The founder and co-owner of Los Angeles streetwear brand Rokit is in high demand, and his clientele reads like a who is who of celebrities and global brands. He is now looking to launch the brand that carries his name, as well as a significant portion of his essence.

2022 is looking to be a promising and defining year for Nico Guardalabene. The designer and founder has raked some impressive achievements and collaborations in the years since launching LA streetwear brand Rokit in 2015. Official collaborations of the brand include designs with Nike, Converse and DC shoes, to name a few. Special pieces with strong inspiration sourced in skateboard and basketball aesthetics.

One for the designer’s career highlight reel must surely have been his work with Kyrie Irving for the — at the time Boston bound — NBA superstar. Nico Guardalabene designed Irving’s All-Star game shoes, with an official global launch following the mega event in North Carolina.

Working with global brands and top-athletes is the ultimate dream of every streetwear designer, and for Guardalabene it has almost become a regular occasion. Though one that he still is as passionate about as ever.

Which leads us to 2022 and the upcoming year, where the Californian designer has big plans coming closer to realization.

His new brand ‘Guardalabene‘ will carry his name, a decision that promises the founder ultimately identifies with the line. And he confirms ‘it reflects my background, where I am from, what I represent’. Nico Guardalabene comes from a family of Sicilian immigrants, who migrated from Palermo to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, three generations before the young designer. A heritage that is carried with pride. In fact, his family name (which is Sicilian and translates to ‘Look at her well’) already gained recognition in the early 1900’s when the great-great grandfather was known as ‘the godfather of Milwaukee’.

Choosing a different business route to represent his family name, the accolades of Nico Guardalabene will be expanding again in the near future.

Written in partnership with Amir Bakian

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