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Unveiling the Vision: An Exclusive Interview with Ryan Wilkes, the Creative Force Behind stmpēd.

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Title: Unveiling the Vision: An Exclusive Interview with Ryan Wilkes, the Creative Force Behind stmpēd.

Editor: Las Vegas Apparel (Staff Admission)


Date: 1/19/2023

Unveiling the Vision: An Exclusive Interview with Ryan Wilkes, the Creative Force Behind stmpēd.


Las Vegas, a city that reverberates with untold stories, has birthed creative souls that stand out, but few in the fashion realm. Among the few is Ryan Wilkes, whose roots intertwine seamlessly with the vibrant fabric of Vegas. In an exclusive interview with Las Vegas Apparel, Ryan shares insights into his journey, inspirations, and the highly anticipated debut of his denim brand, stmpēd. 

LVA: What has helped shape you into the person and designer you are today?

Ryan:  My family first and foremost, they’re my everything. We’ve been through so much and we always bounce back stronger than before, especially in 2023. Las Vegas, there is no place like it, its just player out here. If you can make it in Vegas being from Vegas, you’ll be royalty here forever, my grandpa was a real player, gangster to the core, and planted roots here very early so Vegas runs in my blood. My best friend Bennett, he’s taught me so much just by being him and helped me form a perspective on life that has gotten me through so many tough times. He’s the true embodiment of Las Vegas and Summerlin. Who and what has shaped me as a designer is such a long list, we can save for another time because I really would like to go into depth about that.

LVA: What inspired you to pursue a career in design?

Ryan: Shoes. Shoes were my first love. I would sit on Nike iD and design shoes all day when I was a kid. The first piece of clothing I saw that blew my mind was the Kapital Okabilly Smiley Denim. They were like $1,200 and I was like there’s no way I can get these so I tried to make my own version of them with a sewing machine my dad got me when I told him I wanted to make clothes. Then my dad ended up getting me the exact jeans for Christmas but didn’t know the size conversion from Japan to US denim so they were too small and I was devastated! I still have the jeans, I’ll just sit with them whenever I need a creative boost.

LVA: Can you tell me about your design background and experience?

Ryan: I had a brand called (No-Name) that I made so many pieces under, just getting off all of my early ideas and would sell them at pop-ups in Las Vegas at this consignment store Correct, shoutout Shad and Dom P. I wanted to make the brand a little more official and give it real direction and identity so I tried to get the trademark for (No-Name) and couldn’t so I rebranded to stmpēd and here we are today. Also, for the past year or so I have been the Creative Director of Embellish, and it has been amazing, my debut collection for them launched in August and I’m really proud of that body of work. 

LVA: What is your creative process when designing a new collection or piece?

Ryan: A certain piece, painting or photo will give me this indescribable feeling and I try to recreate that feeling in my own way. There are so many brands and artists that inspire me and it’s an ode to them. Inspiration is a drug, it gives me such a rush that I just try to act on it as fast as possible because once it’s gone, it’s gone. As far as environment goes, I love a wide open workspace, a loft, a warehouse, and a lot of times I like to be alone when I’m creating, sometimes I enjoy company and feedback during the process but most times it’s like a meditation. I find myself not even thinking about the piece or art I’m creating, Im thinking about life, reflecting, planning, processing certain emotions. I like to get my hands dirty, I usually always make the sample by hand then we’ll send it off to the factory. For certain pieces Adobe Illustrator and those programs are such a great tool but I prefer the arts a crafts way so to speak.

LVA: Are there specific design elements or features that will become signature to stmpēd?

Ryan: Yes for sure. Our signature “stmpēd” pattern you’ll be seeing a lot of, but I don’t want to burn that out so we’re coming with a lot more than just that. A lot of times I see brands come up with one piece or all over print that does well and they run it in 10 different color ways and then the brand falls off because they rode that wave till it crashed, so I’m really adamant about not doing that. I want to give the people that chose to follow along and join the “stmpēd” full collections. The best quality, perfectly fitting, denim, t-shirts that give you that feeling of finding a grail in a thrift shop, that go to hoodie in your closet. I have so many ideas I can’t wait to share with the world. 

LVA: How do you balance creating timeless pieces with staying on trend?

Ryan: I really don’t pay attention to trends because a trend is the exact opposite of timeless, it’s here today and gone tomorrow. I really only care about making things that will last and look good today and 20 years from now. I love to create things that would look the part walking down a runway but could also be worn to the skatepark and you’d be the flyest person there. I think fashion and streetwear are in a funny place. They’re so synonymous now, the line has been so blurred that I believe the term “streetwear” is becoming dated because what’s the difference? You can have a “streetwear” brand having a runway show at Paris Fashion week and some of these huge fashion houses are incorporating so many elements of streetwear into their collections. 


LVA: What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the fashion industry today, and how do you address them in your work?

Ryan: Originality and authenticity. Everything is Command+C Command+V nowadays, people don’t know the difference between referencing something and just straight up jacking it. I believe it’s a real skill to reference something and have it go completely over the audience’s head. Instead everyone is just seeing something that worked and copying it bar for bar, it’s uninspiring and mundane, another reason why I try not to pay attention to trends.

LVA: What can we expect from stmpēd this year?

Ryan: Growth and consistency. The first three quarters of this year we’ll lay a foundation and build a community with this first collection “Capsule 001”, that will be dropping January 12th. Then we get back to giving the people some more pieces and collection around Fall 24’. I can’t wait, I like to say this is just the beginning but honestly we’ve been here for so long it’s just time to show the world what we’ve been working on. 


As the stmpēd narrative unfolds, it heralds not just a brand but a cultural sensation in the city which it was birthed—a canvas where Vegas-born creativity transcends boundaries. The launch of this collection is poised to mark not just a debut but the crystallization of dreams and the beginning of a sartorial saga.


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