The year is 2014 and thanks to Drake and his OVO counterparts the term “The 6” is all anyone can seem to talk about. Richard Ramsuchit, then 26 years old, grows inspired to showcase his love for Toronto in a way he never thought he would.
Despite never thinking he’d venture into the world of fashion, Ramsuchit decides to ride this new wave and create something people can feel proud wearing wherever they go, 6ixside Clothing Co.
“I love representing the city; everywhere I go I rep a [Blue] Jays hat, now a 6ixside hat,” he explains with evident pride. “I just saw it as an opportunity to put the two together and do something creative.”
Coming from car detailing in the automotive sector to the world of fashion, Ramsuchit used his design skills and business knowledge to create a clothing line that’s simple, affordable and unique. From snapbacks to tank tops, each piece sports a clean design reading 6ixside and the line boasts variety in style and colour.
Since its inception, the 6ixside brand has built up an impressive buzz throughout the Toronto market and beyond. Having amassed over 15k followers on Instagram (as of publish time), Ramsuchit’s brand has found success in social media marketing.
In fact,Ramsuchit admits he’s spent over $400 on his cellphone bill because of using data to respond to e-mails and Instagram comments on the brand – he responds to all comments himself.
“I asked myself, ‘if I were buying from this company what would I expect?’”
“I do write little notes to the people thanking them, it adds a little personal touch to it,” explains Ramsuchit, adding, “I asked myself, ‘if I were buying from this company what would I expect?’”
Initially orders were only placed online; however, now the brand has grown so much it is also available inside select Toronto retailers: the 401 Mini Indy Complex and BRIMZ.
But it takes more than initial success to secure brand longevity, says Jonathan Brown, the vice-president of business innovation at Trend Hunter, a company that tracks and reports on the latest trends in pop culture.
“When I started this I knew there was an expiration date to the ‘six side’. It could be tomorrow, five years from now, or 10 years from now.”
Brown is the creator of the T-shirt line “Hip Hop Ain’t Dead, It Lives In The North”, which dominated street wear during the mid 2000s around the time Nas dropped an album titled Hip Hop Is Dead.
At its peak, Brown’s line was sold in 12 retail stores across Canada, as well as during national tours of Kardinal Offishall, Slaughterhouse and Busta Rhymes.
“If you’re going to stick with a singular type of message then I would say, what you want to do is diversify the impressions that are possible with that message. Like we did parties, we did mixtapes, we did T-shirts, we did hoodies, we did girl’s clothes,” explains Brown.
Being the smart entrepreneur he is, Ramsuchit is ready to explore these types of new possibilities and options.
His plan is to create a strong enough brand and following that when he does release something that isn’t directly related to Toronto, people will still support because they know the brand. Ramsuchit is currently flirting with the idea of working with people within the skateboard scene and branching out beyond the Toronto label.
“When I started this I knew there was an expiration date to the ‘six side’. It could be tomorrow, five years from now, or 10 years from now,” says Ramsuchit. “People still refer to Toronto as ‘T Dot’ and that’s from the early ’90s so there is an expiration date; when it’s coming I don’t know.”
Photos Courtesy of 6ixside Clothing Co.