Though it had humble beginnings rooted in a Pennsylvania skate camp, Ripndip has ballooned to become one of L.A.’s hottest apparel brands — and arguably now one of those hypebeast labels whose outsized popularity with clout chasers seems to defy any rational considerations. That success is largely thanks to Ripndip’s mascot Lord Nermal, the smiley cat who’s always flipping everybody off. Ripndip’s flagship store, a sleekly modern building on L.A.’s Fairfax Avenue, happens to sit right next door to James Jebbia‘s Supreme, one of Ripndip’s closest competitors. And naturally, the Ripndip store’s façade was formerly adorned with a giant mural of Lord Nermal, his royal kitty highness flagrantly giving Supreme the bird.
That sort of silly sassiness has come to define Ripndip, which was founded by Ryan O’Connor in 2009. O’Connor, an amateur skater when he began making t-shirts emblazoned with the familiar “RIPNDIP” logo for his friends, started the business with $500 from his father. The bootstrapped company struggled until about five years ago, when a shirt featuring the trusty Lord Nermal went viral and demand for Ripndip’s streetwear grew exponentially — hoodies now go for about $80, t-shirts are $30-ish. And business has continued to boom. The brand has launched lucrative apparel collaborations with the likes of Teddy Fresh, the hit clothing brainchild of popular YouTubers h3h3, aka Ethan and Hila Klein.
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Ripndip’s success also facilitated O’Connor’s recent $8.2 million purchase of an snazzy oceanfront home. Sited on Malibu’s celeb-swarmed and fearsomely expensive Broad Beach, the compound was previously owned by prolific Hollywood director/producer Walter Hill (“48 Hours,” “Hard Times,” “Southern Comfort,” the “Alien” franchise) and his talent agent wife Hildy Gottlieb.
Comprised of two separate contemporary pavilions hewn almost entirely from concrete and glass, the property packs in a total of five bedrooms and five bathrooms. A wideset driveway lies afore of a two-car garage and spacious attached guesthouse; a desert-inspired, drought-tolerant courtyard area leads from that first structure to the main house. Inside, there are high ceilings and a pleasantly subdued interior decor motif. The living and dining rooms are neatly divided by a fireplace set into a chunky concrete column, while floor-to-ceiling walls of glass spill out to an oceanside deck with a built-in BBQ center and a hot tub.
There’s also a sleek, sophisticated kitchen with high-end finishes and appliances, two ensuite guest bedrooms on the main floor and a third guest suite upstairs. The upper level master retreat is, quite frankly, downright hedonistic and offers its own private lounge with bespoke built-ins, a private office/library with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and an oceanfront balcony with mesmerizing whitewater views. A sandy path leads over a short dune to Broad Beach’s manmade rock revetment and the icy-cold Pacific Ocean beyond.
O’Connor, now in his early 30s, continues to maintain his main L.A. residence — a rather gorgeous, $2.2 million Streamline Moderne-style home in the eastern Hollywood Hills. And some of his new neighbors on Malibu’s Broad Beach include Ray Romano, Pierce Brosnan, “Friends” creator Marta Kauffman, “Modern Family” creator Steve Levitan and “Saw” producer Oren Koules, who happens to live right next door.
Launch Gallery: Ripndip Founder Ryan O'Connor's Malibu Beach House