. Our office is sponsored so it’s hard to resist them when you’re burnt the f out and they’re just sitting there

Moodboards Joyrich Clothing, L.A.
Photo: Joyrich

Moodboards Joyrich Clothing, L.A.
Photo: Joyrich

What inspired the Spring 2012 collection?
David: I was really inspired by Mexican folk art. Being that I’m Salvadorian-Mexican-American I was always surrounded by this amazing imagery of florals and bone motifs, skulls etc. Never really saw this imagery executed into fashion-forward apparel before so thought it would be a fun and exciting avenue to venture down and add a Joyrich twist. For Spring 2012 I infused Mexican folk art with an Alice in Wonderland, ’90s fashion influence. It’s a fun collection.

Leah: Each season is a process of infusing elements that bring something new and fresh to the line, but at the same time recreating the core vibe that has kept our fans interested in the collection since Day 1.

What can we expect to see in the upcoming Spring Lookbook??
David: Color, color, color, fun energy, and fun pieces. We really wanted to convey that fashion doesn’t have to be taken so seriously and that you can have fun with it. It’s really cute and we can’t wait to show you guys!

Leah: Boobs. J/K

Sneak Peak from the Joyrich Spring/Summer 2012 Photoshoot
Photo: Rory Rockmore via Instagram

MTVstyle: We Instagrammed a sneak peak from the shoot and all we have to say is… DOLLA DOLLA BILL Y’ALL! Those shorts are EVERYTHING.

What future projects do we have to look forward to?
David: We have some amazing collaborations in the works, around the world, and we’re going to continue to expand the brand! It’s such an exciting time for us and we’re ready for the world to bandwagon onto our Joyrich lifestyle. So, keep your eyes open.

Leah: Yay!

GIF: Courtesy of Mr. Gif

Favorite City: Tokyo and NY are up there but L.A. is home and I have love for it.
Favorite Ice Cream: That pink bubblegum Baskin-Robbins stuff that you just lick, chew, and swallow, and then feel kinda guilty about.
Pet Peeve: Other females calling me “Honey.” (Unless you are older, wiser, and got something legit to teach me.)
Biggest Fashion Faux-Paux: “Shrimping”: a.k.a. girls with their toes curling over the front of their too-small, open-toed shoes like a shrimp cocktail on ice.
Favorite Shoe Brand: Nike and Jeffrey Campbell. . . although I’m getting bored with them being everywhere. Designer is cool, but I really don’t need to be spending $800+ on shoes to prove I got style. Girls got to be on her future business grind, appropriate the funds, nah mean?!
Favorite cologne/perfume: I like to switch it up on the daily with my mood. Currently I’m obsessed with collecting the Harajuku Lovers fragrances.

Favorite City: Tokyo.
Favorite Ice Cream: Chocolate Melted Crunch.
Pet Peeve: People throwing their cigarettes out on the freeway.
Biggest Fashion Faux-Paux: Infomercial Fashions
Favorite Shoe Brand: Dr. Martens
Favorite cologne/perfume: YSL

Six. Near impossible to pick JUST three for girls and three for boys but here you have it.


The Native Leopard Leggings: Let’s be real here – Life is about leopard print and this Joyrich twist on a classic is just what the doctor ordered.

The Plaid Jockey Cap: It’s winter. You + this hat = Cute as a button. Yeah, I said it! CUTE. AS. A. #BUTTON.

The Neon Ribbed Cardi: Go ahead and get a little Saved By The Bell on ’em! (Note: This cardigan is unisex.)


The Leah Dolly Love LA T: You may recognize the hot blonde… that’s your girl Leah – and this tee is perfect for layering and showing your love for La La Land.

The Dreamland Motor Jacket: WE OWN THIS JACKET and it’s amazing. Enough said. (THE LINING IS A UNION JACK!!! *faints*)

And now… The Rich Drip T: We don’t need to tell you *Weezy voice* HOW TA LAAAAAAV but you do need this shirt. Get your hands on one before it’s too late!