“I met Jeff on a street corner as a second-week freshman, on my way to find a party. He had on a Volcom tee, so I thought I had found another skater—finally. We hung out and became close friends quickly,” says Sam Shipley (left), of his future business partner and University of Colorado bud Jeff Halmos.
Jump to junior year, and the pair had started the preppy-surfer brand Trovata with two other friends. But after some creative differences, Sam and Jeff decided to start fresh, and in 2008, they struck out on their own, leaving the mountains for Long Beach and launching Shipley & Halmos.
“Neither of us had any interest in fashion. We just kind of fell into it,” explains Jeff. “I never tell people we’re coming up with these fantastical ideas about dreaming of summers in the south of France. We’re not ‘taking our guy on a journey.’ We want our company to feel approachable.” For them, that means letting their line, now based in NYC, go in any direction that feels right—to books, furniture, and even music. As Sam notes, “Jeff’s incredible at the bongos, and I can play the sitar like Ravi Shankar. We try like hell to be ourselves and not take this whole thing too seriously.” —alisha prakash