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What the Team Behind Need Supply Co. Wears to Work

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All photos by <a href="http://ejsullivan.net/">Emily Sullivan</a>. Follow her <a href="http://instagram.com/emelex">here.</a>
All photos by Emily Sullivan. Follow her here.

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If you told a Richmond, VA resident in 1996 that 15 years later his go-to place for recycled Levi's, Need Supply Co., would become a nationally recognized store, carrying some of the most exciting international brands in fashion, he'd say, "Get out of town. No, seriously. Go to New York or Los Angeles, crazy." But thanks to the reach of the internet, the rapid rise in online shopping, and a team of forward-thinking, graphically-inclined buyers and builders, Need has gone from small-town shop to a major online retail destination. Thanks internet!

Racked recently crashed the Need offices, located behind the brick-and-mortar store in Richmond, to see if the team members are as streamlined and thoughtful in style as the site. Spoiler alert: They are. Pay special attention to the outfit credits should you be in the mood to discover fresh designers or brands and read on for their thoughts on breakable style rules, fashion advice that's been passed down and what it's like to balance local sensibilities with an international reach.

Krystle Kemp, Fashion Director, is wearing a 6397 top, Which We Want (Need Supply Co. in-house brand) pants, Vince shoes, Garrett Leight glasses, In God We Trust necklace, rings by Alex & Chloe and a custom wedding ring.

What have you learned about the fashion industry at Need that you wouldn't have known otherwise?
Everything. I grew up here, I think.

What's one style you love but still wouldn't wear on the 9-to-5?
My running gear, which I live in on the weekends.

Your closet is on fire! What three items do you save from the flames?
Let it all go—all the more reason to get something new and start over.

What is your worst shopping habit?
Buying white t-shirts. It's an addiction.

Which trend do you really like, and which fills you with trepidation?
Loving the Birkenstock/grandma sandals thing. Dislike: It's not really a trend, but I can't handle denim jackets, can't do it. (Total blasphemy, especially in America! Sorry…)

What's a great piece of shopping advice you've received?
Save up and spend wisely on investment piece. My addictive need for newness keeps me from following this advice.

Gabriel Ricioppo, Creative Director, is wearing a Soulland shirt, Han Kjøbenhavn sweatshirt, A.P.C. jeans, Common Projects shoes and an Omega Speedmaster watch.

What's one style you love but still wouldn't wear on the 9-to-5?
I don't let guys wear shorts to the office. We can wear crazy things if we want, but shorts on a guy feel too casual to me. You're one step away from a nap, and that's not a good thing at the office. Otherwise, it's wide open.

What fashion rule do you shamelessly break?
I'm not personally concerned with the white rule, if that really exists. There might be a few others, but I'm probably too naive to know any better. Maybe that's a good thing in my case.

Your closet is on fire! What three items do you save from the flames?
My black jeans, a white shirt and my Common Projects. I don't really have a lot of investment pieces, so it can all be replaced. I think that's also the cool part about clothes: You want to update them seasonally.

Outside of Need, where are your favorite places to shop in the area?
The wine store. That's probably first on my list.

Molly Szkotak, Public Relations and Social Media Manager, is wearing an A.P.C. top, Which We Want pants, Rachel Comey Penpal shoes, Academy necklace, Warby Parker Preston glasses, Miansai bracelet, and In God We Trust rings.

What fashion rule do you shamelessly break?
Errant color mixing: Black and navy, black and brown, and gold and silver jewelry at the same time. These are rules meant to be broken!

What does Richmond do style-wise better than anyone else?
Richmond style is very DIY and influenced by local subcultures. It's also incredibly entrepreneurial. Almost half the people I know own and operate a jewelry line or vintage shop. People here definitely wear what makes them happy and are not rabid trend followers.

What is your worst shopping habit?
Buying shoes 1/2 size too small and breaking them in. I have rather large feet and I'm embarrassed of them. My feet hate me. Also, compulsively buying striped tops. My boyfriend thinks I'm insane, but he doesn't understand that one day I may be mistaken for a Parisian, and that's the whole point.

Which trend do you really like, and which fills you with trepidation?
I'm loving 'ugly chic' sandals (and so are my aforementioned hurting feet.) It's definitely a nostalgia thing and brings up Birkenstock and Teva memories of my middle school years. While I love drapey, wide-leg pants on other people, I've never come across a pair that didn't give me high-waters (I'm 5'10"). That is probably not the 1970's vibe they're going for.

What are the pros of living outside of a "fashion capital?" The cons?
Being so removed from where the industry action is happening can be challenging sometimes, but in reality, the internet makes the fashion world so small.

