Paul Frank Industries
In late 1995, a small Huntington Beach garage was buzzing with activity. Friends were busy hand-sewing wallets and handbags with old scraps of Naugahyde. Characters with whimsical names like Julius and Skurvy were created to decorate these accessories, which always seemed to bring a smile to the faces of whoever they were given to. Little did this small collective know that their humble accessories business would swiftly become an overnight success! Born out of the need for a fun outlet celebrating creativity and individuality in Orange County, Paul Frank Industries (PFI) was formally incorporated in December of 1997. Led by its bright color palette, vinyl fabric, and unique sensibilities, the company has attracted an almost cult-like following of teens and twenty-somethings that love PFIs witty take on every day objects. Take, for example, their use of Naugahyde. A vinyl material that is more commonly associated with mid-century automobile seats, it was difficult to come by and completely unique to fashion accessories in 1995. Years later, the company still incorporates it into each seasons accessories offering.
As nonconformist and creative as their design was, PFI pushed the envelope of unconventionality just a little bit farther by establishing itself as an accessories company first which was not a common practice for a start up companies coming out of Orange County at the time. Once PFI fine-tuned their vinyl creations, they expanded into t-shirts and pjs, which became must-have items that solidified the brands future. Following that success, PFI continued to buck the system by successfully introducing several divisions over the coming years: mens and womens sportswear, kids clothing, swimwear, eyewear, watches, and even home furnishings.
In keeping with the offbeat and diverse product line, PFI has achieved success with almost anti-marketing tactics. Yet PFI still managed to be recognized in 2001 by Brandweek Magazine as the Marketers of the Next Generation, a remarkable feat given that the start-up had practically no marketing budget to speak of.
As the company has evolved, their plans to create fun product that they themselves would like to own has almost become a marketing plan in and of itself. Since their humble beginnings in 1995, PFI employees (young as well as young-at-heart their average age is 25!) have always been inspired by music, art, and entertainment. They stretch the boundaries of their Orange County suburbs, designing items as varied as guitar straps for The White Stripes, Foo Fighters, and Weezer to customized t-shirts for this countrys largest outdoor concert event, The Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. Artistic inspirations range from classic contemporary furniture designers Ray and Charles Eames, to abstract sculptor and inventor of the mobile Alexander Calder, to infamous pop artist and icon Andy Warhol.
In the past decade, PFI has partnered creatively with various artists (Shepard Fairey, Shag, Mark Ryden, the Andy Warhol Foundation), youth-oriented companies (Sanrio, Nirve, Pro-Keds, Vans, the Elvis Presley estate), and publicly traded American institutions that you can find listed on NYSE (like John Deere, Mattel, Brown Shoe Company [Dr. Scholls], and Oscar Mayer). The PFI collaboration program was born as a result, yielding items that are highly collectable and pre-sold before they even hit stores. The collaborations usually include various offerings from each division as well as limited edition product that may not ever be reproduced again.
The media has certainly sat up and taken notice of PFIs unique spin on their products. PFIs accesories, clothing, t-shirts, and other products have had excellent visibility. The brand has appeared in numerous movies, including blockbusters such as Austin Powers 1 & 3, American Pie 1 & 2, Charlies Angels 2, National Treasure, and Just Friends. PFIs television coverage is equally as impressive: The West Wing, CSI, ER, Saturday Night Live, The OC, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and MTVs Punkd have all featured items from Paul Frank Industries.
AccessoriesWatches, Handbags & Luggage, Eyewear
960 West 16th Street
Costa Mesa, CA US
Toll Free Ext.567