Meet Your Maker: Nicole Hanriot of Beach Riot

  • Style
posted by Kate McCart

Meet Newport Beach blonde bombshell, Nicole Hanriot. Founder and Head Designer of LA swimwear label, Beach Riot, Ms. Hanriot previously worked at Volcom, as well as started up the well-known Californian swimwear brand, TAVIK.

Read on to find out how Nicole got her foot in the door of the fashion industry, Beach Riot’s latest collaboration with Stone Cold Fox and what she’ll be wearing from the new season collection.

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What’s your role at Beach Riot?
Founder and Designer. 

How did Beach Riot come to fruition?
I had always wanted to own my own swimwear company. After working with another great swim brand for 3 years I thought it was the perfect time to branch off and launch my own collection. Beach Riot is a play off of my last name HanRIOT.

Walk us through the design team’s innovation process for the SS15 collection?
The design process is a year long process of collecting inspiration from travel, magazines and streetwear trends. Around December/January we start to lay out the ground work for the collections. I always have a theme to design around. 2015 was inspired by my travels growing up, from Miami to Jamaica to The Bahamas. Once I sketch all the bodies out, we began making patterns and samples. We design most of our prints off vintage fabrics sourced from different places around the world. After we get the samples complete, we get to shoot the lookbook, which is my favorite part! I love styling and creating a story around the collections. After all of this we are off to the trade shows to start showing the collections to the buyers.

You have a new collaboration with Stone Cold Fox. Tell us about this…
Yes, I have known Dallas and Cydney for about 8 years now and we had always talked about collaborating together. It’s such a fun collab because we get to combine our two design elements together to make a full collection. I love that it’s a higher end more exclusive line we offer to our top accounts.

What number collaboration is this?
We just launched our second collection of our third year and are working on the forth for 2016.

How did you come to start working with the Stone Cold Fox team?
Our offices were next door to each other in Costa Mesa and I spent a lot of time shopping there. We had always talked about working together and when I launched Beach Riot it seemed like the perfect time to collaborate.

Describe your style…
I love the 80s and 90s, so I usually pull a lot of my inspiration from around those decades. My personal style is very dark, I like black and wear a lot of it.

What will we see you wearing from the new season collection?
I am obsessed with our Adios Bitchachos Leather Jacket from our fall collection. It goes with everything and is a great price point!

Where is Beach Riot HQ?
Costa Mesa in California. 

Describe your workspace?
We have a really great open workspace. Our offices are in an old industrial warehouse building. It’s perfect to open up the roll up door and let the ocean breeze come in while we work.

Walk us through a typical day at Beach Riot HQ…
I usually get to work at around 9ish. I am a night owl so I prefer to work at night. First thing, I go over all emails. We have a fitting with our pattern makers and fit model twice a week so that is always fun because we get to see the sketches come to life. After fittings I like to blog and look at my favorite sites while I eat lunch. Later in the afternoon, I like to review sales and production and anything else that might be happening at that time. Things are always busy and there are a lot of different things that come up daily, which makes it fun because it’s not the same thing every day.

Tell us a couple of funny/quirky things that take place behind the scenes at Beach Riot HQ?
Our team consists of 6 girls and we are all best friends. We go out on the weekends, so its always fun to reminisce about our fun outings over the weekend.

Describe the Beach Riot team in 3 words…
Spontaneous, fun and creative. 

The fashion industry is a bit of a hard one to crack, how did you get your foot in the door?
I think it’s super important to network and meet as many people as you can during school. It’s the best way to hear about jobs or openings before they are posted on job sites.

Give us a brief rundown on your story?
I went to FIDM – The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. I majored in Product Development and had some amazing internships over my two years there. I got to work with Ryan Seacrest at E! Networks in the styling department and I also interned with sales at Volcom. After college, I worked at a small contemporary company called PRIMP as an Assistant Designer. About two years after that, I really wanted to start my own business and went to a well known men’s brand Tavik and asked them if I could license their name to start a women’s swimwear brand. They took a chance on me and it was very successful. After three years at Tavik, I thought it was the right time to pursue my dreams of owning my own brand. This is when I decided to branch off and launch Beach Riot. I couldn’t continue to do it with out the help of my family and my team at Beach Riot today!

What’s been playing in your headphones lately?
I love the band Milky Chance right now.

Any hobbies/interests outside of Beach Riot?
Does travelling count?

Describe your morning routine…
I usually wake up and go to weight training or Pilates. After that, I run home to make breakfast (egg whites with avocado and salsa), shower and get ready for work. I have a dog so I usually take him on a quick walk or bring him to the office with me.

What is your ideal Sunday?
I love to go to the beach, so if it’s sunny I’m there. I also love BBQing at night with my boyfriend!

Where’s paradise?
Cabo San Lucas.

Next trip?
Cabo San Lucas for my 30th!

Favorite food?
Quesadillas.

Tea or coffee?
Diet Coke. I’ve never had a cup of coffee.

Cats or dogs?
Dogs.

What’s the next big thing coming out of Beach Riot?
Our fall apparel line.

SHOP Beach Riot here!