Regardless of how big or small, life is all about taking chances. Whether it be moving to a new country fresh out of college, or managing multiple passions at the same time, one thing is for sure: you can’t let yourself be the only thing holding you back. That certainly isn’t a problem for San Francisco-based creative, Riley Predum.
Riley’s success is a testament to his work ethic and ability to embrace change. His career path has taken him from blue-collar factory work to working in finance in Tokyo—none of which would have been possible if he weren’t open to the possibility of failure. After all, you can fail at something you hate doing, so you might as well try doing something you love.
As of late, Riley has been keeping himself pretty busy. In the past year, he’s gone from watching friends make beats, to collaborating with them and making his own—all while contributing to a Japanese startup. Speaking with Riley reminded us that we can’t always wait for the “perfect” moment to do something. Sometimes you just have to take a cue from Nike, or in this case, Riley, and Just Do It.
How would you describe your personal style?
Clean, somewhat conservative, simple.
How do you think would your friends describe your personal style?
Simple and clean-cut, sometimes fancy.
What’s the outfit that makes you feel like the most authentic version of yourself?
Lately I’ve been wearing black selvedge jeans with a plaid button-down and jean jacket. I wear my brown leather low-cut boots with this outfit usually.
What’s your go-to outfit?
My go-to is anything slim fit and simple, not too many colors or clashing patterns. I tend to circulate around 2 colors: blue and red, black and blue, blue and gold (go Bears!). I have been described as the Uniqlo man before, and I do love that brand, but I’m trying to add more variation and flavor to my outfits lately.
Do you have any style icons?
No one in particular, I get inspired by the people I see on the street or random stuff on Instagram.
So, have you always been into style? Or is it something that you’ve grown into?
I used to put a lot more into it. I had a really fashion-conscious friend through college, and she really opened my eyes to not having too many clashing patterns or considering matching your socks. I don’t think people always think of socks as part of their outfit. Pairing different shoes with different kinds of outfits. From there I learned and became kind of interested in it. It really started early to mid-college and has continued from there.
How has your career influenced the way you dress?
I’ve been in a few different industries and it absolutely affects it, it’s really interesting—I studied Anthropology so I constantly think about culture and social norms. I’ve worked in a wood factory so I was pretty rugged back then; I worked in finance in Tokyo and that was very conservative—three-piece suit every day); and now I work at a Japanese startup and it’s the perfect mix of professional and comfortable.
Was moving to Japan just for a job opportunity or were you looking to do something different?
Both of those things. I started studying Japanese about five years ago in community college and then went to UC Berkley where I had the chance to study abroad there. That was a really good time. Then I was job hunting for Japan and I got the job in Tokyo.
You said that you’ve been through a couple industries during your career. Is there something that you’ve taken from each experience that is incorporated into your current style?
There’s been three main phases so far in terms of career. The first was sort of blue-collar factory work. I was working in a reclaimed wood factory. So that was pretty rugged, get-dirty work clothes. The second phase was right after college in Japan. That was the most conservative and fancy with three piece suits every day. Now, it's casual startup, but I still try to be professional most of the time with a button-down shirt. I’d say the last two are a little more melded than the first one. I like the mix of casual-clean and semi-formal.
What’s your proudest moment in your career thus far?
I guess the move to Japan. It ended up being pretty short but it was a very challenging experience. Looking back on it it’s crazy that I was living and working in a non-English speaking environment. It was an incredible experience.
What do you enjoy doing most during your downtime?
I rock climb a lot, and I’ve been making beats for about a year now but have gotten serious with it these past couple months. I like to make collaborative beats with my old housemate from college.
Has making beats always been an interest, or is it something new?
Making beats has not been a serious production until the past year or so. A year ago I was mostly witnessing my good friend and old housemate from college really get into it—I would kind of be around and see him making beats. In middle school and a little bit of high school I was a drummer. So, I was doing traditional drum set, learning mostly classic rock. I definitely have drumming, percussion roots. I’m also learning sampling from vinyls and creating melodies from that too.
Do you have a favorite era to sample from right now?
It tends to be 70s jazz or soul.
Do you have any contemporary producers or artists that you’re influenced by?
I’m moving toward hip hop eventually. I’ve liked Drake. In high school I listened to Kanye West. Now, Chance the Rapper and J. Cole.
What’s the best advice you’ve received? How has that translated to your life?
I played soccer when I was a kid, and one time an opponent kicked the ball straight into my face. It hurt and disoriented me but I got the ball and took it all the way to the other end of the field and scored. My coach told me, “You’ve got that fire! Don’t wait to get hit in the face to use it!” It was a cool thing to hear back then but thinking back on it now it’s actually really deep and applicable to a lot of things.
What is your definition of a GOODSOUL?
A person who is kind and genuine, and acts when they see someone in need.
How do you hope others would describe your GOODSOUL?
I’d hope they’d say that I’m a good listener and kind. Try to make people feel better.
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GOODSOUL, also known as GDSL is a collection of hand cut garments designed by Mark Michael and his collaborators, Ashley Hayes, Gibran Hamdan. Each piece is released as produced - sign up to be notified of the latest drop.