Philly Nicks Of YHF Sunglasses, A Brand Created Out Of Bankruptcy in Los Angeles

“What inspired you to create YHF?” I asked Philly Nicks, whose sunglasses brand has, in the last few months, popped up in all our favorite boutiques.

Before YHF I had a brand called Rich Life,” Nicks said. “That was the beginning of my whole career.” Their manufacturer ended up going bankrupt and didn’t bother to tell the designers. They went under. Nicks had thrown himself into this business and failed. “I saw my own failure as the fall of Los Angeles, where I was living at the time. After the fall of Rich Life, I could have let myself fail, and decided ‘that’s a wrap’.” Instead of giving up, Nicks knew he had to create something new and keep pushing on. He moved to Vegas to after being offered an opportunity with Armadale vodka, and he threw himself into the city. “I got a condo, wasn’t working on any new ventures yet, just paid my expenses and got my mind right.” As he worked with the vodka company, he came up with the idea for a cool, wacky, and most of all, affordable sunglasses brand.

“I was like ‘Yo, I’m gonna play along with this, with myself failing.’ It was the fall of LA and the the rise of Vegas, the fall of me and the rise of me, as a creator, as an entrepenuer, as a business owner,” Nick finished. Thus, he created YHF, an acronym for You Have Failed, and got back on track. “I could have let my first failure dictate who I was as a person, designer, and business man.” But he didn’t. He embraked on another venture, and this time, it succeeded.

In less than a month, DollsKill, Land of Flyy, and Culture Kings all began carrying the sunglasses. “I wanted to make niche, fly, cool, sunglasses that we would wear, and offer them at an affordable price, but still have quality and coolness,” Nicks explained. “Everyone’s always losing their sunglasses, and losing a pair of YHF glasses is better than losing a pair of thousand dollar sunglasses that you worked three weeks to afford!”

“I design what makes me tick— I have to be inspired a lot. There’s a story in every collection we do at YHF,” Nicks said, of his complex design ideas. “I believe in telling a story. If there’s no story behind the product, you can just go to Forever 21 or H&M and get the same thing.” The stories, notions and ideas that Nicks pours into each and every piece he designs are what takes YHF above a typical sunglasses brand to the designer level, but without the insane price tag. Nicks called the current collection The Erruption, named all of the glasses after different lava rocks. “My favorite glasses are the Cashton’s, which are a timeless, classic piece. I also love the Sparrows, which are pretty similar to that, but they have a different lens. A fan favorite are the Blancos, we can’t seem to keep those in stock.” All the glasses are minimal with black, gold or silver frames.

“My idea was that the glamour and glitz of LA caused the Lord to strike down and rain on our parade.” Nicks said. Thus, even the dark, edgy and minimal silhouette of the unisex frames comes from the idea that LA failed.”It’s definitely very dark, it’s angels crying, and I feel that it’s very in tune with what’s going on right now,” he told me. Next, YHF will be releasing a line of unisex clothes and accessories. “We’re gonna be pulling out gold grills with fangs, a gold necklace with a switchblade, just crazy, wacky, cool stuff,” Nicks said. “We’re giving you guys an exclusive sneak peak of our upcoming collection.”



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