Rad Cat stops by Hidden Grounds just in time for sweater weather
The hot coffee brewed as people poured through the doors of Hidden Grounds coffee shop last Thursday evening, seeking haven from the chilly rain and seeking a new fall wardrobe.
A beloved Easton Avenue coffee spot, Hidden Grounds frequently hosts pop-up shops for artisan vendors, but none share the special connection quite like the one with Rad Cat.
MK Rix, the brand’s founder, curator and chief operator, dreamt up the vision for the label while still a Mason Gross School of the Arts student only a few years ago. Coincidentally, they are working as one of the original Hidden Grounds baristas.
Citing independent clothing houses like Lazy Oaf as inspirations, it’s often the interactions with common objects that best spark Rix’s curiosity.
“I am always interested in different textures, colors, tactile things, the balance between playful and dark,” Rix said.
Offering a stretch of high-quality new, used and vintage clothing, the sale was specifically targeted at fashion forward Rutgers students as they approach the winter season.
An eclectic mix of velvets, cable knits, meshes and sparkles, Rix promoted outwear catering to the fashion tastes from the simple to the cosmopolitan, but knits are just the tip of the iceberg.
Sleek jumpsuits, button downs, dresses and leggings, handmade jewelry, patches and pins were featured at a fraction of the cost compared to stores like Urban Outfitters and Free People. So it's no surprise that Rad Cat has been booming since the label’s inception in 2013.
Based across the river in Highland Park, the online shop has generated a national following.
“It would be a dream to invest in a motor vehicle camper and sell our clothes across the country," Rix said.
Rad Cat’s success is the clearest reflection of Rix’s own determination. When asked to share a piece of wisdom with Rutgers students who wish to one day pursue their own entrepreneurial endeavors, Rix advises young hopefuls to take themselves seriously.
“If you aren’t confident, no one else will be," Rix said. "You have to have an endurance that borders stubbornness, while keeping an open ear to the people around you, and an open mind to their ideas.”
Here were some of our favorite pieces from Rad Cat's collection that will keep you cozy and cool to and through the next snow day.
We Love: Classic Flannels
Considering that plaid never goes out of style, investing in a favorite tartan is truly a purchase for all seasons.
Layer up with a vest for commuting to class, tie it around your waist when gearing up for a night out or wear it alone as you relax beside a midnight bonfire with friends.
The kelly green and black pattern, in addition to the adjustable button drop sleeve, is on point for both ladies and gentlemen making it a great gift regardless of whose name you pull for your circle’s annual holiday gift exchange.
We Love: Velvet Leotards
Resist the primitive urges to drop your social life in favor of taking the “Netflix and chill” route the moment the temperature drops below 40 degrees — in favor of simply dressing smartly for nighttime.
While there’s no word in yet as to whether the leotard’s recent comeback can be attributed to a combination of leftover Halloween costumes and our laziness, we do know that pairing a neutral velvet bodysuit with a gem-toned skirt or skinny corduroy pant is a style victory.
We Love: Patterned Sweaters
It’s a major fashion myth that investing in reliable winter clothing has to break the bank. Comfort and longevity doesn’t necessarily have to follow an expensive price tag.
Rad Cat’s ultra fun patterned sweaters, richly detailed with designs like teddy bears, stars and roses are absolutely worth the bang for their slim buck. Sure to keep you toasty warm, embellish with a similarly toned scarf for a monochromatic look as you head out the door.
Waking up for class is tough, but remembering you are essentially walking around in a socially acceptable Snuggie makes it easier.