Ryan Towns, Men's Buyer is wearing a Shades of Grey top, YSL jeans, Raf Simons shoes and a Komono watch.

What is your worst shopping habit?
Buying all grey everything!

What do you splurge on, and what do you cheap out on?
I don't cheap out on much...

What's a style you love but still wouldn't wear on the 9-to-5?
Socks and sandals.

Marleigh Culver, Jr. Designer/Production Artist, is wearing a J. Crew sweater, Esley skirt from Need Supply Co., rings from Need Supply Co. and Madewell, Academy necklace, and Via Spiga shoes.

What have you learned about the fashion industry at Need that you wouldn't have known otherwise?
There were things I knew from just personal interests, but it wasn't until I worked here that I realized how competitive and intense this field is. Everyone works together as this rapidly evolving organism to stay fresh and ahead of everyone else. It is far from easy.

What's one item or style you love but still wouldn't wear on the 9-to-5?
I have this adorable striped t-shirt romper, but I have to save that for a weekend. It's a little too Bardot to wear at my desk.

What do you splurge on, and what do you cheap out on?
Splurge on shoes. I wouldn't say I cheap out on things, but I get all my favorite things on sale.

Which trend do you really like, and which fills you with trepidation?
I love the embracing of strong eyebrows, jumpsuits and anything plant-related. I really don't like a lot of 90s stuff like Babysitter's Club style.

Will Godwin, Photographer, is wearing a RVCA shirt (1), Gitman Bros vintage shirt (2), Rogue Territory shirt (3), Cause & Effect belt, Baldwin Denim pants, Anonymousism socks, and Alden shoes.

What are the pros of living outside of a "fashion capital?" The cons?
The pro is that how I dress isn't really a concern and I can actually worry about being a decent human being (I'm a horrible multi-tasker; I can't do both). No cons for me.

What fashion rule do you shamelessly break?
Mismatching socks.

Which trend do you really like, and which fills you with trepidation?
I like anything casual and white socks fill me with trepidation. I don't know anything about fashion really.

What's a great piece of shopping advice you've received?
Don't use your credit card.

Olivia Connors, Operational Merchandising Assistant, is wearing a Cheap Monday shirt, vintage Calvin Klein jeans, vintage shoes, Cave Collective necklace, and Satomi Kawakita rings. Other jewelry is by Praxis.

What fashion rule do you shamelessly break?
I feel like rules no longer apply these days.

What does Richmond do style-wise better than anyone else?
I think the vast majority of Richmonders aren't terribly concerned with being considered "fashionable" or allowing themselves to become consumed by trends. Instead, there is this effortlessly cool, grungy style that has been a part of the city for years and was heavily influenced by the local hardcore scene.

Your closet is on fire! What three items do you save from the flames?
A backpack purse (any will do, I love them all), black-on-black leather Converse high tops, and my vintage J. Peterman dress.

What do you splurge on, and what do you cheap out on?
I've been super lucky with any clothing I own that would normally be considered a splurge. Between generous friends, sample sales, and just lucky finds I've managed to keep my splurging strictly focused on delicious food!

Which trend do you really like, and which fills you with trepidation?
I love using sculptural jewelry to keep a wardrobe of basics interesting.

What's a great piece of shopping advice you've received?
YOLO.

Kiersyn Cocke, Marketing & PR Assistant, Datter Industries and In God We Trust earrings, GiantLion choker, Second Female dress, vintage jacket, and Swedish Hasbeen clogs.

What have you learned about the fashion industry at Need that you wouldn't have known otherwise?
Need has a great appreciation for gathering a selection of independent designers from across the globe. Having an inside look is really exciting and has attracted me to searching for, and buying from, smaller less-known brands.

What's one item or style you love but still wouldn't wear on the 9-to-5?
I think the only thing I've yet to wear to work is overalls.

What is your worst shopping habit?
Late-night online shopping. (And buying too many sandals for spring this year while it was still snowing outside.)

Your closet is on fire! What three items do you save from the flames?
My favorite A.P.C. shirtdress I bought on a trip to Paris, my gifted St. James sweater, and my Miansai screw-cuff (which is probably already on my arm).

What do you splurge on, and what do you cheap out on?
I splurge on shoes, cheap out on white tees. (I spill things too easily to spend too much on a white tee).

Which trend do you really like, and which fills you with trepidation?
I actually have the same answer for both, it would be the "ugly-sporty sandal" trend. I'm guilty of buying Birkenstocks and sporty sandals, but I'll stop myself at velcro Tevas.

· Need Supply Co.'s Gabriel Ricioppo: 'Do the Most With the Least' [Racked]
· All Working It Coverage [Racked]