In Conversation With Patron Of The New Founder, Jonathan Pak
VMAN sits down with Patron of The New founder; Jonathan Pak to discuss the boutiques growing success, it’s high profile clients, and what’s on the horizon for Patron.
Conceived five years ago by mother-son duo—Jonathan and Lisa Pak—Patron of The New has proven to be more than what meets the eye. Not your typical mom-and-pop (or rather mom-and-son) by any means; the brick-and-mortar front for upscale streetwear made its name disrupting the luxury retail landscape by introducing fashion’s soon-to-be latest and greatest. With a client list ranging from Justin & Hailey Bieber to ATL-born rapper Future, Patron of the New has become the mecca for the high-fashion inclined and the go-to forum for high-end high-rolling.
VMAN sits down with the founder of Patron of The New; Jonathan Pak to discuss the boutiques growing success, it’s high profile clients, and what’s on the horizon for Patron. Read the exclusive conversation below!
How exactly was Patron of The New born?
We started Patron about 5 years ago. I went to Tulane for my freshman year and then I transferred to Loyola for music business. I ended up dropping out after those two years to start Patron of The New. It all made perfect sense, I’ve always had a deep appreciation for fashion especially high fashion. I got into high fashion really early, at 17 [I] was on the forums selling and buying designer clothing. Patron of The New just kind of happened when we took something we were passionate about and made it into a business. We opened the store, then found some cool brands and we just went from there.
What is the significance behind the name Patron of The New?
We are always the first to find cool new brands. We were one of the first to have Mike Amiri, we were one of the first stores to sell Off White. Now we have Dior and we are about to get Givenchy. It’s great to have iconic designers but we also know how to bring up new brands like Eric Emmanuel and brands that people may have not heard of, hence the name Patron of The New.
What would you say the key to Patron of The New’s success is? The store is still in its infancy but has already become such an established go-to for Luxury Designer clothing.
Honestly, by just being us. What makes our store is we love our clients. I have built a lot of great relationships with my clients and we have all become good friends. What also make’s Patron is we do things differently than other luxury stores. Especially in the sense of what brands that we bring and introduce to the clientele. We genuinely love what we do here, and it shows from the moment you walk into the store. I am always excited to come in and see what’s new, I even open up boxes myself, I love doing the little tedious task. I just get excited about it all like it’s Christmas every week.
So, you are still here on a regular basis involved with the store’s day-to-day?
Yeah, I am here a lot. I try to be here as much as I can because when I come in I don’t feel like I am working. It’s all just fun for me.
Since we are on the topic of your hands-on approach to business, let’s discuss your partner in bringing Patron of The New to life; your mother (Lisa Pak). She seems to be a major influence not only on you but obviously on the business as well. How has she helped with navigating the world of fashion and business? Does she have a background in either of those realms?
My mom actually has an art background. She went to UCLA for art, so she’s an artist. I think that’s where I got a lot of my artistic genes from I guess. (Laughs) She is an artist who’s been in the interior design business for years and has now transitioned into fashion. She actually helped Patron of The New take its current form. I originally wanted to start a skate shop because I was a skater back in the day. A lot of the conceptualization for Patron came from her and she designed the store as well. She’s really the one behind the scenes making it happen. It’s a real family business.
Oh wow! A family business indeed. A real mom-and-pop…well, mom-and-son.
Patron of The New started off introducing the coolest up and coming luxury brands but now you have found a way to incorporate classic fashion houses like Dior and Givenchy into the store’s line up. How exactly did you go about that? And what other brands are you looking forward to bringing into Patron’s fold?
We just got AMBUSH and Chrome Hearts, just to name a few. There are a lot of new brands in the store that we are just excited about. Brands that if you told me 5 years ago I would have access to, I would just laugh and smile. Just as we do with our clients, our business from a vendor standpoint also stems from building great relationships. Even with iconic brands like Dior, I have a great relationship with the head people over there. So, a friend that works for a brand may reach out to us or we may reach out to them and it takes off from there. Honestly, Its just great to work with people who believe in Patron and recognize what we are doing.
Amazing. So earlier you briefly touched on your background in music before venturing off into starting Patron of The New. Are there any plans to get back into that industry being that a lot of your high-profile clientele come from the music industry? Do you plan to integrate these two passions; music and fashion?
I am getting back into the music industry. I am more on the music business side of things where I help out friends here and there with bookings. I have built a lot of great friendships within both industries and that’s why I love Patron because it represents that. For us a lot of the people that come into the store, we are all into the same things. So, we just feed off each other and we grow together essentially. In terms of integrating music and fashion, it’s something we are already doing. We have had in-store events where my friends from the industry preform, and various other music-related events.
In terms of the high-profile clientele that Patron brings, can you walk us through how Patron became a fashion haven for them? Like even right now as we speak, rising rapper A. Boogie is walking around shopping and trying on things. He seems very comfortable here, which you don’t see often with celebrities when they shop in public places.
There’s just a vibe at Patron that you can only get when you come here. It’s like we are all family. A. Boogie who is shopping right now, I actually knew him before his first album even came out. The relationship started through one of my first clients who came to the store. He introduced me to A. Boogie and said you have to listen to his music. I took his advice and listened to one of A. Boogies’ songs, and I was like “wow! He is going to be huge”. Since then we have just grown to be great friends and it’s the same with my other clients. Also, Future was one of our first clients and now most of the stuff you see him wearing is from Patron. We have a lot of great clients, whether it’s people in music, art, film, or even athletes.
Aside from being high profile, who would you say the Patron of The New client is?
We don’t have a specific client, it’s very spread out. It’s a wide spectrum, basically anyone who has an appreciation for fashion.
Being that Patron of The New has established a reputation for introducing up and coming luxury designers, are there any plans for Patron of The New to expand from a luxury retailer to a designer brand?
We haven’t started our own line yet but that is also something we are excited about exploring. In the past we have had collaborations with brands but there isn’t anything specific to Patron of The New out just yet. In the beginning I was against starting our own line but now we have some ideas in the works.
What does the future hold for Patron of The New? What are you most looking forward to? I know you have multiple projects coming out but where do you see Patron going?
We are planning to open up another store, I cant share where just yet but it is happening very soon. Also, as I mentioned earlier we have a lot in the works; our own line and various collaborations. There’s just a lot of cool things happening. Aside from that, we don’t look to or think about a year from now or 5 years from now. We just take it day by day because you never know where fashion is going to be in a year from now. At Patron of The New we just go with the moment and have fun with everything that we do.
Shop leading designer brands like Dior and Amiri at Patron of The New online or in-store (151 Franklin St, New York, 10013).