Designer, Painter, Graphic Design Artist and Talisman for the Soul
Have you ever heard of Rich Wright? If you haven’t, this interview shares all when it comes to the success and natural talent behind this gifted designer. From jewelry designing to denim, leather to graphic design, if you want something created, Rich Wright can do it for you. His talent is respected and adored by musicians and celebrities alike and the fashion community in Detroit is pretty proud of him too. Sit back and read our interview… you’ll see why Rich Wright is a name you need to know.
DFN: Rich, you are a fashion designer, jewelry designer and an artist. Which did you start first and which is the easiest for you?
Wright: Artist first. I was gifted with the talent to create. I have been creating since I could hold a crayon. Mostly self taught in all medias. I tried to go to school for art but couldn’t get passing grades in the basic classes so I dropped out. I usually start every idea with a pencil and paper and it expands from there.
DFN: We absolutely love your artwork. We were able to see it for the first time, in person, during the recent Design Dare Challenge held by the Metropolitan Museum of Design Detroit. What inspires you to paint?
Wright: I get inspired by so many things its hard to place one above the other. Music, fashion, culture, etc. It’s just another outlet for me creatively. My mind is constantly going so I have to work in multiple genres.
DFN: Your jewelry is all so inspiring. It has a very “Detroit” vibe. How did you get started and where do you see the jewelry line going?
Wright: I started designing jewelry in 2010 when I partnered up with a buddy I grew up with. He had owned two jewelry retail stores in Maryland for quite a few years and when he moved back to Michigan he approached me about creating a men’s line of jewelry. I knew nothing of the industry at that time but I just started drawing. Everything else came about by just putting my feet to the ground and finding what was needed to start producing. He helped get the funding we needed and from there it was full speed ahead.
By the beginning of 2012 we had partnered with 11 retail jewelry stores throughout the midwest to carry the product. We parted ways in 2014 and I have just recently rebranded the entire line and redesigned quite a few pieces along with adding in some new ones as well. Moving forward, it will a have a whole new feel and energy about it as I am incorporating more true alchemical properties into the process. The soft release at the Mm-O-Dd Fashion Design Dare was received so well, I have no doubt that it will be a staple of my creativity moving forward.
DFN: Leather, denim and branded metal buttons are three designs that caught our eye at your recent exhibition with Mm-O-Dd. We were quite impressed. How long have you been designing men’s clothing?
Wright: I started designing clothing when I was 11. I always watched my grandmother make clothes and it intrigued me that you didn’t have to go to the store to have what you wanted to wear. I designed a shirt and my aunt sewed it together for me. Then at 13, I started playing soccer as a keeper and needed a jersey but nothing on the market was what I liked and it was all too expensive for my family at the time too so I designed a keepers jersey and went to the fabric store with my mom, picked out my fabrics and went home and she sewed it for me off of my drawings that I had created.
I don’t just do men’s clothing though, I also do women’s clothing. I designed my first dress not long after high school. And, started my first clothing company in 1991 making cut and sew t-shirts with a company which at the time was next to Jefferson Chevrolet in Detroit. It is just a empty lot now though. Most of what I do is design now. My men and women designs are custom work all the while using those custom designs as a basis for full product lines.
I’ve designed clothes for Kid Rock, The Romantics, Taproot, Tantric, Uncle Kracker and a few others. I was also invited in 1999 and 2000 be a featured Detroit designer in the Absolute Vodka Couture Fashion Shows along side of Marc Buchanan, Maurice Malone, Anna Sui, Jules Joyner, Gigi Hunter to name a few. I have also designed for Bacardi International making outfits for their promotional models for events around the state and nation wide. In 2001, I was able to design outfits for their promo at the Kentucky Derby.
DFN: That’s amazing! Good for you. In speaking fashion, how do you come up with your designs and does it take long for your concepts to come alive?
Wright: I see everything in shapes so once something catches my eye, I just start drawing. From there it all takes form. There it might take a week or two. Sometimes it takes longer, I have designs created on paper that are just sitting and haven’t even been seen yet. Most of those designs just have to age for a period of time. Eventually, they will be produced or they might just stay as ideas on paper, kinda like Da Vinci.
DFN: Where can we purchase your jewelry, fashions or artwork?
Wright: The jewelry can be purchased online at www.wrighteousjewelry.com where you can also see my retail partners. Some clothing and other products can be purchased at www.richwrightartist.com. Also, I can be contacted through either website for custom orders and for graphic work, whether for branding, marketing or illustration.
DFN: We’ve noticed a few fun collaborations between you and other brands recently. Do you have a favorite collaboration or a favorite?
Wright: The most recent big collaboration was with Uncle Kracker. Matt was getting ready to release his new single Floatin’ and needed artwork created for the single for all platforms digital and print. I hand drew the lettering for the type font for that single art. I was able to do that and also he needed some new merch designs and stage outfits for the upcoming tour. Those type of collars are always fun because you are working with another creative and you can vibe off each other with ideas.
DFN: Very Cool. What can we expect from Wrighteous Designs within the next year?
Wright: A little bit of everything I would say. Definitely more of the Rich Wright designer brand for sure. I also have a line of streetwear that I have been working on called Richie Diamonds™ so that will be seeing light also. Always creating art and graphics so there will never be any shortage of that.
DFN: Thank you Rich! You have quite the resume and great designs. Keep up the great work!
Wright: Thank you