How Austin’s Rick Soto Fits Up Soccer Superstars

How Austin’s Rick Soto Fits Up Soccer Superstars

Rick Soto is the primary to confess that there have been drawbacks to operating a menswear boutique out of a renovated meals truck. “Lots of people got here on the lookout for tacos,” he remembers with fun.

After discovering a ardour for vogue at a younger age, Soto started working to construct his personal clothes model, first by means of a necktie firm that he ran part-time whereas working different full-time jobs, after which with the 125-square-foot truck that served as his cell go well with store.

Regardless of the scarcity of area, Soto, who did fittings, took appointments and bought fits from inside his Austin truck for practically 5 years and was capable of amass a powerful shopper listing, together with Vince Younger, Brian Orakpo, and Zachary Levi, all of whom visited and had been fitted within the retrofitted automobile. “I do know it wasn’t at all times essentially the most comfy scenario,” Soto says, “however everybody preferred the novelty of it and it was a great way for me to get began.”

Soto’s grinding paid off. As of late he is named considered one of Austin’s stylists to the celebs, dressing an extended shopper listing of sports activities figures, together with Emmanuel Acho, Terry Bradshaw, and Clint Dempsey, for occasions akin to pink carpets and draft days throughout the nation. His essential recommendation in the case of model? “I can sit right here and inform individuals the normal guidelines, however on the finish of the day, in the event you don’t really feel good, don’t do it.”

Rising up in Victoria, Soto says he at all times cherished drawing and dressing nicely. “In highschool I had this silver go well with with a white pinstripe, and it was simply so large and so dishevelled however I assumed I appeared good,” Soto says, laughing. “No one might inform me something.”

Soto says he honed his expertise for “mixing and matching various things” whereas working retail jobs at Okay&G Trend Superstore and Jos. A. Financial institution whereas attending faculty on the College of Texas at Austin. After graduating from UT with an promoting diploma in 2008, he spent a number of years working promoting jobs in New York and Dallas earlier than returning to Austin in 2011.

“I cherished how Austin supported native companies, and I preferred the way it wasn’t too large or too small,” Soto says. “I feel I might have gotten swallowed up in Houston or Dallas. I prefer to say I used to be a much bigger fish in a small pond right here. And I simply find it irresistible right here.”

Rick Soto with his Soto & Co Suits truck
Rick Soto outdoors the truck, his first Soto & Co. outpost. Courtesy of Rick Soto

The interior of the Soto & Co. truck
The inside of the Soto & Co. truck. Courtesy of Rick Soto

In 2013, Soto began his necktie enterprise on the aspect of his day job in pharmaceutical gross sales. When the drug Soto was promoting misplaced its patent three years later, Soto took his severance bundle and used it to buy the truck that may turn into his 125-square-foot cell retailer. After 5 months of renovating the truck with the assistance of his dad, whom Soto calls a “jack-of-all-trades,” Soto formally opened Soto & Co. in Could 2016.

“I feel any guardian is nervous for his or her little one to take one of these leap with none monetary help,” Soto says. “My dad was like, ‘How a lot are you promoting these fits for?’ Again then it was like 600 {dollars}. He’s like, ‘Man, no person’s gonna spend 600 on a go well with out of a truck.’ And I used to be like, ‘Simply wait.’ ”

Along with walk-in clientele, Soto started working with sports activities figures—lots of whom needed to duck by means of the doorway of his cell store—due to referrals from a university pal who had turn into a sports activities agent. As Soto’s shopper listing grew, so did his enterprise. Among the many notable faculty {and professional} soccer gamers that Soto has dressed: Bijan Robinson, Jamaal Charles, Micah Parsons, C. J. Stroud, and NFL quarterback Matt Leinart.

“Being at school through the nationwide championship, clearly Matt Leinart and USC had been the final word rival,” Soto says. “They’re like, ‘Do you need to do a go well with for Matt Leinart?,’ and I’m like, ‘After all.’ I’m not going to say no, however it’s so bizarre, since you see him by means of the soccer lens and you then meet him and he’s just like the nicest man on this planet.”

Soto has additionally made a couple of hundred fits for Acho, a former NFL and Texas Longhorns soccer participant and present Fox sportscaster whom Soto now calls a “tremendous shut pal.”

Rick Soto with Emmanuel Acho.
Rick Soto with Emmanuel Acho.Courtesy of Rick Soto

After operating Soto & Co. out of the truck for practically 5 years, Soto opened his first showroom in East Austin in 2020. In the summertime of 2021, he moved to his present two-thousand-square-foot showroom on Hidalgo Avenue, a fantastically appointed, light-filled area with retractable glass storage doorways, a bar cart populated with Austin-based liquors, and partitions lined with framed jerseys and sports activities memorabilia signed by his many movie star purchasers. With the upgrades got here the value will increase: as of late his fits begin at $1,300.

“(Clients) have full rein on what they need to create,” Soto says. “They’re like, ‘Oh, I like this lining and I like this button and I like this cloth.’ You set all of it collectively and so they see it and it’s even higher than what they anticipated. That’s the very best.”

Along with his sports activities clientele, Soto additionally incessantly clothes individuals for occasions akin to galas, talking engagements, and commencement ceremonies. He says he notably likes serving to nonbinary and transgender purchasers discover the proper match.

“When any person is available in and so they can by no means discover something that matches them so that they should go customized, after which they put it on and so they see themselves for the primary time in how they need to look, that’s at all times been the good factor,” Soto says. “They arrive in with insecurities, their hips are this or that, they need to cowl one thing as a result of it reminds them of 1 gender and never the opposite. . . . You possibly can take that info and create one thing that addresses these issues, after which they see it and so they’re like, ‘Oh, man, I’ve by no means felt this good earlier than.’ ”

Soto will also be incessantly noticed carrying his personal creations at occasions round city, together with Could’s 2023 Austin Beneath 40 Awards gala; he was nominated within the retail class. Considered one of his tuxedos even performed a key position in a gender reveal social gathering he hosted for family and friends just a few years in the past.

“We did a blue tuxedo and a pink tuxedo, and whichever one got here out, that’s how we knew if we had been having a boy or a lady,” he says, including {that a} pal was charged with bringing out the right colour tuxedo. “We opened it up and that’s once we knew it was a lady.”

After the reveal, Soto donned the tuxedo, which now stands as a cornerstone piece in his showroom in honor of his daughter, Santi, now two. The showroom additionally encompasses a picture of and authentic signage from that preliminary Soto & Co. truck.

Soto says he has future plans to broaden in El Paso and San Antonio and that he’d additionally prefer to get extra concerned in excessive vogue and girls’s clothes. He’s additionally opening a brand new wine bar in Austin, the RSRV, with two pals in early 2024.

He has yet another aim in thoughts, too—dressing Austin’s personal “minister of tradition,” Matthew McConaughey. A lot so that there’s an empty body on the wall of Soto & Co. that claims “Reserved for Matthew McConaughey.”

“I’m simply attempting to talk it into existence,” Soto says with fun. “Hopefully he hears about me at some point after which I can fill that body with an image of us.”

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